The Pioneer asked both of the candidates running for Fort Stockton Mayor to complete a questionnaire. Here are their responses, unedited.
MaryAnn Terrazas White
• Age: 60
• Born: Fort Stockton, Texas
• Retired from FSISD after 22 years of service
• Current offices and boards: None
• Former offices and boards: None
• Education: Graduated from Fort Stockton High School.
• Military Service: None
• Years living in Fort Stockton: 23 years.
• Charitable/Volunteer work: I served for two years as president of the Parent Teacher Organization at Fort Stockton Intermediate School. I am a lifetime member of Our Lady of Guadalupe (formally St Joseph/St Agnes). My service to Our Lady of Guadalupe includes many duties. I am a Extraordinary Eucharist Minister. Member of the Guadalupana Society. As a Guadalupana, I have been elected and served as president, vice president, secretary and treasurer. Guadalupana's / Marthas's Servants are a group that prepare the funeral meals for the families. I also serve on the Parish Council, where during my first term, I was elected and served as Vice President and have been re-elected to serve again. I am also in charge of Our Lady of Guadalupe Golf Tournament.
• Why do you believe you should be elected: I, MaryAnn Terrazas White was born in Fort Stockton and went to school here and graduated from Fort Stockton High School. I have chosen to live most of my adult life in this wonderful town. My parents are Fidel Q. Terrazas Jr. and the late Dora G. Terrazas. My two sons, Thomas Ross Turner, his wife, Madeline and my four beautiful grandchildren (Avery, Rice, MaryCraig, Frances) and my youngest son, Robbie White, Jr. I have one brother, Jesse G. Terrazas, and his wife, Norma Neito Terrazas, my niece, Audra Terrazas Launey and nephew, J.T. Terrazas.
Our family has lived and worked here for multiple generations, and as hard-working citizens, we have always taken great pride in our community. It is from this sense of pride, that I have always felt a need to improve our great city. And therefore, this is the reason that I am running for Mayor.
My only agenda for wanting to be mayor is that I want to find ways to better and improve our city and to serve its citizens. Over the last 10 years, our city has changed, and this opinion is voiced by many other Fort Stockton citizens. Although I have always tried to be optimistic with the outlook of our community, it has become increasingly obvious that our city has many problems, and even more are looming in the future.
For example, we must take care of our failing infrastructure, such as the very old and depilated sewer and water systems and the bad roads.
For city management, we need better treatment and training of our city employees so that they may not look for employment elsewhere. There are other important problems we must address such as the landfill expansion and state mandates that have not been obeyed or followed.
Additionally, if we truly want to be successful, we must develop better communication between the city, school and county. We must take time to study the complete picture of Fort Stockton. The time has come to make a change. I promise that I will always keep an open-door policy and I will represent the people of Fort Stockton to the best of my ability.
• Age: 59
• Born: Fort Stockton, Texas
• Occupation: Self-employed. President of DirectBytes LLC dba Car-isma Car Wash
• Current offices and boards: Mayor of Fort Stockton (4 years); Fort Stockton Conventions & Visitors Board of Directors; Fort Stockton Economic Development 4B Board Directors; Fort Stockton Recreation Department Board of Directors; Appointed Special Commissioner by District Judge Gomez; Board of Directors for the Fort Stockton Community Theatre; Board of Directors for the Permian Basin Regional Planning Commission ; Midland College WRTTC LEA Advisory Board (Police Academy)
• Former offices, boards and appointments: City Council of Fort Stockton (5 years); Board of Directors for the Fort Stockton Chamber of Commerce; Vice President Fort Stockton Chamber of Commerce; Appointed to the Community Justice Council by District Judge Gomez; Board of Directors Uptown/Downtown Association; Board of Directors Friends of the Fort Board of Directors the Water Carnival Association; Board of Directors Fort Stockton Rotary Club; President Leadership Fort Stockton
• Education: Graduated from Fort Stockton High School (1978); Studied Business Management at Texas A&M University: Texas Department of Insurance Group One Life and Health Insurance Licensed; Specialized licensing for the Series 6 & 63, securities and mutual funds, with New York Life Insurance Company.
• Military Service: None.
• Years living in Fort Stockton: 52 years.
• Charitable/Volunteer work: Fort Stockton Chamber of Commerce; Lay Director for Kairos Prison Ministry; Lay Director for Walk to Emmaus; Northside Church leadership and Audio/Video Engineer; Former Member of Jaycee’s International; Keep Historic Fort Stockton Beautiful; Big Bend Open Road Race; Fourth of July Fireworks Display for the City of Fort Stockton; Chairperson for Toys for Tots; Water Carnival Audio Engineer and volunteer for 32 years; Grace for Vets at Carwashes every Veteran’s Day.
• Why do you believe you should be elected: I am running for another term as mayor to complete the many ongoing projects and improvements our city started nine years ago. I believe I am uniquely qualified to be mayor.
First, I am a successful business person. I studied business management at Texas A&M and have owned and operated my own businesses since 1982. I have a knack for problem solving and approaching situations from several angles, receiving input from others then strategically formulating a plan.
The team at the city no longer performs tasks the “way it’s always been done”.
We ask for input and challenge team members to constantly improve each task. I have met with hundreds of citizens over the past nine years. I always listen to each problem or complaint and have acted on a solution. I strive to be fair, patience, consistent and persistent in helping each individual.
Fort Stockton had and still has issues, lots of issues. We did not get into this shape overnight and we won’t get out of it overnight either, but by prioritizing and sticking to a plan, we will.
Unfortunately, the majority of what has been getting worked on is infrastructure that is out of sight, out of mind, until it doesn’t work! Water is life and my main priority has been and will be to continue replacing the old, dilapidated water system. To date, the 9-mile Belding pipeline is 99% complete and under budget, storage tanks are refurbished or replaced, pipe lines throughout the city are being upgraded and we have an emergency backup water system.
I understand the frustration about the condition of our streets. I’m frustrated too. Frankly, we’ve not had the money or proper staff until last year when our street department was modified and with their input, they were able to repair 32.5 miles of streets last fiscal year. The plan is to (1) repair the infrastructure UNDER the streets first, then (2) repair the streets; otherwise, we’re wasting money repairing streets first.
The old landfill is almost full and a 3-year permitting process for the new one is nearly completed. Two sewage treatment plants must be upgraded to get back into TCEQ compliance and the old sewage lines are way undersized for our population. The gas department is still replacing galvanized pipe as fast as they can: the total price tag: $20-30 million dollars.
We have replaced 800 out of 1067 dumpsters, we have new trash trucks, a new automated water meter system, 5 working emergency sirens instead of 1, a new animal shelter, new park equipment, a new pothole repair machine, a new police department and cars, and proper tools for our people to do their jobs.
I believe you must serve your community before you can lead it. As mayor, I always strive to show respect and be as approachable as I was before becoming mayor. I thank you for your prayers, your support, and your vote.
Mayor Chris Alexander