West U reality show on April 23: Candidates may be “GONGED”

April 6, 2017

SMALLcanidates.forum.adUPDATED: Starting time 6 pm.

Who will you choose to make the decisions about how to spend your tax dollars?

On April 23, at 6pm, the West University Essentials will host a candidate forum at the West University Place Community Center for you to listen to your 11 fellow West U citizens who want your vote for mayor and City Council on May 6.

Only five of the 11 candidates will survive the voter’s wrath and be sworn into office in June.

The candidates must answer the questions, or they will be GONGED.gong show

We intend to pack 18 hours of information in two 45-minute segments — one for the eight city council candidates, the other for the three mayor hopefuls.

To be fair, all candidates will receive the exact questions the day before the candidate’s forum. The trade-off all candidates will be required to answer the question with specificity.

We are soliciting your questions for the forum. Send them to questions@essentialsmagazines.com. Keep them short and clear, totally identifying West U issues. The candidates will receive the chosen questions 24 hours before the forum, and they will be expected to have a laser-like focus in their responses.

It is impressive that 11 of your neighbors have gathered names on petitions and declared they want to be guardians of the more than $37 million in West U annual taxpayer spending.

There is an assortment or costs — some known, others unknown. They include obvious things like debt service, police protection, fire and paramedic functions, and parks and recreation programs. But other things we take for granted are essential, such as code enforcement, building inspection, utility maintenance, and trash collection. They are all part of the host of services that are directed to residents of West University Place City Hall and are subject to annual review by West U’s elected officials.

The $37 million in spending is almost completely funded by the property taxes and utility fees from of West U homeowners.

West U logo1Every other May, West University Place residents choose five of their neighbors to be mayor and city councilors. And those jobs only have one statutory responsibility – they must adopt an annual budget that spends their neighbors’ tax monies fairly. Sound simple? It is simple, but it is not easy

The three applicants for mayor are current Mayor Susan Sample, Sonny Brandtner and Greg Micek. For City Council, there are eight candidates vying for four positions. You can vote for up to four.

For City Council, there are eight candidates vying for four positions. You can vote for up to four.

They are current Councilmember Burt Ballanfant, current Councilmember Mardi Turner, Kellye Burke, Dick Yehle, Wayne Franklin, Michael Kaplan, Bruce Beneke, and Bob Higley.

The five survivors will take office in June.

George Boehme

George Boehme is the publisher of InstantNewsWestU.com and West University Essentials magazine.

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