COPPERAS COVE — Ten of 13 municipal candidates convened at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8577 for a political forum.
Nearly 50 Copperas Cove residents crowded inside the facility at 1506 Veterans Ave., and listened to candidates discuss their campaigns for city council and school board.
Each candidate was given time for an opening statement before the floor was opened up to questions from the public.
The candidates running for election in Copperas Cove are:
Mayor: Frank Seffrood, Joey Acfalle and Azeita Taylor.
City Council Place 1: Cheryl L. Meredith and Joann Courtland.
City Council Place 2: James Pierce Jr. and Fred Chavez.
School Board Place 1: Inez Faison and John Gallen.
School Board Place 2: Harry L. Byrd, Joseph Leary, Shameria Ann Davis and Jeff Gorres.
Among council candidates, subjects discussed included transparency and infrastructure. School board candidates discussed teacher raises and personal approach to changing the Copperas Cove Independent School District.
Many of the City Council candidates touched upon wanting to expand the city by bringing in more businesses and having proper roadways to accommodate a growing population of 32,000-plus residents. Fathom, the city’s controversial third-party water supplier currently undergoing an audit, was also addressed as incumbent Pierce expressed a need to ensure the company’s transparency.
Pierce’s opponent, Chavez, suggested bolstering the city’s transparency.
“The first thing that I would ask if there are other modes of communication that the city is not doing. ... Send those up so we can communicate better. Second, we let people know what’s going on in the city through several different avenues: website, Facebook, emergency notifications, television channels,” Chavez said. He also touched upon pushing for a potential program that would educate citizens on a variety of city subjects.
On how the school district should proceed, several mentioned ideas to improve services for students by incorporating their own opinions when making tough decisions.
“I have children, and they tell me things that go on throughout the school. Of course they have opinions of how the school should be run,” Leary said. “Education is changing. Kids are changing. We have to move forward with that.”
Early voting begins Oct. 22, and Election Day is Nov. 6.
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