Nelson to lead new council after landslide win - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Nelson to lead new council after landslide win

Ginger Nelson Ginger Nelson
Elaine Hayes / Source: KFDA Elaine Hayes / Source: KFDA
Freda Powell / Source: KFDA Freda Powell / Source: KFDA
Dr. Eddy Sauer / Source: KFDA Dr. Eddy Sauer / Source: KFDA
Howard Smith / Source: KFDA Howard Smith / Source: KFDA

Ginger Nelson, Mayor

Nelson earned 80 percent of the election's votes, resulting in a decisive victory over her two opponents for the lead role at City Hall. Nelson campaigned for growth in Amarillo's economy and job market, as well as increasing Amarillo's City Council's communication with residents.

From Creating the Council:

QWhat do you think you would bring to the city council that's not there right now?

A: A tone of respect and civility. I think just professionally being a lawyer and having to work with people in emotional situations where there's conflict, but yet at the end of the day know that I've done that respectfully and professionally. I think bringing that tone brings a stability to our government that we haven't had. I think that gives city staff direction. And I think it gives citizens a feeling of safety that they can come in, share their ideas even if people are going to disagree with them, they feel respected. And they know that there is an arena of civility that they can come and bring their ideas, even their disagreements.?

Elaine Hays, Place 1

Hays was one of two candidates who challenged current council members and defeated incumbent Elisha Demerson in the Place 1 race. She campaigned for a unified front between the Chamber of Commerce, city council and other major boards.

From Creating the Council:

Q: What are your major campaign points and how do you plan to make them happen?

A: My main priority has to do with fiscal responsibility. As a certified financial planner, it concerned me when we had bond proposals that were presented that were seven very diversified and widespread. It reminded me of a client that comes to my office and says 'I would like to save for retirement, I need to remodel the kitchen, I have three kids to put through college, and I want to do them all this year.' The reality is that you can't do all those at one time, so you have to prioritize.

Freda Powell, Place 2

Powell went up against fellow election newcomer James Schenck to take the win with 76 percent of the vote. Powell has a background in supply chain management and campaigned with focuses on improving streets, public safety and communication with open government.

From Creating the Council:

Q: Do you think the city should continue to issue bonds to fund future projects, or just use money allocated in the annual budget?

A: I believe that we need to find the cash flow within the budget. But also our biggest funding of course comes from sales tax and I think that most of our citizens here in Amarillo don't realize that a lot of our taxes come from the tourism. We have Interstate 40 which is a great corridor for us to be able to increase our tax base so we want to try to make sure that our city looks good. We want to clean up our city. We want to attract other people to come to our city so they will spend their hard earned money with us.

Dr. Eddy Sauer, Place 3

Sauer went up against Tom Warren II to take the win for Place 3 with 79% of the votes. Sauer has been a dentist in Amarillo for 30 years. He said his experience dealing with patients and healthcare will help him handle communication and budget planning on the council.

From Creating the Council:

Q: What letter grade would you give to the current city council and why?

A: I'm not going to give them a letter grade. It is what it is. I just know that we can do better.

Howard Smith, Place 4

Smith is one of two candidates going up against an incumbent council member, and he defeated current member Mark Nair for Place 4. Smith has served on several city boards and wants to focus on listening to Amarilloans and restoring trust in the city.

From Creating the Council:

Q: What do you think you would bring to the city council that's not there right now?

A: "I've got a lot of experience at things. I served on the Amarillo school board for 10 years. I served on the Wayland Baptist University board for nine years. I've served on the Planning and Zoning Commission for eight plus years. 

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