Jack Rentz, City Council, Place 2

Jack Rentz, City Council, Place 2

What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment as a public servant?I find the greatest happiness in serving on several nonprofit Boards in Abilene. We have a lot of needs in Abilene and this helps my understanding of the issues that they deal with daily. Becky and I have a special heart for children in need. {{more}}I was able to be a big help in getting the new NOAH Project building built in 2011. I served as the Chairman of the Texas Trails Council of the Boy Scouts of America 2015-17 and we were able to accomplish many things for the camps. I continue to work on the scout camps as a board member. I’ve been involved with the Boys and Girls Club when they needed some extra help and I‘ve been the campaign chairman and board member of United Way Abilene. I have also been helping Big Brothers/Big Sisters for almost 10 years. What do you feel like is the greatest challenge facing the city of Abilene, and what would you do to solve it?Drug addiction is a major concern. I am very interested in many of Chief Standridge’s ideas in this area along with the groups in Abilene working on mental health issues. We have an aging infrastructure including streets. The generations ahead of me built the streets, major sewer lines, etc. and we must now come up with the money to maintain them.Sometimes the citizens have a cynical attitude when it comes to elected officials. The attitude is a we versus them attitude. What are you doing or what will you do to foster an environment where every citizen feels important?I am a team player and a good listener. I know that working together for a common goal is the only way to get things done. I will have the right attitude about progress and will do all I can to have my positive attitude rub off on others.How do you believe the citizens of Abilene can help make this a better community?Everyone needs to find some issue that they care about and volunteer for that cause. There are many needs and a little help from a lot of people will go a long way.What makes you uniquely qualified to serve on the City Council?Over 43 years of living in Abilene, watching it grow, watching it survive the downturns, starting and operating successful businesses for over 21 years. I get along with and work well with everyone on any team on which I serve. I have seen a lot of what works and what does not work and will apply what I have learned in life to make Abilene a better city in which to live.*According to a poll conducted by The Associated Press – NORC Center for Public Affairs research, they found that more than 8 in 10 Americans favor a federal law preventing mentally ill people from purchasing guns, along with a federal law expanding background check requirements to include gun shows and private sales. How would you feel, if that was implemented in Abilene and Taylor County?All of the above is fine but frankly there are so many guns already on the streets that anyone that wants one, regardless of the laws, will find a way to get one. Tougher laws might cause it to take a little longer to get a gun but that is about all it will do, in my opinion. The problem is much more complicated than access to guns. More awareness, attention and private sector resources and services for those struggling with mental health diagnoses and drug addictions would go a long way.It appears that we will probably have a large number of young voters engaged in the political process, because of the 17 individuals killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland FL. Do you agree or disagree with their activism and why? Do you have a message for them?? I hope we have a lot of young people who vote in this and other elections. I’d say research the issues and the candidate’s backgrounds and get out and vote for me. Good advice that I received was to ‘take every advantage you have to learn from the mistakes that others have made so that you don’t have to make the same mistakes.’Do you believe that a person’s character is important in holding elected office? If you do please list one character trait one should have and state why you believe it’s important?A person’s character and track-record are the best examples of how they will represent you as an elected official. I think a person should always tell the truth and not “play politics” as they say. We have seen campaigns where individuals have been extremely mean to each other. Could you pay your opponent one compliment?Bruce is a very well-read person. He does his homework. Alex is very intelligent and ambitious.If you could have dinner with anyone from the past or currently living, who would it be and why?My Dad. He was a great guy and he would really enjoy hearing about all that has happened to my family since his passing in 2011.Tell us a little about your family, hobbies, etc.Becky, wife of almost 44-years, Son Scott in Phoenix, Daughter Amy in Fort Worth and some Bailey in Dallas. We have always encouraged them to live their own dream. As far as hobbies, I like working on projects with groups of like-minded people. Being an engineer, I like to tinker with equipment including my Dad’s 19xx John Deere tractor.