• December 19, 2014

Killeen mayoral race: Young worries about residents’ apathy

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Posted: Sunday, February 9, 2014 4:30 am

Killeen mayoral candidate Dick Young said the biggest problem facing the city is apathy.

Young, 61, who filed for election Jan. 31, sat down with the Herald afterward for a question-and-answer session.

He said after much deliberation and eyeing the city’s top-elected position for a “long time,” he felt like now was the right time to run.

“I have the time necessary to commit to being a full-time mayor,” he said. “I feel like Killeen needs a vision. It needs a sense of direction that it’s been lacking, and I believe that I can bring that to the table.”

Young, a local small-business owner, served on the Killeen City Council from 2000 to 2006, and said he is ready to continue his vision for the city.

“We did a lot of great things when I was on the council,” he said. “If you look at most of the new things that happened in Killeen, they happened during the time I served: the airport, the conference center, the hike and bike trail, the senior citizens center, the state (veterans) cemetery. ... Those things were all completed or started under our term.”

Young said the biggest challenge he sees in the city is apathy. “We have a highly transient population. People are here and they really are here for a short enough time, and they don’t get the sense of (staying) that they should,” he said. “I think that we need to change the way that we present ourselves to our citizens. I think that we need to be a more open, loving, caring community that has opportunities for everyone.”

Young said he believes he’s the best candidate for the job because he can “devote 100 percent of my time to the citizens of Killeen.”

“That’s what they deserve,” he said. “They don’t deserve someone who is going to be off taking care of other things. They need someone who is going to be accountable, someone who is going to be approachable. I can devote my time to this and I think that has been sorely missed.”

Young is a consultant for Centex Metals, a company that submitted a proposal recently vying for a contract with the city for its single-stream recycling program. Young said in order to dissolve any conflict of interest that could arise, the company removed itself from the bidding process.

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3 comments:

  • KilleenLocal posted at 1:11 am on Wed, Feb 12, 2014.

    KilleenLocal Posts: 3

    My apologies for grammatical errors, phones are not the best way to post responses on these forums.

     
  • KilleenLocal posted at 1:07 am on Wed, Feb 12, 2014.

    KilleenLocal Posts: 3

    I am sure these questions will come up in the future, but being a local citizen i am very concerned about the worthiness of both Mayoral candidates.

    The topics or most important agenda that both candidates have presented, are not ones that "everyday" citizens really care about. Resident apathy and water capacity? My question for each is...

    Being a transient citizen and having lived and traveled all over the world, I don't see where a city can make a person feel warm, fuzzy and part of the family. How do you propose to do such a thing? Most people who come here (85-90%) are military. Most of those Soldiers are here for their respective 3-4 years and are then moved per the Army's needs to their next duty station, there really isn't much that anyone can do to control that or to make them decide to make Killeen their home. The remainder do indeed buy homes in the area and make Central Texas their permanent home. So I'd like to see how you propose to do this, what the cost to the city would be and where exactly funding would come from for such an endeavor.

    Regarding Water Capacity, my question is... Both of the candidates have been on the City Council for years and did they and the other council members not see that within the near future (with continued growth that both have contributed to) we would need more water? This shouldn't be a new idea, this should be in the works already... i.e. planning effectively. If 1 + 2 = 3, you can rest assured that 4 will come soon after and you should have 4 planned ahead of time. I would like to see a well laid out plan to get a new water facility completed in a timely manner at minimal cost to the citizens and again where the funds will come from to facilitate it.

    I really think that we should be addressing larger issues that "everyday" citizens are concerned with... that being (1) JOBS (2) HEALTHCARE (3) CRIME (4) ENTERTAINMENT.

    I would like to see both candidates address the issue of unemployment in the area. What are YOU going to do to help create more jobs in the area and what would you do to attract more business to the Killeen area?

    Healthcare, this has been a hot topic for everyone... with the Affordable Healthcare Act falling short of covering a large portion of citizens who lack funds to pay for "affordable healthcare", how is the city going to help the citizens with this federal requirement fast approaching? What will the city do to provide healthcare needs to citizens who fall between the cracks.

    Crime, our burglary rates still remain very high. Given the economy and high unemployment in the area, burglary and theft has increased. As we say in our household, the bill collectors will not wait and are not very understanding when you say " I haven't been able to find a job and have no money". You have to pay bills!!! And people are doing things to make that happen and to provide for their families. What will you do to help our Police Department combat these crimes?

    Entertainment... this is one thing that Killeen is very lacking in. We have a movie theater, parks (which no one frequents in inclement weather), a bowling alley and skating rink. Not sure what else is here but there isn't much to do in your free time, if you don't have a student playing sports at a local school. And for young people and Soldiers, that means drinking and causing mischief, i.e. keeping KPD busy chasing them while they could be preventing those burglaries. We need things to do in the area... What will YOu do to bring more entertainment industries to the area?

    Downtown Revitilization. I would like to know both candidates stances on this, what else can be done to improve upon and continue with the good work that is taking place in the downtown area.

    We have a large number of homeless people in the area, due to unemployment and other circumstances. What is the city doing to help get this people off the streets and back on their feet? Why doesn't the city take one of the large buildings in the downtown area and convert it into a homeless shelter with a staff of counselors who can help these people find jobs and other agencies that can help them get back to a productive lifestyle in the community? Perhaps the city could create "Day Labor Pools around the city where people who do not have transportation or the money to seek a job can go and sign in for daily work ... when an employer needs a laborer they can stop in and pick up laborers as needed.

    There are so many things that most candidates are out of touch with, ask your daily citizen what they NEED to make their lives better in the Killeen area? Meaning go out and knock on doors like Politicians did when they cared about the citizens... if you want to make us feel warm, fuzzy and welcome, go the extra mile and talk to us face to face and then address those issues... don't give us a speel or face talk and then do nothing. If you want my vote and those of many like me, then you both have to prove your worthy of it.

     
  • Baylor posted at 6:15 pm on Sun, Feb 9, 2014.

    Baylor Posts: 186

    Dick's and old Killeen guy, known him since the 70s, I will say he is approachable, you can talk to him he will listen. I'm in for this go-around anyway.