The Pioneer asked each of the six candidates running for Fort Stockton City Council to complete a questionnaire. There are two seats available on the council. Here are their responses, unedited.
• Age: 70
• Born: Toledo, Ohio; grew up in San Angelo from age of 1 week.
• Occupation: Tax Attorney (retired)
• Current offices and boards: Fort Stockton Planning & Zoning Commission, American G.I. Forum Fort Stockton Chapter, Pecos County Historical Commission, Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish
• Former offices, boards and appointments: Member of Ohio Commission on Hispanic/Latino Affairs: appointed by Governor, Distinguished Hispanic Ohioan (1992), Mid-American Bank Branch Board Member, United Way of Greater Toledo - Allocations Committee Member, Toledo/Lucas County Port Authority - 168 Loan Committee Member, board member of various community non-profit organizations.
• Education: Calvin M. Woodward High School – Diploma; Bowling Green State University – Bachelor of Science (Sociology/Political Science); University of Toledo College of Law – Degree/Juris Doctorate; Various Continuing Education Certificates in Tax Law, Finance and Business Principles.
• Military Service: U.S. Army 1969-1972; Sergeant E-5; Korea Post of Duty; 7/17th Field Artillery Battalion – 2nd Infantry Division; DMZ- Imjin Scouts; Honorable Discharge.
• Years living in Fort Stockton: 10 years.
• Charitable/Volunteer work: None.
• Why do you believe you should be elected: When making the decision to relocate to Fort Stockton in 2009, I saw the city as a vibrant and growing community. I was continually impressed with the positive attitude of the residents and the sense of belonging that I felt whenever visiting local merchants, restaurants and the public in general.
Having been involved in community affairs over the last 35-40 years, I wanted to be an active member of the Fort Stockton community. As a veteran, I looked for an organization that had the same interests and concerns for the issues facing many of today’s veterans and I joined the Fort Stockton Chapter of the American G.I. Forum. I applied for and was appointed to the Pecos County Historical Commission. Both organizations helped me become aware of the rich history of Fort Stockton. Learning the history and becoming aware of how water and its use, and misuse, impacted the growth of the city, I also began to attend the monthly meetings of the Middle Pecos Groundwater Conservation District.
I have attended every City Council meeting since the later part of 2017 and have seen the city expand in size as well as economically. Seeing how many of the decisions have been reached is one factor that led to my decision to run for a position on City Council. There must be an accountability of actions taken or economic development can very quickly become an economic burden. Also, I believe in an open and transparent government. Citizens should be able to know exactly what goes on when public officials transact public business.
Although economic development is important in city’s growth, if elected, my emphasize will be on those city services that impact the general public…...street repairs, refuse collection, police protection, street light replacement, noise and safety issues.
As a retired tax attorney (I owned an accounting and tax consulting firm), my past employment history (I was Assistant Executive Director/Fiscal Officer for a $6 million senior nutrition program with 86 employees, a fleet of 11 vehicles, home delivered 1,200 hot meals daily and provided meals to 9 senior centers), and my involvement in local, state and federal government, as shown above, will enable me to be an effective member of Fort Stockton’s City Council.
If elected, I commit to make myself available in addressing any issues that may be of your concern. Thank you and I would appreciate your vote and support.
Celedino (Dino) Ramirez Jr.
• No response submitted
Paul Carrillo Casias
• Age: 54
• Born: Fort Stockton Texas
• Occupation: Food Service Director – FSISD
• Current offices and boards: CVB, Animal Control Board, Keep Ft. Stockton Beautiful Board, Ft. Stockton Little League- President, Texas Association of Sports Officials West Texas Chapter Baseball Division- President, TASO High School Baseball Umpire, TASO-UIL Football Official, UIL Basketball Official, Ft. Stockton Pop Warner Football Official, Ft. Stockton Little League Umpire, Ft. Stockton USA Softball Umpire, Ft. Stockton Recreation Basketball Official, Ft. Stockton Baseball Alumni President,
• Former offices, boards and appointments: FSHS Sports Booster Club President 2012-2015, Choir Booster Club President 2013-2015, Ft. Stockton Golf Board President 2016-2017.
• Education: Graduate Ft. Stockton High; Attended Sul Ross State University
• Military Service: None.
• Years living in Fort Stockton: 54 years.
• Charitable/Volunteer work: See Offices and boards.
• Why do you believe you should be elected: There are many qualities I have that I can contribute to the leadership and oversight of this community. My longstanding volunteered service to others has been a strong attribute that has been established with the youth in this community.
Understanding the needs of a strong and healthy budget in order to tackle the infrastructure needs of the community along with ensuring that the quality of life is established, and we continue with a positive plan for years to come.
The need for support in city services along with a more effective program in providing those services is something that needs help with. I do understand those issues and concerns, and I do have those qualities as a leader to help strategize and provide positive feedback in accomplishing those goals.
I sincerely ask for your support in voting for me to be your next City Council member so that YOU can have a voice through me. Let’s accomplish the first step in making a positive change so that the future of our city can be beneficial to our citizens/youth and the economical growth that is currently underway. Let`s plan, strategize, budget, and implement a positive change in Ft. Stockton.
Thank you and God Bless and support Paul Casias as your next City Council member.
• Age: 55
• Born: Gainesville, Texas
• Occupation: Retired from restaurant industry; now self-employed in online sales.
• Current offices and boards: Chairman of the Substandard Building Committee; member of the Pecos County Historical Commission; Keep Fort Stockton Beautiful Board; and Planning and Zoning Board.
• Former offices, boards and appointments: PTA president.
• Education: Graduated Greenhill High School Dallas; University of Texas 1981-86. Studied geology, business and art history.
• Military Service: None.
• Years living in Fort Stockton: 3 years.
• Charitable/Volunteer work: Before moving to Fort Stockton I was very active in youth sports, 4-H, and the PTA. I was president of the PTA at my son's middle school for 2 years. I was also involved with Habitat for Humanity, and the women's shelter Safeplace.
• Why do you believe you should be elected: I first came to Fort Stockton 25 years ago on my way to Big Bend. It was a convenient place to stop and gas up, but I sensed that there was more. That trip started a yearly pilgrimage with the kids to west Texas, and each time I got to see more of this charming town, and meet the people, I felt more connected. I saw it during the booms and thru the busts and always felt that there was such potential here. In 2014, being an empty nester, I began coming to Fort Stockton as often as I could. Every time I started home to Austin it got harder to leave.
In Austin I was the general manager of a popular 24 hour a day, 7 day a week restaurant with 100 employees. We served between 5 and 10 thousand customers each week. I feel that my ability to work with a wide variety of people, multitasking, and always planning for the future, and growth are what I can bring to my role on the city council.
Today I see Fort Stockton at a crossroads, ready to become more, but perhaps not fully prepared for the growth. I feel that now is the time to plan what the next 10, 20, and even 50 years will be. Now is the time for us to aggressively deal with our housing issues, education, and water so that we are prepared for the future.
I envision a city with a diverse economy and a healthy infrastructure that is capable of attracting and sustaining a growing population. I see a future Fort Stockton where our children want to stay, or come back to, to raise their own kids. This future Fort Stockton must be planned now, and if elected I promise to put all my energy towards doing just that. I would love the opportunity to serve this town, and I would appreciate your vote.
Michael D. Stallard
• Age: 69
• Born: Lake Charles, Louisnana
• Occupantion: Jailer at Pecos County Jail
• Current offices and boards: Keep Fort Stockton Beautiful, Cemetery Board, Planning and Zoning Board
• Former offices, boards and appointments: Sutton County EMS Chief, Pecos EMS Asst.Chief
• Education: Graduated from Odessa High School, Odessa Jr. College, Abilene Christian College – Degree in Medical Technology. Certifications: Licensed Paramedic/Course Coordinator, Water/Wastewater Operations, Medical Laboratory Technician, Hazmat/ Haz-whopper, Medic First Aid Instructor.
• Military Service: None.
• Years living in Fort Stockton: 19. Moved to Fort Stockton in 2000.
• Charitable/Volunteer work: Fort Stockton Vol. Fire Dept. – currently (18 yrs.+), Licensed Paramedic (40 yrs.) and Course Coordinator (25 yrs.) – Retired
• Why do you believe you should be elected: I am seeking the office of Fort Stockton City Councilman. I believe the in new ideas and thoughts to improve in our city. My main concerns are the infrastructure updating, retaining city employees and keeping our drinking water secure.
The city is currently experiencing an explosive growth but one must look ahead with this growth stalls/stops and people move out as has happen in the past. Fiscal responsibility and answering questions with an honest answer is my goal. This has been my work ethic my parents instilled in me.
• Age: 46
• Born: Fort Stockton, Texas
• Occupation: Restaurant owner
• Current offices and boards: Fort Stockton City Council;
• Former offices, boards and appointments: Fort Stockton Chamber of Commerce President; Mayor City of Fort Stockton; Middle Pecos Groundwater Conservation Board; Keep Historic Fort Stockton Beautiful; Finance Council to Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish; Fort Stockton Community Theatre; Youth 4H program.
• Education: Graduate of Fort Stockton High School.
• Military Service: None.
• Years living in Fort Stockton: 46 years.
• Charitable/Volunteer work: Over the years I have been involved in the following
causes: Relay for Life; Susan Koman Breast Cancer Prevention; Crime Stoppers Lock Up;
Purple Project’s Women Shelter; Matthew’s Superhero Fun Run; Fort Stockton Recreation (I have coached teams for over 15 years). I was directly involved in the following: 1990 establishing Lil’ Dribblers Basketball; 1997 establishing Pop Warner Football; 2002 establishing Youth Soccer; 2009 establishing Youth Volleyball.
• Why do you believe you should be elected: I am seeking re-election because I care about this city, I have been sued for trying to protect our natural resources.
I take a small business approach to city finances; I do this by always requiring at least three quotes for any purchase or project and require that local businesses be given the opportunity to bid.
Budgeting for actual costs not over estimating or underestimating, just to balance.
I wrote and got passed the following bills:
• A Homestead exemption for homeowners on their city taxes.
• A requirement that all new businesses requesting city services (water, gas, etc.) annex into the city especially those along the interstate so that they not only pay property taxes but most importantly collect sales tax revenue, which in turn help keep everyone's taxes low.
• An additional fee to hotels and RV parks to help fund infrastructure projects, such as the new water line from Belding as well as a new wastewater plant, and new landfill. This put 2/3 of the cost on those pushing our infrastructure capability over the limit and not the local citizens.
• Re-established the Main Street Board, with a new focus on revitalization.
I demand that The Economic Development Corporation spend equal time on retaining and helping established businesses, as they do on recruiting new business.
I believe that our quality of life is good, we have remodeled parks, clean and safe sport fields, and year-round entertainment funded by hotel tax funds.
Fort Stockton has one of the best water plans in the state, we accomplished this by Installing an additional RO plant and rehabbing water wells in our city, thus giving us an Alternate Water Source.
I take my position on the city council very serious and I 'am proud to be your representative and strive every day to keep the city out of your pocket.
Lastly, I ask that you please vote, turnout has been drastically decreasing over the last 20 years and that is not good for our community.