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ELECTION 2020: Corpus Christi City Council Dist. 4

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Posted at 12:08 AM, Oct 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-03 23:01:28-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas —

CandidateVotes
Kaylynn Paxson7,07331.72%
Jim Klein5,77125.88%
Greg Smith7,14432.04%
Dan Grimsbo2,30810.35%

Vote Centers Reported: 84/84

Here are candidates running for Corpus Christi City Council District 4 in this year's election. They are listed by the official ballot order that was determined by random draw.

DAN GRIMSBO

What is your age?

57

What is your current or past occupation?

A professional civil engineer and planner. . . . I am retired.

What relevant experience can you bring to the office?

In 2005, I was stationed to Naval Air Station-Corpus Christi, where I completed my 21 years of distinguished naval service. I then led two departments at the City of Corpus Christi for 5 1/2 years, to include working with many of the other supporting departments. I fully understand the operations and procedures of the city council and city. I have education/degrees in engineering, urban planning and business. I am a licensed professional engineer, a certified planner and energy manager. I have a broad work experience gained from being stationed and working throughout the United States and overseas.

I hold two Master's degrees, one in Urban Planning from the University of Illinois, and a second in Business Organizational Management from the University of La Verne. I also hold a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from The Citadel, and an Associate in Applied Science Mechanical Engineering Technology from Camden County College.

During my career, I achieved four nationally recognized certifications.

· Registered Professional Civil Engineer (PE) in the State of Illinois,

· Certified Planner with the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP)

· Certified Energy Manager (CEM) and Green Building Engineer (GBE) with the Association of Energy Engineers.

A proven leader, I have received numerous citations and awards throughout my career.

· I received the Defense Meritorious Service Medal serving as the Provincial Reconstruction Team Engineer for the U.S Army Corps of Engineers, in Baghdad, Iraq. I worked directly with the Iraq Government and Coalition Forces to repair the City of Baghdad’s infrastructure.

· I received the Navy’s Meritorious Civilian Service Medal serving as the Deputy Public Works Officer at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, Africa. There, I provided direct support for Operation Enduring Freedom and overseas contingency operations throughout the Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa.

· Under my leadership, the City’s Utilities Department earned the 2019 Outstanding Municipal Utility Award, from the Texas Municipal Utilities Association, for outstanding water system improvements and customer service.

How have your life experiences prepared you for this position?

While in the Navy, and during my civilian career, I received significant education, formally and informally, extended training in leadership and team-building, gained experience working in a challenging environment, and at times under extremely dangerous and demanding situations. I learned how to make sound engineering and business decisions, starting with supervising the operations of a submarine engine room, eventually working my way up to completing multi-million dollar construction projects on time and within budget, along with managing million dollar contracts and budgets.

My life experiences would not be complete without my family and the personnel I worked with over the years. I help raised two amazing sons, and have been married to my wonderful wife, Mary, for 35 years. I understand the importance of being responsible for other lives and their well-beings. This has held true for any person under my command or supervision, making me a leader that understands the importance of people being successful, and safe in their lives. I have had the opportunity to lead some outstanding folks starting with a handful and finishing my career with over 400 personnel under my supervision.

I have worked with people from every part of the United States, and many parts of the world, and have seen the significant value that diversity of people and cultures brings to a community. Working and meeting people from across the county and world has improved my communications skills, made me more knowledgeable with different techniques used for engineering and construction, and taught me to be open-minded to new ideas.

My life experiences raising a family, leading people to success, receiving a wide-ranging of education, and having a very successful career in the military and civilian workforce have provided me the technical, business, and leadership skills to successfully serve on the city council as the representative for District 4.

What problems would you address on your first day in office?

I would work towards providing better methods for people to speak during public comments. This might include the use of Zoom, and calling-in, for folks who can’t make the public meeting in person. I would also work to find ways to communicate information to the public about what the city council is approving, and to improve the city’s transparency policies.

What do you see as long-term issues which need to be addressed throughout your time in office?

There are several complex, long-term challenges that will need to be addressed: They include the correct authorization of personnel for the police and fire departments; sustainable water source, such as desalinization, for the city’s growing needs; the modernization of the city’s infrastructure, which would include utilities and streets; the consent decree for the wastewater system; and working on the best solutions to overcome the homelessness problem. Other specific issues that will need to be addressed will be the completion of the new bridge on (Park Road) 22, the development of North Beach, the old Harbor Bridge land use, affordable housing, short-term rental determination, and implementation of a stormwater fee. The issues I listed are some of the major issues, but there are numerous others that will need to be addressed by the city council.

What is the City of Corpus Christi doing well right now that needs to be expanded further?

Programs in the city that are succeeding: Public safety, the Bond program, in-house street repairs, the use of natural gas, water quality (award winning), the city marina, and heavy-brush pickup.

GREG SMITH (INCUMBENT)

What is your age?

68

What is your current or past occupation?

Small business owner

What relevant experience can you bring to the office?

Four years as a council member, as a small business owner in the tourism industry with substantial infrastructure, executive for H-E-B and TxDOT highway supplier.

How have your life experiences prepared you for this position?

Serving on numerous boards and committees; both public and private. A student of South Texas history -- that is a guide to the past and pertains to the future; experienced several economics cycles and been through four hurricanes; advocating for public policy, including windstorm reform in Austin.

What problems would you address on your first day in office?

Water supply and short-term rentals.

What do you see as long-term issues which need to be addressed throughout your time in office?

Economic Development, improving public safety, improving air service and maintaining quality of life.

What is the City of Corpus Christi doing well right now that needs to be expanded further?

Residential street reconstruction

KAYLYNN PAXSON

What is your age?

(no answer received yet)

What is your current or past occupation?

(no answer received yet)

What relevant experience can you bring to the office?

(no answer received yet)

How have your life experiences prepared you for this position?

(no answer received yet)

What problems would you address on your first day in office?

(no answer received yet)

What do you see as long-term issues which need to be addressed throughout your time in office?

(no answer received yet)

What is the City of Corpus Christi doing well right now that needs to be expanded further?

(no answer received yet)

JIM KLEIN

What is your age?

I am 56 years old.

What is your current or past occupation?

I am a professor of United States history at a local college.

What relevant experience can you bring to the office?

I served on the City Landmark Commission for six years, chairing that body for two years. I have served on the Nueces County Historical Commission for 10 years, and currently serve as vice chair of that body, which denotes local historical events and structures. For six years, I have served on the Cole and Ropes Park Committee, an ad-hoc committee formed to create a plan for reducing enterococcus bacteria in Corpus Christi Bay. I have attended numerous meetings of the city council and the county commissioners court, regularly making public comment at these. I have worked with the city staff on placement of historical markers and on glass-collection drives. These experiences have familiarized me with the structure and operations of local government.

How has life prepared you for this position?

I grew up on a family farm where I learned the value of hard work. As a first-generation college student putting myself through school, I worked as a roofer, a transit bus driver, on an asphalt crew, at a salvage yard, and at other jobs, often living paycheck to paycheck. Returning to school to earn a doctorate in History, publishing a book on liquor prohibition in America, and gaining a college faculty position cultivated in me a determination to finish long-range projects and taught me critical thinking skills that will be invaluable as a City Councilman. My experience teaching college courses has provided me insight into the perspectives and desires of students of various ages. In addition to my faculty responsibilities, I have volunteered my time in numerous community service projects, such as a middle school student mentoring group, several local and state environmental groups, faculty associations (at the local, state and national levels), cultural and activist groups such as the Mandela Day and Social Forum committees, and a local tax payer group. This work has introduced me to many passionate caring residents of Corpus Christi. I will draw on all of these experiences to serve the people of District 4.

What problems would you address on your first day in office?

I would ask hard questions about desalination plants. Those experienced in designing desal plants indicate that this is the most expensive way to create fresh water. I would urge examination of other means of securing our community water supply instead. Further, the proposed desal plants are intended to provide water for existing heavy industries and to lure still more heavy industry into the area. They are not designed to provide water for the community, and so the public should not pay for these desal plants through higher monthly water rates.

What do you see as long-term issues which need to be addressed throughout your time in office?

We need to reorient city government to meet the needs of the public rather than a few private interests. The desal issue is symptomatic of a larger concern -- the city acting on behalf of a few at the expense of everyone. To accomplish this reorientation, we need to make city government more transparent and accessible to the public that pays for it. City council meetings should be held after 5 p.m., when working people can attend, and public comment limits at these meetings should be longer than 60 seconds. The Industrial District Agreements should be re-examined in the light of day -- everyone should pay their fair share in support of city government.

What is the City of Corpus Christi doing well right now that needs to be expanded further?

I am guardedly optimistic that the current city management is improving city services. For instance, I am heartened to hear that the city is adopting modern street repair methods, though these are the same methods I used more than 30 years ago while working on street and road crews. The completion time for street repair projects has declined recently, but needs to be still shorter to reduce the impact on local businesses and residents. We should further such trends in the area of street repair, but also need to increase social services provided to the local public. Our libraries, senior centers, and parks should not be underfunded. City staff in these departments are performing commendably, but need additional resources.