West Texas Tribune Presents the Candidates
By Floyd MillerIt is indeed a pleasure for the West Texas Tribune to present a discussion from the candidates in their own words. We hope that their responses to the questions will help you make an informed decision.Please study the candidates and then vote. Make your voice heard and make your “Dollar Count.” The individual that wins this election will earn $1.00 a year. The $1.00 they receive in no way communicates the importance of the job or the impact it could have on each of us.Steve Savage:Tell us a little about yourself example or anything that you consider being important. My wife’s name is Cristi, and we have four girls between us, . Mira is my oldest daughter who is 9 years old, Helena is my step-daughter, who is also 9-years old, and Sierra is 3-years old, and Reagan is 18 months old. I am a 1993 graduate of Cooper High School, and I have also attended Cisco College and Texas Tech University . I could not afford to finish my college degree- so I entered the workforce. I have a lot of hobbies that I like to do when time allows- Riding my Harley-Davidson Motorcycle, Shotgun- related shooting like skeet and sporting-clays, pistol shooting, playing electric guitar, and bird hunting/ and fishing, and camping. Currently I attend church at Mission Abilene, in the past I attended Broadview Baptist Church- both of which I feel are very good churches in the Abilene community. I am a member of the West Texas Chapter Harley Owners Group, the National Chapter of the Harley Owners Group, the Texas State Rifle Association, the National Rifle Association- life member, and I am a member of the Abilene Pachyderm Club. Some of the organizations I sponsor are Meals On Wheels Plus, Mission Abilene Church- and the Stop the Violence Movement in Abilene, as well as a little league team in Abilene, and a club called “Just Girls” for girls in the Buffalo-Gap and Tuscola area.Why do you want to serve on the City Council? I want to serve on the City Council to give good representation to all of the citizens of Abilene, and let them know that they have a voice that will speak up for them. I have attended numerous city council and planning and zoning meetings over the last four years, and have spoken on behalf of the public on various issues that have come before our officials at city hall. It has been noted by council members and city staff alike, that I do my homework and research on the issues when I speak, and I ask a lot of tough questions. Some of the concerns I have raised at city hall has caused the City Council to “table” items so that they can do more research before voting on a particular issue. I feel that it is the responsibility of the City Council to investigate these issues as much as possible before making a decision, which affects the residents of Abilene.What do you see as the most pressing need for the City of Abilene and how would you solve it? There are a lot of very important needs that need to be addressed in the City of Abilene. From job creation, to street repair or water issues, all of which require a lot of critical thinking and planning to implement, and will take time to address. One of the issues that I feel is important to citizens of Abilene, which can be addressed quickly, is to: remind our city staff and our city employees that one of their primary goals should be to provide excellent customer service to ALL of the residents and businesses here in Abilene. Many residents and small business owners in Abilene have had “bad” experiences with dealing with “The City”, and I think we need to address that. The City Council got a recommendation for an $87.4 million bond plan. Is there something in the plan that you wish was not? And is there something missing that you wish was in the plan? In regard to the Bond Issue- I wish we didn’t have a “need” for it. For example- it would be nice if the streets department had the money every year in their budget to fix and maintain more roads, but that hasn’t been the case- which is why our streets are in disrepair. I have not had all of the details presented to me about the Bond, but I think some of the money being asked for by the Abilene Civic Center sure seems like a lot. I think the City Council needs to set priorities of “Needs” over “Wants” when it comes to our tax dollars being spent.We pray that we will never have an incident like they had in Ferguson, Mo. If we did and you had an opportunity to speak to the citizens of Abilene what advice would you give? I hope that we never have an incident like the one in Ferguson, or other towns that have had similar experiences. I’m not great at giving speeches, but I think I would say to the public- that we the people are responsible for our own actions and that when people make bad decisions, they need to be held accountable- regardless of whom they are. As an adult- I realize that if I do something wrong or bad- it is because I made the decision to do it- nobody else forced me to do it and I believe that ALL people need to take ownership of their actions. This isn’t an issue of good guys vs. bad guys- It’s an issue of doing what is right, and not playing the blame game. Are there injustices in America in this day and age? Certainly- but we have the power to fix things, but we have to do it the right way and sometimes the right way isn’t always the easiest way. What makes you the best candidate for the Abilene City Council at this time? I feel that I am the best candidate for Abilene City Council because of my active participation at Abilene City Hall on behalf of the citizens and businesses here in Abilene. I am the candidate that has spent numerous hours researching issues and going to City Council meetings as well as Planning & Zoning without being asked to do so, without being appointed by the Mayor or Council to do so, just as an every-day concerned citizen who wants to see everybody in this city have a voice downtown. As a small business owner I know how important it is to know how to budget money wisely. I feel like the citizens of Abilene are ready for an ordinary hard-working individual work for them on the City Council.If you could have dinner with anyone from the past or currently living, who would it be and why? That’s an interesting question, but if I had to just choose one person to have dinner and a conversation with- it without a doubt be Jesus Christ- our Lord and Savior. I would tell him how thankful I am that he loves us so much that he gave his life on the cross for all of our sins, and I would thank him for all of his creation. He has changed more peoples’ lives for the better than any other person in the world.What African American from the past or currently living do you most admire and why? On a national level, I would have to say that I really admire Mr. Herman Cain- who was my favorite pick during the 2012 Republican Primary . I like that he stands for freedom and liberty, and I liked his “9-9-9” plan- to eliminate the current tax code, plus the man has been incredibly successful in just about everything he has done- I thought he would have made an excellent President of the United States. Locally- I would have to say that Dominic Rhodes , not because I am a football fan , but because he gives back to the Abilene community- helping out the youth, and sharing some of his personal wealth at his own discression. I saw him at my Church last Sunday- the 21st of December at Mission Abilene- and he was signing Autographs for the kids there. I think it is AWESOME that he remembers where he came from, and is able to help others.