Guest Commentary: Linda Harvell

Editor’s Note: The Battalion recently offered all the candidates running for public office in the cities of Bryan and College Station as well as Brazos County the opportunity to submit guest opinion pieces. We will be publishing the articles of those who accepted that offer daily between Oct. 26 and Election Day.

Linda Harvell is a local small business owner and a candidate for Place 3 on the City Council of College Station in the 2020 general election on Nov. 3.

Howdy,

My name is Linda Harvell, and I’m running for re-election to the College Station City Council, Place 3.

My ties to Texas A&M go back decades to when my dad was stationed at A&M to head up the ROTC’s Tank Battalion Unit. We never left. I was one of the first girls at A&M and my three daughters have graduated from A&M. I have two granddaughters who are enrolled now, one of whom will be graduating this December and will be pursuing her graduate degree. 

I can see Kyle Field from my front door, as my late husband and I renovated my childhood home, which my family purchased in 1954. Ninety-five percent of my neighbors are students, and I have always had an excellent relationship with them. They feel comfortable coming to me for help, even if it’s in the middle of the night because something has scared them.

I’m the only City Council member (and candidate) who lives in a predominately student-occupied neighborhood, so I have an excellent understanding of the challenges and opportunities they have residing off-campus. I’m sharing this personal information as I feel it’s important that readers know that “I walk the talk” in supporting our young residents.

The student community is vital to the City of College Station as they are our largest population. Not only do they contribute financially to the city through the sales tax they generate by eating in our restaurants, shopping and visiting our entertainment venues, but they are also a large percentage of our workforce. 

My platform is simple: focus on helping our businesses keep their doors open, getting our residents back to work and providing financial stability for the City of College Station through diligent and focused management of our projects and resources.

We need to continue to advocate for our neighborhoods while promoting smart and sustainable growth.

I’ve received The Eagle’s endorsement for re-election. In their comments, they wrote, “Harvell ran as an advocate for neighborhoods, and she has lived up to that billing.” 

“She also was instrumental in restoring a soccer net in Anderson Park — removed because city staff didn’t think it was necessary. Soccer players approached Harvell for help. That may seem like a small issue, but it was extremely important to many College Station residents.” (Just as a side note, that was a group of international A&M students who came to me for help). And “Harvell has the experience and the record on the council to show her effectiveness.”

When we can hold public meetings again, I am an advocate of inviting A&M students to join us in the various workshops that the City hosts regarding issues that might directly impact them. It’s vital that we’re all on the same page and that the information they receive is accurate and not distorted. There’s no doubt COVID-19 has changed many lives — for our residents of all ages. 

As we wind up 2020 and head into 2021, it will be critical to have consistency with our elected officials for the City of College Station. Quite frankly, with so many of our businesses impacted by the pandemic, people out of work and reduced budgets, we don’t have time to start over, which would happen if you don’t re-elect the current Council members. 

I am a small business owner – I own the Texas Trading Post. I have a 3,000 square foot two-story warehouse where I keep all of my inventory and pack up my online orders. The Texas Trading Post has been voted “Best of the Brazos Valley for Online Shopping” for eight of the last nine years.

The Prenatal Clinic recently recognized me as one of their “You’re the Tops” honoree. This honor was a result of the service to my community and as an elected official.

In The Eagle’s Reader’s Choice Awards, for the last three years, I have been honored as one of the Top Three “Best Public Servant/Elected Officials” in the Brazos Valley.

 I have a very extensive resume of my involvement with the City of College Station on my website. I feel it’s essential that you know that I am deeply committed to our city, which is reflective of my service to our community. Please check out my website for more information about who I am, a more in-depth look at my platform and why I am running for re-election.

In closing, I ask for your vote for re-election to the College Station City Council, Place 3.

Thank you so much, and Gig ‘em!

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