The voters have already begun making their decisions on who ultimately will help build the blueprint for Bryan's future. Incumbent Jason Bienski and former City Councilman Mike Southerland sit down with News 3 to elaborate on their future plans for the City of Bryan, if elected and how it would improve the lives of residents.
Incumbent Jason Bienski and former City Councilman Mike Southerland both agree growth in the City of Bryan brings forth many positive opportunities for residents; however, their strategy in how to attract new residents to the area is where the two partly disagree.
Bienski and Southerland both side with the idea that the City's aging infrastructure must be addressed, especially sidewalks that cross school routes. Although it's something Bienski says is being worked on right now, both said it will remain an ongoing project.
Southerland said one thing in particular will attract new residents.
"There are not enough parks," said Southerland. People have to use there's a field people go to in the county to play soccer there just isn't enough space for them."
Bienski said although he does agree that parks and amenities are an important factor in attracting new residents, he said it's merely a piece of an entire equation.
"You grow and expand your businesses here in town, you expand your tax base you bring new businesses in town, retail establishments come to town, then you have new rooftops that come to town," explained Bienski.
When it comes to economic growth, Bienski said he wants to focus on encouraging developers to build more homes ranging in the $200,000 to $400,000 value range.
Instead of focusing on incentives, Southerland said we should learn from College Station's success. He said he hopes it'll bridge the gap between the starter and higher end homes in Bryan, providing residents more options in all walks of life.
Southerland said when it comes to economic success; we should look to our neighbors in College Station.
"We have to do a similar thing here and it's not just paying Wal-Mart of somebody else to come in to our town; it's by luring the public to build their houses here."
Southerland also said if elected, he will hold meetings every quarter open for all residents.
Southerland served on City Council for six and a half years; Bienski served on the council for five years; the last three years as Mayor.
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