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Salado Board of Aldermen Candidates 2014 - Frank Coachman

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Frank Coachman

I have been a Salado resident since 2001. I assumed the duties of Deputy Director for the Texas Music Educators Association in July 1999. TMEA is a professional organization comprised of over 11,500 K-16 elementary, band, orchestra, choir and collegiate music educators. My duties there include managing the scheduling, logistics and audio/visual components for more than 400 events during the annual three-day TMEA convention. The show draws 26,500 attendees, participants, exhibitors and family members to San Antonio. I also oversee the TMEA audition process for more than 60,000 high school students across the state who compete for membership in TMEA Region, Area and All-State bands, choirs and orchestras. For the previous 22 years, I served the music education profession in the Killeen I.S.D. For 18 years, Iserved as Director of Bands for C.E. Ellison High School.

I presently serve on the Board of Directors for the Salado Education Foundation. I have served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Temple Symphony Orchestra and the Center for Educator Development in Fine Arts Summit Cadre since 2001. I am a Past President of TMEA and also served as State Band Vice-President from ‘90-92. Coachman is an honorary lifetime member of the Texas Music Adjudicators Association. He attended Texas Tech University and graduated from McMurry University with a B.F.A., Music Education degree. 

I seek to serve as a Salado Village Alderman to assist in meeting the needs of fellow citizen/neighbors and business owner/operators.  My best skill is that I make things happen. I am organized, cost conscious and committed. I believe in revising the short and long term vision and master plan for healthy growth, seizing opportunities to enhance the village while working to preserve and maintain the rich historical culture and quality of life in the village.

My wife Kaye and I enjoy living in Salado. We have two married daughters and two grandchildren. Recently we opened a business, 21 Main, with partners Rusty and Julie Schramm.

Question 1: The village entered into a contract with Central Texas Council of Governments (CTCOG) to provide city management/administrative duties. In your opinion, is this arrangement working well? Should the village extend this contract beyond the current period ending in October? Why or why not?  (200 word limit)

Frank Coachman Answer: I believe the contract with CTCOG was and continues to be a wise decision for the Village of Salado. I believe the contract extension should be reviewed with two possibilities. One, the contract extended as is, or explore the possibility of hiring a full-time city manager. A comparison study should be done to ascertain if the village would gain any service level by hiring a full-time manager. There is the possibility that we might indeed lose services being provided by the many resources CTCOG offers under the current contract. It would be important to carefully compare the two scenarios and select the most efficient and beneficial option.

Question 2: Texas Department of Transportation estimates that the expansion of I-35 through Salado will be complete in late 2015. What, if anything, can or should the Village be doing to prepare for this? What, if anything, can or should the Village be doing now to bolster businesses that have been affected by the construction project? (150 words)

Frank Coachman Answer: The Board of Alderman should continue to create policy in support of the tourism bureau with its efforts in attracting consumers. The mayor and board of alderman would best support economic growth by creating policy to allow for infrastructure improvements, updating policies for code and code enforcements, while pursuing funds for a municipal waste water system and general village property improvements. A public waste water system will improve the possibilities of attracting new business to Salado bringing more consumer visitors to the village. All of this will enhance the economic climate for the established businesses. 

Question 3: What is -- or should be -- the role of the board of aldermen  in terms of setting goals and policies and enacting the  goals and policies of the Village? What is -- or should be -- the relationship between the aldermen and the mayor, between the aldermen and the city administrator and between the aldermen and the other staff?  What will you do in terms of these relations? (200 words)

Frank Coachman Answer: I feel the Board of Alderman exist to set policies for the Village and pass the authority to execute the policies to the city manager and staff under the auspices of the Village Mayor and the board. That being said, the Board of Alderman should make every effort to communicate and seek the opinions and desires of the village citizens, business owners, and of those affected by the extra-territorial jurisdictions of the village. I feel the town hall meetings and the newsletters being proposed by the current board is a terrific start in this communication process. Quarterly meetings of leaders from the city, school district, and all civic organizations would also be of benefit in this communication process.  I feel having citizens participate as committee members for specific topic or task studies would allow more voices to be heard.  As an alderman, I would support the city manager and city staff and trust these follow citizens to conduct their business to the best of their abilities. The mayor, board, city manager, and city staff are a team. Each has their defined responsibility toward the business of running the village. If and when a team members needs assistance with their tasks, the team is there for support.

 Question 4. What are your thoughts on the Village Comprehensive Plan?  (200 words)

Frank Coachman Answer: I believe it is time to review the existing plans for the future of the Village and make adjustments based on any new information and consider all of the current pressures created by the I35 construction, possible new school construction, the golf course renovations, and any new developments. All of these factors affect the traffic patterns throughout the Village and could change the timeline for upgrading or maintaining roads. I also feel the waste water project will have a major effect on the existing plan and will cause changes to the existing plan. As I have mentioned before, I believe we should form committees of residents to provide input for the comprehensive plan.  Representation on such a committee should include citizens from all neighborhoods in the Village, school district leadership, business owners, and leaders of civic organizations.    

Question 5. What are your top five goals for the Village that you would like to see accomplished in the next five years? How would you help to accomplish those goals? (200 words)

Frank Coachman Answer: I would like to see our Village:1. establish a waste water system for the Main Street corridor and I-35 East and West corridors. 2. investigate taking ownership of Main Street and begin renovations to include sidewalks and more lighting.3. improve roads throughout the Village.4. create an inviting atmosphere for business growth.5. begin planning for expanding the waste water system to serve residences.As an alderman, I would work with city management in creating policy that would attain each of these goals with financial efficiency. I would also work to ensure citizens understand the need for these projects and explain how an investment now in our infrastructure would potentially keep the tax rate lower in the future. 

Question 6. Why do you think development within the Village and its ETJ has been slow in recent years in terms of new housing starts, new businesses, etc.? Do you think the Village should be growing? If not, why not? If so, what, if anything, can the Board of Aldermen do to improve this (200 words)

Frank Coachman Answer: There are many factors that have been impacting development and growth in the Salado area. The national economic downturn in 2008 and subsequent slow recovery, the I-35 expansion project, and the lack of infrastructure, namely a waste water system and an updated Main Street area are all factors affecting business growth and consequently housing starts. If we do not plan to grow the business community we will all face much higher property taxes to sustain the existing infrastructure of our parks, roads, Village properties and city management resources. The more sales tax generated the lower the property taxes can remain. By addressing the goals listed above, the Board of Alderman would impact improvement of growth. 

 

Question 7: What are your thoughts on the conditions of the village roads? (200 word limit)

Frank Coachman Answer:There have been some great improvements to a few of our Village roads, some based on a planned maintenance cycle, others by unforeseen circumstances such as flooding. There are also new pressures on certain roads due to the I35 expansion project. Traffic patterns have changed within the village due to rerouting of normal patterns in and out of the Village because of road and bridge closures around I35. These roads will need attention sooner than planned. It will be necessary for Village administration and the Board of Alderman to reassess road conditions and revise the current planned maintenance schedule. The roads in the worst condition and used most frequently should receive the first attention within the constraints of available funding. 

 

Question 8: What are your thoughts on the maintenance and operations of the village park? (150 word limit)

Frank Coachman Answer:Pace Park is one asset the Board of Alderman, working in harmony with the Tourism Office personnel and the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, should utilize for major events to attract visitors and consumers to Salado. The park is on the banks of one of our best features – Salado Creek. I believe the Board of Alderman should support activities in the park and provide necessary funding for upkeep and improvements. Maintaining a functioning park enhances the quality of life in our village. When not in use for major events, the park becomes a great location for residence and visitors to relax and spend time outdoors with family and friends.

 

Question 9: Will you as an alderman vote to call for  a bond election for sewer? If called by the board, will you personally advocate for approval of a bond election for a sewer system?  (300 word limit).

Frank Coachman Answer: I feel the Village must move forward with a waste water system. A system with adequate capacity and built with future expansion capabilities would most likely not be possible without bond funding. The waste water system is necessary to ensure we can grow our commerce system to maintain a healthy sales tax revenue to support the budget and keep property taxes as low as we can. A bond package will have an impact on the property tax rate, but not nearly as significant if we simply maintain the existing commerce level or allow it to decline. If the sales tax rate does not improve in the near future, the property tax rate would need to be increased significantly more to offset the loss of tax revenue in comparison to supporting a bond. Yes, I would support calling for a bond election and would personally advocate in support of approval.

 

Question 10: What do you consider to be the greatest weakness or flaw in the Village of Salado government and what can you do to change it? (200 words)

Question 1: The Village of Salado government has existed for a relatively short time span and in my opinion has done an excellent job of establishing itself as an entity of strong service to all of its stakeholders. The government has expanded at a rate consistent with the needs of the community. In the past year and a half the community has added the services of a professional manager and given the Board of Alderman a great resource and advantage to deal with all of the current issues being addressed and any future unforeseen challenges. As the relationship between the Board of Alderman and Village management progresses, we need to trust our team of employees and expect this outstanding team to operate in an efficient and expedient manner. The Board of Alderman must provide management with policies and resources to be effective in caring their appointed duties. I would work to further foster this young relationship between the Board of Alderman and our Village management. 

Question 11:  Why should anyone vote for you? (200 words)

 

Question 2: Your vote for Frank Coachman would mean you are in favor of an alderman who will work to improve the financial status of the village by promoting business growth which would increase our sales tax revenue, therefore, keeping property taxes at a minimum in comparison to our surrounding communities. A major part of establishing a growing economy for Salado is establishing a scalable waste water system to service both sides of I35, Main Street and its adjacent establishments. This system would be expanded in future years to serve residences. Your vote would also be for a Salado resident and Village business owner who believes we should maintain a city manager position with an in depth review of making this a full-time position if the return on the investment makes good fiscal sense. You would also be in favor of a candidate who would like to see more community members involved in a review and revision of the Village Comprehensive Plan. You would be voting for a management professional who has the experience and skill-set of serving on the Executive Board, as President, and currently on the staff, as Deputy Director, of the Texas Music Educators Association which serves over 1.5 million students and 11,000 teachers in our state. Your voice will be heard and served.