COPPERAS COVE — The three candidates vying for City Council Place 2 all believe the municipality is heading in the right direction when it comes to growth but have different concerns about the city’s future development.
“I believe that the residents of Copperas Cove can look forward to seeing the beginnings of a booming economy,” said candidate Azeita Taylor, who only would answer questions about her campaign via email.
Candidates Mark Peterson and Sandor Vegh agreed with Taylor about the city’s growth. However, Taylor said it may be time to look at expanding city services.
The city already is taking some of that under consideration, as it is plans to relocate Fire Station No. 2 to serve a larger portion of the city, including recently developed areas, said Taylor, a 41-year-old former editor of the Copperas Cove Leader Press.
Vegh and Peterson also said the city should continue to support the fire department by purchasing equipment and hiring personnel to cope with city growth, but they added the police department also should see its services grow, and officers need to receive the training and equipment they need.
Taylor said she would like the city to look at Parks and Recreation services and start saving for projects, such as new ball fields described in the city’s parks needs assessment.
She would like to designate a fund for Parks and Recreation projects, she said.
Peterson, a 55-year-old retired sergeant major and former councilman, said the city is doing a great job developing and planning for growth, but now is the time for the city to really watch its budget.
“At the same time we grow, we should be responsible for that development of that growth, so we don’t have to raise property taxes for that growth,” he said.
The city needs to watch how it spends the funds it will generate from the Five Hills shopping center, the Narrows Business Park and future neighborhoods under construction, Peterson said.
He said he would be a “cheerleader” for the city and try to help champion businesses and other organizations to come here to help foster that growth.
Vegh said with all the growth the city is experiencing, now is the time to be more mindful of development.
“My slogan is that smart growth equals a strong tomorrow,” said Vegh, a 75-year-old retired civil servant. “We don’t have to go overboard with the development. I want to see the city grow in the smart way; let’s not just jump in just build because it is coming.”
Vegh, who is a member of the city’s planning and zoning commission, said the city has been doing a good job of that and needs to continue by promoting Copperas Cove from within.
Vegh also would like volunteers to take a more active role in the city, he said. He wants to create a civic organization round table where members of local organizations such as the Exchange, Rotary and Optimist clubs can not only discuss city issues but aid in them by volunteering.