Public service should be candidate motive

Subhead

Outside influence, revenge should not be factors in council races

Body

Early voting began Monday for city and school elections and most candidates seem to be driven by a desire to serve this community, albeit with varying degrees of belief in the levels of government. That is all perfectly acceptable.

Many locals think Fredericksburg has been and remains an incredible place to invest, do business and to live. The town’s forefathers carved out a nice spot of Hill Country, bravely fought to protect their land, then used their industriousness, smarts and frugality to build a place that every Texas town aspires to be. Are we having growing pains? Sure. But there is not a small town anywhere that wouldn’t trade for our “problems” in a heartbeat.

We share concerns with some locals that one mayoral candidate is driven by something other than a motive to serve the public.

Mayoral candidate Tim Lafferty has an impressive past in the hotel management industry. But his involvement with the “Concerned Taxpayers of Fredericksburg” group gives us pause.

These “Concerned Taxpayers” are also known as State Rep. Kyle Biedermann (who filed the original “Doing Business As” form to derail the local parks bond), hotelier Mickey Poole and Lafferty, the group’s current treasurer, along with a few local business people.

Biedermann lost Gillespie County in his primary re-election bid (though he won Comal and Kendall), and still seems to want to pull the strings at all levels of government. He is the largest donor to the “Concerned Taxpayers” group and Biedermann, as we have noted, receives the majority of his donations from Empower Texans, the group formed by a handful of wealthy donors who seek to influence elections all over the state.

Poole has hotel properties locally and in Dripping Springs. He turned in a proposal for the city’s conference center at his land on U.S. 290 East but it was not chosen by the conference center committee.

Lafferty formerly worked for the Schlunegger family, which owns hotels in Kerrville and is building a new hotel on Ufer Street in Fredericksburg. He and Poole floated a theory about the city playing favorites because it deeded flood-plain land in exchange for the new hotel owners footing the bill for a walking trail and footbridge connecting Ufer and Creek Streets. We reported on his theory, but Lafferty immediately complained because we included the city’s side of the story as well.

We need level-headed people on the council. We have had many in the past and it has benefitted this community greatly.

In the school election, we are appreciative of the four candidates who are genuinely concerned about helping educational efforts in Fredericksburg.

It is important to know a candidate’s motives for running. Most, we feel, are doing it for the right reasons. – K.E.C.