As posted previously, we sent questions to the three candidates for State Representative District 45 (that's us), Patrick Rose (D), Matt Young (R), and Tom Gleinser (L). We have heard from Mr. Gleinser (his answers here), Mr. Rose's office called to say he "would not be participating" (that post here), and we now have answers from Wimberley's Mr. Young, see below. For the questions, we focused on the issues we have seen get folks the most riled at Dripping Springs City Hall, what the candidates see as the biggest issues facing us, and how the candidates have presented themselves. Big thanks to Mr. Gleinser and Mr. Young for taking the time to let Dripping Springs learn more about you.
BABBLE: Do you see the changes in Dripping Springs as a positive or negative (e.g., the influx of national chains such as Home Depot, McDonald's, Walgreens)?
YOUNG: Change and growth is inevitable. How we manage this growth will make the difference in having positive or negative results. For the past 6 years we have done little to manage growth in our district and it shows. We need to turn this around and put in place a "Hill Country Environmental Growth Plan" (HCEGP) that will not restrict existing business and families but will hold new development accountable for water and roads. These developers must share in this cost if we are to keep our hill country beautiful and livable and it must be done in a way that conserves our district. Additionally, I will advocate to give county officials more authority in managing such growth, because currently commissioners have little authority in these matters.
BABBLE: You are positioning yourself as "Not a Politician". How do you define "politician" and, if elected, what keeps you from becoming a politician?
YOUNG: Answer - Term Limits! I believe that a Politician serves him or herself and that the Statesmen serves the people. I propose 5 terms in the House of Representatives and 3 terms in the Senate only. We have many good people that can serve in this district and state and it is time that we get rid of the career politicians and begin to put the power back into the hands of the people where it belongs! We need more teachers, business people, accountants, workers, doctors and moms and dads serving in our government and less career attorney politicians. If we can get this done then we can start to fix some of the real issues that continue to mount in our district and state. IT'S TIME FOR REAL CHANGE!
BABBLE: You are also positioning yourself as a "Proven Leader" and "Battle-Tested". Please elaborate on the details behind both of those claims and how they relate to the position of our State Representative.
YOUNG: As a Father of two teenagers in public school and Husband I have been faced (like most of you) with day to day challenges. Such as paying the rent or mortgage, putting food on the table, paying the bills in tough times and not quitting makes all of us Proven Leaders and Battle Tested in many unseen ways. In addition, I am a U.S. Marine who served in the first Gulf War, a business owner with employees who started as a simple warehousemen and worked my way up. Life experiences, which gives strength and wisdom during tough times and having the political courage to stand against the majority at times makes all the difference in our districts and government.
BABBLE: What do you see as the greatest issues facing District 45? And what is your position on each.
YOUNG: There are many, Growth, Mobility, Water Conservation, Improper Funding for our Schools, High Cost in Property Tax, the new Business Gross Margin Tax (which is killing small business across the state) and list goes on...We cannot begin to address these issues properly as long as we keep electing career politicians who continue to serve special interests and lobbyists. And about lobbyists, I believe that organizations DO NEED an advocate fighting for them at the capitol...but THE LAW MAKERS DO NOT NEED TO ACCEPT THEIR MONEY IN ORDER TO CARRY THEIR LEGISLATION. It is time to end this cycle of purchasing our legislators' votes and start answering back to the people of Texas.
BABBLE: It appears that we are in the midst of yet another drought. Wells in the area are going dry, yet drive through the growing number of subdivision in the area and you'll still see lush, green lawns, vanity ponds, and water features. What, if anything, do you believe should be done to protect our water resources?
YOUNG: We need to begin to reduce the cedar population first. These trees are not native to Texas, and they are draining our creeks, rivers, and aquifers. This is a real problem. In addition, we can also begin to require rain water collection systems and zero-scape landscaping in our new developments across the district. Again, giving county officials more authority in the area of development will greatly help conserve our precious water resources. Additionally I propose a property tax credit or abatement for existing homeowners that install such systems. This is just a start, but with Pro-Active efforts, we can manage our most valuable resource.