Wright

Candidate for College Station City Council William Wright addresses the student body as he seeks election to City Council Seat 4.

Editor’s Note: Every election cycle, The Battalion invites local candidates to make their case to students.

What does the future of College Station look like? That was the question I asked myself before I decided to enter the race for College Station City Council Place 4. What could College Station be in the next 30 years? I use 30 years as the marker because I have lived in this city my entire life. I have grown up with College Station. I’ve seen where it was and want to help lead it where it can go. I grew up an Aggie attending Bonfire and football games, making trips to campus to do research on school projects and attending performances at Rudder Theatre. I’m the proudest member of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Class of 2011. I’m not too far removed from being a student myself and am well aware of the weight of the issues facing students today. You need help with housing. You need more reliable transportation city-wide. I needed those things, too. It’s time we make a change.

As a candidate for city council, I’m focused on “Supporting our Neighborhoods, Building our Businesses and Creating our Future.”

A neighborhood is the close community you live in. We need to make everywhere a better place to live. I’d like to find a way for the city to work with the university to have a vetted list of apartment complexes that best represent the Aggie code. I do not tolerate landlords that lie, cheat or steal from our students. It wasn’t fair when I was in school, and it isn’t fair now. As a student, you should be focused on your studies, not mold, insect infestations or whether you’ll be nickel-and-dimed out of a security deposit.

I propose making College Station the city of the future — today. We need to make tough decisions to ensure our continued success. Our city has exploded in growth within the last decade. It will continue to grow into the future. We need to put density in places that make the most sense and develop areas that cater to the young professional. The future of College Station is a city with a diverse, dynamic economy that encourages graduates to stay. I want Aggies to graduate and choose College Station. I’m tired of seeing great minds leave for larger cities. There are world class ideas that come from our world class university, and it’s time to keep them in a world class city. To do that, we need businesses that cater to all kinds of graduates. 

But it’s more than just employment. I work as a production supervisor and have over thirty employees that report to me daily. The bulk of them are students. I always ask upon graduation, what it would take to keep them in College Station and overwhelmingly the answer is: experiences. We need more things for young families and young professionals to do. We need to make better use of our established outdoor venues. We need to make our robust art scene more appealing. We need more pockets of density like the Midtown Development, an area of mixed use, single family homes, apartment complexes and businesses that will serve the residents of that community. 

Along with that, College Station needs to be a city that fully embraces mass transit. We need to build bus stops that are covered, safe and on police beats. We need wider sidewalks for changing transportation needs. You should be able to get anywhere in the city safely and quickly by bus, bike, scooter or walking. 

Most importantly, though, I am a representative for all. There have been stark battle lines drawn in College Station the last decade between neighborhoods and developers. These battles are being waged by the previous generation, not ours. It’s time to move on for the sake of a better College Station. We need to find compromise and work together to make the city the best place to live for new or established residents. As a student, you are a resident, and I’d like to foster more engagement overall. I propose that we hold a city council meeting on campus at least twice a year. As easy as it is to attend right across the street at city hall, it’s a gesture of good will that I think is important. At a recent Planning and Zoning meeting, we welcomed a college class to sit. It was a great experience for all and fostered discussions on how the city operates. 

The time is now. I’ll be a voice for the future while showing respect for our past. College Station has a storied history that is closely tied with Texas A&M. Let’s take that relationship to the next level and into the future. 

We can start today with a vote for William Wright for College Station City Council Place 4

 

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