dear mesquite, my vote has you in mind.

 
Want to know a secret? Normally, I don’t really care about these elections in Mesquite. In the past, voting for one person on the ballot was really like voting for the other. It never really made a difference. This one, however, is different.
Robert Drennan, Gary Ward, and Brian Hutcheson are all going for Mesquite City Council Place 5.  All three men seem like nice enough guys. They each want to improve our city’s image and promote growth. They each, in their own way, have demonstrated community involvement, and have close ties to our city. 
However, there was one that really stood out to me. So much in fact, that he inspired to me to sit down and write about this election. (I’ve got to be really inspired to do so…just sayin:) So, here’s why….
 
The Candidates:
 
the one who should start bouncing his ideas off of his friends and neighbors before he is allowed to make any decisions. *OR*
the one who should come back down to reality. (it’s a toss-up)
  
First up, Brian Hutcheson. He now manages his family’s small business, Ace Hardware, that has been in Mesquite since 1954. He represents both, families with young children and local small business owners. Brian is a 32-year-old Poteet graduate (I graduated from Poteet two years before him!). His main focus leans toward the revitalization of our city by promoting industrialization and making our city more attractive to businesses and young business professionals. He vows to place great effort in re-zoning areas for industry expansion,  residential development via executive housing, making our local airport a regional hub for transit and freight, and developing a Mesquite Transit Authority.
All great ideas…for somewhere like Detroit.
I agree, our city does need to find a way to become more attractive to potential businesses. However, I’m not so sure that the public airport is really the way to go. For one, it’s small. I don’t think it can handle cargo planes. At least, not without cutting down tons of trees, moving several poles, relocating power lines, extending the runway, and getting Creek Crossing residents (and potential ones)  to agree that cargo aircraft flying over their homes is fun. I’m also thinking that the young business professional seeking executive housing would probably rather actually live downtown. It’s also safe to assume that a person wanting that type of housing does it for the view and lifestyle, like the one downtown Dallas offers. Not so much one with a birdseye view of Taco Cabana, cargo planes, or industrial buildings like FedEx.  I’m pretty sure that once they realize they have to truck it to Rockwall (or worse, Dolphin Rd) to get that bottle of wine to have with their dinner, that could be a deal breaker as well. Most “executive” types probably don’t want to walk over to Taco Cabana for a margarita to relax and watch the Highway 80 traffic roll by.  On the hand, if they were going to move here, we do have many, many, many foreclosed homes that are already sitting here…empty.
 
the one who is the strong, silent type…who really shouldn’t be so silent.
Gary Ward is a retired Mesquite Fire Department Captain, has an impressive military service history and awards, and has served on the Mesquite ISD School Board. He has been active with volunteer efforts, fire safety education, and fundraising. Other than that, Gary is pretty much a secret to me. In Karel Halloway’s interview, he mentions a “general uplifting” with our city’s image. I can’t find any information on his real MISD board accomplishments, specifics on how he plans to “uplift” our city’s image, or why he considers our parks that have used condoms and broken bottles on the ground “quality”. Given the little information I have about him, all I can gather is that he is a relaxed, go with the flow,  all-around nice guy that thinks we should polish our city’s image. The most committed sounding statement involves his thoughts on a light rail system. Other than that, a google search brought up the time he made hotdogs for an early voting event for Mike Anderson’s campaign; and his facebook info, which tells me we like some of same movies. I would love to have Gary as a neighbor, I’m just not sure if he will shake things up enough to make a difference.
 
the one that had me at “i’ll try” and gave me hope.
Robert Drennan, the youngest of the three, is a marketing manager and has grown up in Mesquite. He’s a graduate of Mesquite High School, raised  in “Old Mesquite” and is active with our Historic Society and Keep Mesquite Beautiful. He volunteers with the homeless, local charities, and MISD afterschool programs.
I actually came across Robert Drennan on a friend’s facebook page. He had told her he was running for Mesquite City Council and left a link to the voter’s guide. The rest, as they say is history. Robert wears his heart on his sleeve. You can tell from his statements that he honestly cares about residents and the direction they want our city to go in. More importantly, he wants them  involved in the process. He’s not afraid to talk about  true problems that exist within our city…even the ones that sometimes, we don’t want said out loud.
He is passionate about renewing our downtown area, addresses the lack of funds in our schools, calls for stronger community involvement (not city…but, community…like you and me), neighborhood watch programs, increasing communication to reach out to residents and get our response, and wants to carry out new and safer programs for our children to do afterschool.
The Old Mesquite area is the very core of what makes our city so special. He wants to renew that. How amazing would it be if we did have a thriving downtown area? Imagine what it would look like if local businesses set up shop there again? Anyone else want a great non-chain restaurant with outdoor dining in a cute town square? I don’t know about you, but I’m not really into mall, strip mall, highway scenery. Our local businesses should be there! We should be there!  
If we continue to ignore it, build up around it, and industrialize our town…..we lose the charm that makes Mesquite special and sets us apart. We will become generic. We will become dis-engaged with our community. We neglect to actually embrace our diversity…and push it away. We really will be like every other city. I don’t think that’s a good thing. That isn’t why I loaded up my husband, son, two dogs, and our cat five years ago and moved across the country…back here. I wanted to give my son the same childhood that I had. One that was tied to a city rich with history, that was safe, with a great school, and close-knit community. That is what I remember most and reminisce about growing up here…not ugly buildings, robberies, unsafe parks, empty strip malls and vacant parking lots.
 
The other candidates had made some general comments about how they were “the only one with a young family”, “the only one that owns a local business”, or how this wasn’t a time for “on the job training”. I’m thinking, given Robert’s concerns and passion towards our city and residents, they should vote for him, too. He’s looking out for your kids, your small business, your safety, and your neighborhood.  And well…since none of them have actually been on a city council before, I guess they all get some on the job training, don’t ya think?
 
This election is an important one. Robert is a step in the right direction.
I say this as a resident born and raised here, a graduate of our schools, a mother of a child in our schools, a PTA board member, a tax payer, a homeowner, a supporter of local business, a direct descendant of the first settlers here with the Peter’s colony, a volunteer, and also, as that little Filipino girl who was the only “brown” kid in her class pictures…way back when.
 
Read about them yourself, and then go vote, ya’ll.
 
Election day is May 8th. Early voting is NOW until May 4th at the Lakeside Activity Center: 101 Holly Park Drive , 75149. (City Lake Park)
 
Oh! And don’t forget to take bread for the ducks:) You gotta feed the new duck babies!
 
 

Posted via email from just a mom in mesquite

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