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.
Craig Regan is a small business adviser and candidate for Place 5 on the City Council of College Station in the 2020 general election on Nov. 3.
Election Day is nearly here and in College Station that does not just mean presidential or congressional elections, but municipal as well. Now I could give you a boogie man to hate, as some other candidates have done. Or offer vague platitudes of fiscal stability while still admitting that further taxation will be needed. This is good politics, no doubt. However, I think we need to take a break from all this and remember one thing — facts matter. It means providing answers not just platitudes, because in our republic you have to face up to facts. Evidence speaks for itself because it is made public. And so let the facts be made public.
We have the highest debt for our population in the state, and it’s scheduled to grow by another quarter billion over the next three years according to Moody’s Credit Report. Now you will notice this is not hyperlinked. That is because I paid for this report out of my own pocket ($250) and it is barred to those that do not pay. No other candidate did this. So with half a population that does not live here or generate its own wealth here, this will only force taxes to increase and take even more money out of the private market. Why should you care? Because most of you have jobs. If people in our local economy have less money to spend that means less businesses and thus less jobs. You pay for this debt in more ways than some care to admit.
Neither of my opponents have put forward ideas on how to deal with this. They simply ignore it and move on and try to offer you special treatment or promises. I offer a way, a savings bond, that gives you (or your parents) a utility and/or tax credit and pays you interest back with principal. We can then refinance and redirect our debt meant to leave, to debt meant to stay. This means wealthier residents with a wealthier economy. They offer you deflection.
I offer a partnership between our city and nonprofits — a way to offer a more consistent way for them to fundraise while not spending new money by offering a redirection of current funds already allocated. I offer a way to review our municipal codes over the next four years and seek to eliminate those that allow other companies to have an unfair advantage over others. Ever wonder why your internet connection never seems to get better? See municipal code, Sec. 34-35. This forces those that would compete to spend millions more than the first company did on sidewalk reconstruction for cable. This all but prices them out of the market. I offer a way to diversify our economy so instead of hoping for those tips at the restaurant (that just closed?) or picking up extra hours at the register, you may have a job that pays you a regular and respectful wage.
I offer incentivizing good behavior in neighborhoods. I would ensure that neighborhoods communicate with their neighbors (renters and students alike) and not merely stand separated. I would improve our condition using fact-based analysis and, more critically, action. I would not offer vague promises of student housing closer to campus when the most recent one failed. Do not give in and sell your vote with a vague promise that has no facts to support it.
I would find the threads that divide us and cut them loose, and strengthen the threads that bind us together. This means improving our model of a city, not trying to pretend we are something we are not. If you want to know specifically what I mean, you can visit my Facebook page. I have been, by far, the most detailed and policy driven candidate and trying to squeeze all my policy ideas into 800 words is unfair to you.
Remember when you go to vote, do not vote like you are a student or as if I am trying to buy you off with platitudes. I would ensure equal access to housing. I would allow businesses to move here that allow you to provide a path to proper employment. This does not just benefit you but the city — our city. I have no special offers to make you except one: I will be a councilperson that advocates for success for our city, not small warring factions. This allows you to move here at 18, graduate at 22 or 23 and join in an effort to ensure the place you live in and the place you leave behind is better than you left it or found it. I do not ask for your vote because you are a student but because you are a resident and citizen of College Station.
My name is Craig Regan, candidate for College Station City Council, Place 5 and I would appreciate your consideration.