By Betsy Dolan
The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3903 hosted a candidate forum on April 15 for those on the May ballot for the City of Rosenberg.
Candidates had five minutes to speak and five minutes for questions from the audience.
Rosenberg City Council
In Rosenberg, Mayor Vincent M. Morales Jr. and District 3 Councilman Dwayne Grigar are running unopposed.
At-Large Position 1
William (Billy) Benton, 49, is the incumbent. He is self-employed. He is concerned about Rosenberg’s traffic and mobility, wants to phase in more sidewalks and add additional parking and street lighting to downtown. In addition, he is opposed to making Avenue I and H one way streets and will oppose any future tax increase.
Joe Vera, 66, is retired from the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Postal Service. He has three principles that he would bring to the city council: accountability, responsibility and authority. Vera wants to make sure the city council is a collaborative group not a divided one.
At-Large Position 2
Cynthia McConathy, 53, is retired from an information technology career. She wants to safeguard taxpayer dollars by spending wisely. McConathy is not in favor of renovating the old city hall downtown and wants to make sure that Rosenberg has a plan to handle their growth and annexation strategy so the city can be proactive instead of reactive.
Laurie Cook, 46, has worked in city, county and state offices for more than 20 years. She wants to bring more businesses to Rosenberg and touted Brazos Town Center as a smart project that has reduced the tax burden on city residents. She wants to improve the city’s customer service and look into increase the pay scales for city employees.
Juan Salazar, 50, is the incumbent. He has owned his own business in Rosenberg for over 20 years. Salazar advocates for increased growth in Rosenberg as a way to reduce the tax burden on residents. He supports additional funding for police and fire departments and serves on the Avenue H business assistance committee.
Jimmie Pena, 52, is a lifelong resident of Rosenberg. He served in the military and is now retired. Pena supports the effort to revitalize downtown and wants to implement measure that allow small businesses to expand. He wants to make sure that as Rosenberg continues to grow, the city elects the right people to make the right decisions.
Joe Segura, 60, is the incumbent. He works for TxDOT and served on the council from 1992-1999. Segura supports putting more police officers on the streets and is interested in bringing a bi-lingual radio station to Rosenberg. He says Rosenberg “is in good shape” and that the city is not spending money unwisely.
Susan Kroll Euton, 55, was raised in Rosenberg and is a Rice University graduate. She, together with her family, has operated Kroll Marine for over 20 years. Euton served on the city council from 2009-2011 in addition to various city committees. She believes in limited government and wants to promote small businesses.
District 4 Councilman Tom Suter did not seek re-election to the seat he has held since 2005. The opening has drawn three candidates.
George Arroyos, 49, is a retirement benefits manager. He wants to engage all of Rosenberg’s citizens to get involved in their community. Arroyos wants to provide additional equipment and training to the police and fire departments to enhance public safety.
Amanda Bolf, 52, is in banking and finance. She wants Rosenberg to take control of its debt and is not in favor of renovating the old city hall building. Bolf says some of the older roads in Rosenberg need attention, questions why the city is raising taxes in the midst of growth and worries that residents have a lack of interest in their city government.
George Zepeda, 64 is retired. He would like more accountability in how the council is spending taxpayer dollars. Zepeda is excited about the downtown revitalization project and says in time it could be another Bastrop or Brenham.