Nathan Bryan has been on the Anna City Council in Place 5 for five years. He was first elected in 2012 for a two-year term. The next election council members’s terms increased to three years and he was reelected. This year he hopes to be elected to the council for a third term and what he said will be his last.
Bryan moved to Anna in 2006 and is a Dallas native. He has two children who attend Anna Independent School District and has been married to his wife for 24 years. He graduated Brookhaven College and works as a store manager at O’Reily Auto Parts in Anna.
Q: Why are you running for city council again?
A: The main reason I’m running for city council again is just concerns me that I heard that a realtor, a real estate agent, was going to get involved with the council. Someone that had prior political experience, I guess is the best way of putting it. I did a little research on one of the candidates and found out that they hadn’t lived here very long and that they were quickly building up a reputation for being an outspoken citizen, and found out they had been involved in city politics for quite a few years and that they were also involved in real estate. And so at that point I made a decision that I would go ahead and run again. I hadn’t intended on running again and really think people should have term limits, so I don’t think they should make a career out of being in politics.
Q: What are your concerns about a real estate agent being on the city council?
A: My main concern is that an individual would have inside knowledge of permits, plats, builders, that are wanting to build in certain areas. At which point that would give them the ability to make early contact with those builders and potentially have sort of a step ahead of any other realtor or real estate agents, as far as being a preferred realtor in that particular community.
Q: Now, being a real estate agent and being on a city council is not uncommon. It’s common practice.
A: It is a fairly common practice. … From what you see there’s a lot of instances where you find communities that are like ours that are in a similar situation that we’re in, where you get realtors and real estate agents, and in some cases some of the builders get involved in city council. … What I’ve seen in the past is there is a lot of negative backlash from the community because it seems that builders always have the edge over the citizens. So the citizens aren’t necessarily getting what they feel is their fair say in how the community should be developed. So that’s my big concern about that. That’s one of my only issues, that somebody that’s tied to the real estate side of it and that has the knowledge that that the average citizen does not have of what’s coming and what’s going to happen, that they could use that to their advantage. Not to the advantage of the citizen. That’s just my personal opinion. I think more of the grass roots, the little people so to speak, should be involved in city politics and it kind of gets them more aware of how city politics works, city government works.
Q: Over the past five years that you have been on the city council what is the biggest thing you think the council has been able to accomplish?
A: I think one off the biggest things that we’ve accomplished is actually keeping the city, as far as budget wise, keeping us in the black. … We’ve been kind of ahead of the curve on that. Does that mean that we could use that to raise taxes or raise more funds or revenue. Of course we need to. We could definitely use more police and more fire protection in our community as fast as it’s growing, but I would think that’s one of the things that we’ve kind of prided ourselves on, is keeping us out of the red. One of the other things that we’ve done is we’ve gone back and fixed a lot of the ordinances for subdivisions that were built. When I got here in 2006, that’s one of the first things I noticed. It seemed a lot of the communities had real narrow streets and the houses seemed they were kind of built on top of each other. So, the community I picked to live in seemed to be the one that had the widest streets and the lots seemed to be larger. But since then every community that we’ve had that’s built up has gotten wider streets and bigger lots. That’s kind of the trend that we want to keep going on.
Q: What do you think is the biggest challenge for the council going forward?
A: Honestly right now I think the biggest challenge for the council is getting the public’s trust. Just flat out from what I hear, the people that come in and talk to me here at the store, the people just flat out don’t trust the council, and they feel like everybody on the council is somehow involved or on the take from builders. And that’s far from the truth. None of us are profiting in any way from it, and we’re all doing this unpaid. So we’re doing it on our free time as far as being on the council.
Q: What development do you think needs to come to Anna?
A: What I would like to see, and I’ve talked to several other council members and people in the community, are developments that are more kid and more family friendly. The developments that we seem to still be fighting against are the ones that are able to build on pieces of property that have been grandfathered in. That were say purchased back 10-15 years ago, and fall under the regulations 10 or 15 years ago. Which are not the current regulations or ordinances that we have in place, and so those builders will inevitably come in and want to build to the letter of how the ordinance was drafted at that particular time. And it’s a fight with them on that but I would like to see, I would like to see communities. Every new community that pops up have some sort of family green space, and you know some area that’s dedicated. And a large area, not a small area, that is dedicated to being I guess an inside community park. There’s a lot of communities that have those in North Texas and we seem to be on the short end of the stick.
Q: What do you want voters to know about you?
A: I really just want them to know that I’m basically one of them. I have nothing to gain other than to serve them and that’s the whole reason that I got on the council in the first place, is to basically just serve the community. And that’s what I want to do for just one last term, and if people realize that and vote me in and determine what they want to do and get more involved, I think when other people get more involved you get somebody like myself that will run the next time around and take my place.