COPPERAS COVE — Candidates for seats in Copperas Cove fielded questions from the community Thursday evening, 11 days before the beginning of early voting and 26 days before Election Day, which is Nov. 2.
The Copperas Cove Chamber & Visitors Bureau hosted the political forum and asked three questions to the mayoral candidates as well as three questions to the City Council candidates.
Council candidates also fielded three questions from members of the community.
The only mayoral candidate participating in the forum was Dan Yancey, who is a council member and the mayor pro tem. Devin Meadows, the only approved write-in candidate for mayor, was unable to participate.
Two of the three candidates for City Council Place 3 — to fill the remainder of Yancey’s term — participated. Those candidates were Shawn Alzona and Scott Remalia. William Gregory Smith, the other candidate for the position, was unable to participate.
Incumbents running unopposed for Places 1 and 2 — Joann Courtland and Fred Chavez — were also present and participated in the forum.
One question that Yancey fielded as a mayoral candidate was about how the city can gain a firmer financial footing.
Yancey responded: “I think there’s been a pretty good job done. The previous city manager, as far as financials are concerned, (and) with Ryan (Haverlah), to put us on a good financial situation. But really, at the end of the day, this is about situations as far as rooftops are concerned. And it’s always ‘the chicken or the egg.’ Rooftops are going to drive more commercial business that as services are demanded, those are going to come in. And I think a couple of different things that we can do is work extremely hard on obtaining more land for economic development; that is a key for us for the future. We have got to be able to tap in to what’s going on at Fort Hood, what’s going on (in) the north end of Austin...”
Yancey continued that the city needs to be ready to take care of the employers coming to Copperas Cove.
Yancey also answered questions about how the city can enhance the future for children and about downtown revitalization.
One question Remalia and Alzona fielded was about partnering strategies for engaging the community in health and wellness.
Remalia responded: “Reviewing the Comprehensive Plan that we have and also looking at the Parks and Recreation issues that are going on and improvements and ideas that are moving. I think along with what they’re doing, that will help bring us the health and wellness for the city, along with having additional activities for the residents to have. We’re putting in that sidewalk, there can be a walking park, there can be tennis courts, improvements to the city pools. All of these can benefit the residents of the city. But we also have to be mindful of the resources and the financial constraints that come along with that. But the Comprehensive Plan that has been passed has very good ideas, and I would look at that as a guide post on how we can improve the health and wellness of the community.”
Alzona responded: “For our community to be able to provide the resources that we need as we grow, my intent — and my intent is this, whether I was involved in the community, involved in the Quality of Life Board, as a city council member or not — is to be an advocate for this community. Actively seek out organizations, businesses, companies to come and provide that revenue to our city. With that — just economic prosperity — we’ll be able to do more with what we’ll gain. I’ve done that prior to my ever consideration of running for election. We’ll see where it goes; it’s not the short game, it’s the long game, but the partnerships I would seek out are with industries that would bring quality jobs — and I mean quality, but mass, more mass of jobs. Mom and pop shops are great; I love them, I love to support our local businesses. It would be great to get manufacturing or something here in the city to support 100 jobs or 200 jobs and then recoup that sales revenue and then give members of our community good-paying jobs that’s not service- or industry-based or something like that.”
Remalia and Alzona also answered questions about their stance if an abortion clinic would like to open in the city and what qualifications they bring to the position.
Area residents asked them about continued support for first responders as the city grows, restroom improvements in the city’s parks and keeping aspiring firefighters in Copperas Cove and not moving elsewhere.
For those unable to attend or watch the forum, the Chamber will upload it to its YouTube page in the coming days.