The May 5 election is approaching fast, and six candidates are hoping to get the most votes to fill the position of Place 1 on the Anna City Council. Kevin Toten is one of those candidates.
Even though Toten has only lived in Anna for four years, he and his family have lived in Collin County for the past 20, living close enough to Anna to know the city and love it. He has been a radio and GPS technician for Chapman Construction for the past ten years.
Toten said he might not have city government experience, but he does have experience being on boards. “I have been a member of my neighborhood Homeowner’s Association for two years now,” Toten said. “I led my community in fund raisers like Adopt-A-Cop where we raised enough for two officers to receive a vest. We adopted a single mother and her three children this last Christmas. I also put together a group to keep the road entering our neighborhood clean of trash two to three times a year.
“I am just a concerned citizen that wants to get involved and help Anna grow in a friendlier manner for the residents and families,” Toten said. “I have been attending council meetings for the past year and a half, listening to concerns of our citizens. I have recently been going to the different board meetings to learn more about the workings of them. I am not a politician by all means, but I am a concerned citizen that wants to stand up and be the voice of my neighbors and friends of Anna.”
Toten said he agrees that Anna is growing exponentially, but not all growth is positive. “Is Anna growing for the good?” Toten asked. “Anna has a huge opportunity, and what we need to do is make it count and not suffer when it is all said and done. Anna is changing, and I want to be a part of that change for the good.”
Toten said his small town background is what helps him be a better candidate. “I might not have been born here in Anna, but I’m from a small town. I want what’s best for both sides. The old and the new. Let’s make Anna unique and family first that way we get noticed and people want to move to our small town and call it their home.”
Getting involved in the community is one of the things Toten said he wants to focus on. “I want to give the people of Anna a place they can be proud of and call home. We as a city need to get more involved in the community and I want to give them a reason to,” he said.
“My top three goals if I’m elected are parks, police/fire and downtown area,” Toten said of his plans for Anna. “I want more parks spread out in our city. We should force the developers and builders to build more parks in the neighborhoods. In turn, that would help with traffic. We are behind on our comprehensive plan and parks. It’s just a plan but some of it needs to be implemented.
“Police and fire departments are always and will always be important to me and this city,” said Toten. “We need more officers on duty at one time. Our police station is too small, and with the new City Hall, we should have a bigger station. I fully support our council now and its plans for the City Hall. We need a second fire station and we need it now. With Hwy 75 getting bigger and with our city growing rate, we are behind on another fire station. We need newer equipment and trucks for our fireman. They work hard for our city and they deserve to do that with the best equipment available.”
Toten said the water quality also needs to be addressed. “The people deserve to be heard and they deserve a fair answer. If the water hasn’t been tested in a few years I believe it’s fair to say it needs to be done. Whatever is done, the city needs to show the citizens that the water is okay to drink.”
Lowering taxes might be one of the trickier feats for a councilman to achieve, Toten said. “With Anna growing like it is, lowering taxes enough for citizens to see a difference would be difficult. Now, I could see us maintaining or leveling out the tax rate. But with the value of our houses going up, taxes go up as well. We need more of a commercial and industrial tax base to help our tax revenue.”
One of the items that all the candidates agree on is to get involved. The election is on May 5, and residents of Anna can vote at the Anna City Hall administration building, located at 111 North Powell Parkway.