Meet Sonny Brandtner: West U City Council Candidate
When West U voters go into the voting booth at city hall on Election Day, they will see a new name amongst the other incumbents vying for a seat on city council: Sonny Brandtner.
Brandtner, who currently serves on the Friends of West U Parks Board of Directors, has filed for a spot on the West U City Council ballot. He had formerly announced that he intended to run for mayor, but he ended up filing for a city council seat.
“Winning is in the practice, not the game,” he said. “I need to walk the talk. What’s the rush? I can get more accomplished as a city council member.”
Brandtner is a retired partner at Deloitte. He’s a CPA, a certified fraud examiner and has a real estate license.
He says that he stopped working after missing one of his son David’s events and couldn’t look him in the face.
“I’m not done working by any means,” he said, adding that “this is the perfect time to serve” while his son is growing up and is involved in the community.
Brandtner was born in England and lived in Austria, New Jersey and Idaho before his family settled in Alief. He graduated from Alief High School and the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in accounting.
He says that he understands the importance of roots and that’s why he chose to raise his son in West U.
“It’s the best place I know to be a father,” he said. “It’s the best place I know to be a neighbor.”
If elected to city council, Brandtner has several things he says he’d like to accomplish.
- Junior Council
Brandtner said that he’d like to see the formation of a Junior Council, comprised of middle and high school students, to get their perspective on issues.
- West University Independent School District
Brandtner said that West U residents pay a lot of property taxes to the Houston Independent School District. He’d like to see more of their tax dollars being allocated to the school. He said when he was walking around the school grounds, he saw all of the trailers on the campus being used as classrooms. He thinks the school district should have anticipated the school’s growth and built a wing to accommodate the students.
“We have to do a better job of representing ourself with HISD,” he said. “If not, let’s pull out. Let’s start talking about WUISD.”
Brandtner said that parents are very involved at West University Elementary and that it’s a great school, but students often go on to private schools after attending WUES.
- West U Dog Park
Brandtner said that he is in support of parkland acquisition and would like to see the city build a dog park.
“I want a dog park,” he said. “There’s places we can put it that it won’t be by people’s houses.”
Brandtner said having a dog park by the Recreation Center would be a good place to have it and residents who have a Rec. Center membership would be able to use it.
- Pedestrian Walkways on Bissonnet, Weslayan and Buffalo Speedway
Brandtner would like to see pedestrian walk ways installed on the major streets running through West U so that children can safely cross the street and the city can be connected. He supports cameras and a no exception approach to speeders.
“If you’re speeding you’re going to get a ticket,” he said of non-resident commuters. “We’ve got to nail these people over and over again.”
- Running Path
Brandtner said he would like to see a running path throughout the city. He said that looking at putting a running path over Poor Farm Ditch might be possible with funding from Harris County.
- Free classes for stay-at-home moms and dads
Brandtner said he would like to see the city offer stay-at-home mom and dads an opportunity to take a class at the West U Rec. Center for free once a week.
- Wi-Fi City
Brandtner said he would like to see West U become a Wi-Fi city; every resident would be able to have access to Wi-Fi wherever they are in the city.
Brantner says that he will bring “a fresh perspective” to city council.
“I have a lot of passion. I have a lot of energy,” he said. “If you want Sonny on city council, this is the time you need me.”
Brandtner said that he will bring new ideas to the table and that he’s not afraid to come up with ideas that may be “out there.”
“[Mayor Bob] Fry is a good conservative leader, but he’s not going to cause waves,” he said, adding that it’s good to have council members to do that.