Dear Fellow Bellaire Citizens,
I decided to run for City Council Position #4 a year ago because I felt I had prepared myself to represent you on Bellaire City Council. However, the task is not complete. I am in a runoff election and once again I need your support. Before I speak to the key points to this campaign, there are a few things about myself that are important to remember. First, I am guided by living as a man of honesty and integrity. I have lived my entire life with those two words as my foundation. Each citizen of this great city deserves to be represented by officials who vow to uphold these principles, and I vow to be that leader.
I have heard many promises being made during this campaign period. “No debt. Cut expenses. No tax increases.” I am reminded of a quote from Oscar Levant: “ I once said cynically of a politician, he’ll double-cross that bridge when he comes to it.” Ladies and gentlemen- I am prepared to cross these bridges and offer more than empty promises. I will offer solutions that are not made in isolation, but solutions reached collaboratively with our citizenship.
I believe that we live in a wonderful city and we want to maintain the quality of life that motivated us to move to Bellaire. We have wonderful schools. We have new city facilities – Fire/Police/Court/City Hall. We have parks that those of all ages can enjoy. We are protected by outstanding police and fire departments. Our city staff workers have shown that they are more than capable. This is not to say we do not have challenges in Bellaire. A city of the caliber of ours deserves a representative who has prepared him or herself to meet those challenges. A city such as ours deserves a candidate who has always “shown up,” and not just during an election season. Through many years of service on city boards, local schools, and in community organizations, I have worked to gain as much understanding of the strengths, weaknesses, and workings of our city so that I may offer you the dedicated representation so needed as we move forward together. Since I have started this journey, I often have been asked what I stand for. Each and every one of you deserves to know where I stand if you are to support me to represent your voice.
Here are the issues that I will make my priorities on council:
1. I will lead with a focus on collaboration instead of divisiveness. When critical issues are on council agenda, I will make it a point to hear from you prior to important votes. As your council representative, I will look toward improving and expanding the communication process between our elected officials, city staff, and our residents. You, our residents possess a wealth of knowledge, talent, and dedication to making our city a better one. I would like to hear more of your ideas and work alongside you towards solutions, not in isolation. To expect the majority of our busy citizens to make room in their schedule and travel to and from every city council meeting nearly guarantees that only those with the strongest opinions and available time will show up. A priority of mine would be to enhance (not replace) the existing channels of civic conversation through exploration of a civic engagement platform that would allow for greater resident participation. An addition such as this would provide for an inclusive, participative and realistic debate on budgetary choices, by facilitating the engagement of city government, citizens and organizations in a realistic debate about key priorities, trade-offs, opportunity costs and value for money.
2. We are a prosperous city, but we must continue to be smart in how we allocate limited resources, asking tough questions and making hard choices when necessary. Now only does my legal experience as an attorney; my fiscal background from working at Disney help in asking tough questions but I have worked diligently with multiple school boards and PTO’s where resources are scare and critical decisions effect hundreds of families. I didn’t read about local issues in the newspapers or hear secondhand information. I went to the source to listen and understand the issues. It is imperative that we understand the scale and scope of our local issues and apply meaningful solutions in a fiscally responsible manner.
3. I will lead with attention to balance in regards to development. Bellaire is unique for offering small-town charm yet being located close to the larger Houston metroplex. I will seek to look for a balance of development that does not detract from small-town appeal of our city, yet offers the amenities that our residents desire in their daily lives. I served from 2010 through 2017 as a Commissioner on Bellaire’s Planning and Zoning Board. These years of experience allow me the unique insights into how to best make planning and zoning decisions that will honor both our reputation as “The City of Homes” and the community’s desire to continue to progress with new and updated retail venues and restaurants. Additionally, such progress will bring in more tax revenue dollars, which will lessen the burden of our disproportionately high residential taxes. It’s a win-win all around!
4. Flood mitigation will remain one of my top priorities. This should ALWAYS be a top priority for the public safety of our citizens. Bellaire can not operate in a bubble with flood mitigation. In order to better understand the needs of our city in regards to flood mitigation, I have served on the Flood Mitigation Task Force since 2017. We need to understand what Harris County; City of Houston and TxDot are doing to maximize these efforts. We need to evaluate areas within the city that are more susceptible to heavy rains and concentrate drainage efforts within these areas to relieve our citizens so that when heavy rains fall, they know that their representatives are doing everything possible to keep the rising waters at bay.
5. I will lead with financial oversight with a eye toward the tax rate and bond indebtedness. We can not just say “no” spending and maintain the city services we currently enjoy. The annual budget going forward will be challenged following the State of Texas tax rate ceiling. There will continue to be debate on the trade-off between tax increases or decreases and the resulting effect on our city services. As your councilman, I can promise you these things:
• I will ensure that any future budget proposals are broken down line by line so that our citizens know what we currently are spending on each line item, what changes are proposed, and why these changes were proposed
• I will work alongside our citizens, city staff, and elected officials to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of each budgeted item
• I will work to deliver the high-value services our citizens expect and build the infrastructure necessary to our city
Many residents have asked how about my position on new sidewalk construction. The city's current practice is to design and construct streets and drainage concurrently in one project with sidewalks to be installed on at least one side of the street. When considering new sidewalks outside of the above drainage improvement plans, I support sidewalks around schools and churches. I believe this is a public safety issue and safety of our citizens will always be a priority for me. If the proposed street is a dead-end street or cul-de-sac, I am not in favor of spending taxpayer money to install new sidewalks unless the majority of the residents on the street request this. These streets are generally safer due to no thru traffic. Regarding sidewalks to other streets, I believe that this important decision requires neighborhood feedback and majority consensus prior to initiating sidewalk plans for those streets.
Above all, I will make you and your families my priority. You might ask, “How can I TRUST that you will keep these promises to us?” My answer to you would be to look at my record of service to our city. In that, you will see years of giving back and enhancing it to the best of my ability. I have shown up for this city, and I will continue to show up for this city and for you. I believe that service and dedication to community isn’t something that can be embraced when convenient, it must be a belief ingrained in you and can be demonstrated in many ways. To me, dedication is a profound sense of respect and commitment to the values important to our city. The point of experience is to learn from it, and I believe I have. I have learned from the experience of balancing a variety of hats, speaking with as many of you as possible, and above all- by serving our community for many years.
We all can all work together to build a bright future for Bellaire. I humbly ask for your support and your vote this Election Day (December 14th). The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Nearby Election Day locations are:
Christ Church Presbyterian, 5001 Bellaire Blvd.
Faith Lutheran Church, 4600 Bellaire Blvd.
Horn Elementary School, 4530 Holly Street
Your support at the polls is an investment in the future of our community and our families. I hope to earn your support during this crucial election.
Win Frazier, Candidate for Bellaire City Council, Position 4