The Greater Anna Chamber of Commerce hosted a city council candidate forum on Tuesday, April 18. The forum was an opportunity for the citizens to meet the candidates and allow the residents to ask questions. The forum started with four predetermined questions, after which the floor was opened to residents. Each candidate had one minute to answer each question.
The prewritten questions asked about each candidate’s background and why he or she decided to run for city council. Scott North, a realtor from Anna who is running for Place 5 ,said he decided to run due to his background. North was on The Colony City Council and served as mayor pro tem for eight years. North said the growth of Anna is imminent.
“Anna is growing and about to boom, we can’t help it,” North said. “Experience is the key.”
Nathan Bryan, the incumbent for Place 5, said he chose to run for city council again because he saw some changes in the city that he did not want to see.
“Anna is a citizen-ran city — I want to give the control back to the residents,” Bryan said. “I want to be their voice.”
John Beazley, the incumbent for Place 3 and currently running unopposed, decided he wanted to run again because he loves the city of Anna. Beazley said he’s open minded and tries to listen to any and every citizen.
“I am very receptive to our residents,” Beazley said.
Anna resident Jodi Foster asked the city council forum why Anna does not have a tax freeze for senior citizens and wanted to know what the candidates planned to do about absence of the freeze.
Beazley said he was unaware the city did not offer that, and added he was going to do some research about it. If it is something the city can control, Beazley said he is going to find out how to get it started.
Bryan said he believes senior citizens and military personnel should be able to enjoy the benefits of a tax freeze.Bryan said he is already currently speaking to other council members to find out what can be done to get the freeze implemented.
North said when he was on The Colony’s city council, he organized a group called Citizens Against Taxation and put a freeze on the taxes of senior citizens.
“During a period of growth, it’s important to freeze the taxes of senior citizens to protect them,” North said.
One concerned citizen asked about legislation that requires new subdivisions to allow parks or open spaces.
Bryan said he believes there should be mandated parks in the new subdivisions and is going to research how to get an ordinance started.
Beazley said he does not think the city should be responsible for “pocket parks” in subdivisions. He said he believes the money that would have to be used for city personnel to upkeep the open spaces could be better used elsewhere. However, Beazley does believe there should be enough parks in the city for families.
North said he believes Anna should follow the steps of Frisco, who has an ordinance in place requiring parks in new subdivisions. North also stated it is a good idea for cities to have a relationship with other cities.
“It is important to have an open line of communication with the surrounding cities of Anna,” he said.