Q&A with Brady Pendleton, candidate for Stephenville mayor.
Q. With the rapid population growth of Stephenville and Tarleton along with new laws restricting the city’s ability to annex, there is a greater likelihood of change and redevelopment in some of our older neighborhoods. What are your thoughts on how the city should manage protection of neighborhoods while maintaining a positive growth environment?
A. In-field development is crucial to the growth of our city. The current council recognizes this and has recently adopted a new zoning classification, R2.5 and in prior years added R1.5.
These new zoning classifications directly address the issue of preservation of our older neighborhoods with encouraging new and appropriate redevelopment. At the end of the day, zoning and common sense is the best way we address this issue.
Q. Municipal employment has become very competitive making it more challenging to hire and retain quality employees including police and firefighters. How do you think city employee pay should be evaluated and how important do you think pay is to employee retention?
A. Recruitment and retention of city employees, especially in public safety, will continue to be a challenge as inflation drives up wages in the private sector and as the narrative in regards to first responders continues to be negative.
I, like most reading this, become irate on a daily basis in regards to the current status of these issues in our country. Over my nine years of service on the council, we have developed and implemented pay plans, as recent as last week, to address employee pay. Our problem as council has been the continued commitment and implementation of these plans.
By law, we are very restricted in things we can do that limit future council’s use of funds, but, setting precedent and commitment to employee pay is crucial. What we pay our city employees should be competitive to what other cities pay but also what the pay is in the private sector.
We are in the service business and the city employees are providing the services. It is essential we offer competitive wages to current and future employees, but also take care of our retirees in ensuring as the cost of living continues to rise, they are not penalized for their years of service.
Q. As an elected official, there is no clear requirement to spend a certain amount of your time on city issues. Outside of the standard 2nd Tuesday meetings, how much time have you spent on an average month engaged in city policy issues with city staff, citizens or fellow council persons over your last two years of service?
A. To do it right, it is a full-time job, period.
I have a busy personal life with my family, other businesses I run in our community, other organizations I volunteer for, and a very busy and demanding law practice, but like I tell my kids, you make time for what is important.
I have found the key to be time management and organization. My day starts at 4:30 a.m. and usually ends around 9:30 p.m. There is never enough time to accomplish it all, but if you are committed to working harder than everyone else, it always works out.
Q. What qualities would you like to see in Stephenville’s next city manager?
A. I have been involved in two previous city manager searches and approximately five other searches in cities where I serve as the city attorney.
This is one of the most important decisions a council member will make. This is the person who will implement and oversee on a day to day basis the vision our citizens set for our community.
After all the searches I have been a part of, the most important qualities are an ability to effectively communicate with their employees, the council, and the public, and a commitment to being transparent about what they are doing.
Q. What educational and career experiences in your background make you the most qualified candidate for this position?
A. Being the most qualified is one thing that I believe sets me a part in this race.
I have served on the council for nine years and I have been Mayor Pro Tem for two years. Part of my law practice is that I serve as City Attorney for Glen Rose and Dublin.
I know the history of our city, I know the issues at hand, and I am dedicated to working on what the citizens want to see in our community.
I have a vision of what I want this city to be for me and my kids, but the question is always listening to what the citizens want and developing a plan to put in action.