Sunday, May 26, 2024

Meet the candidates running for Walnut Creek SUD board

Posted

SPRINGTOWN — The election next month will bring two new faces to the Walnut Creek Special Utility District board of directors.

The current board members whose seats are up for re-election — Vice President Al Garrett and former President Frank Henderson — are stepping down from their positions. In their absence on the ballot, four challengers are running for election, but only two of them can win a spot on the board.

Starting as the Water Supply Corporation in 1962, Walnut Creek SUD provides water to customers in the northeastern corner of Parker County as well as parts of Wise County. The district is governed by a group of five board members who make decisions related to infrastructure and district policies. They also review the SUD’s budget. Board members have staggered terms, and elections are held every two years.

Election Day is Saturday, May 4, and early voting runs Monday, April 22 through Tuesday, April 30.

The Tri-County Reporter asked all the candidates vying for a seat on the Walnut Creek SUD board to tell us about themselves and their goals. Check out their responses (in alphabetical order by last name) below:

Name: Robin Corder

Occupation: Quality associate in the oil and gas industry

In 100 words or less, tell us about your education: My educational journey has been a transformative experience, transitioning from high school to pursuing an associate degree in college.

In 100 words or less, tell us about your community involvement: As a committed volunteer with The ARC of Tarrant County/Our Special Children for more than a decade, my community involvement has been deeply gratifying. Working at food pantries and the local women's shelter has granted me invaluable experiences, shaping my understanding of compassion, resilience and the strength found in unity. Witnessing the impact of my contributions on those facing adversities has instilled in me a profound sense of purpose and empathy. Through these endeavors, I have learned to appreciate the power of collective action and the transformative potential of selfless service in building a more inclusive and supportive community.

In 100 words or less, tell us about your family: Moving to Springtown in August 2020 brought a mix of excitement and trepidation. While not a lifelong resident, having family here created a sense of familiarity and belonging. As time passed, the community's warmth and charm quickly made this place feel like home. The scenic beauty, close-knit neighborhood and welcoming locals have made a lasting impression on me. The decision to stay here was solidified by the sense of community and the potential for growth and connection. Embracing this new chapter in Springtown fills me with gratitude and anticipation for the future ahead.

In 300 words or less, describe why you are running for a place on the Walnut Creek SUD board of directors, and what experience you are bringing to the position.

My candidacy for the water board: As I contemplate my decision to run for a seat on the water board, I am propelled by a vision of ushering in a new generation of dedicated and empathetic board members. My primary motivation stems from a deep-rooted desire to champion customer care and foster a sense of community engagement within the water board's policies and practices.

Central to my candidacy is the core belief that customers are at the heart of the water board's mission. I aim to cultivate an environment where customers feel valued, respected and empowered. By ensuring that customers' voices are not only heard but also actively listened to during board meetings, I aspire to create a platform where their concerns, feedback and suggestions hold significant weight in the decision-making processes.

Moreover, transparency and open communication lie at the crux of my proposed reforms. The community has the inherent right to be informed about any potential issues within the water department, ranging from faulty equipment to technical glitches with wireless transmitters. By fostering a culture of openness and accountability, I strive to instill trust and confidence among community members in the water board's operations.

In conclusion, my candidacy for the water board signifies a commitment to instigating positive change and cultivating a customer-centric ethos within the board's framework. By spearheading a transformative approach grounded in empathy, engagement, and transparency, I aspire to lay the foundation for a more inclusive and responsive water board that prioritizes the well-being and interests of its customers and community at large.

In 300 words or less, what goals do you have that you feel will help serve Walnut Creek SUD customers?

  1. **Improve communication**: Enhance communication channels with customers through informative newsletters, social media updates, website notifications and prompt responses to queries or concerns. Regular communication keeps customers informed about services, plans and any disruptions.
  2. **Enhance customer service**: Strive to provide outstanding customer service by being responsive, empathetic and knowledgeable. Train staff to handle customer inquiries efficiently and courteously and implement systems for quick issue resolution.
  3. **Ensure water quality**: Maintain high water quality standards by regularly testing the water supply, adhering to regulatory guidelines and promptly addressing any quality issues that may arise. Communicate proactively with customers about water quality reports and related information.
  4. **Infrastructure maintenance and upgrades**: Ensure regular maintenance of the water infrastructure to prevent disruptions in service. Plan strategically for upgrades and expansions to meet the growing needs of the community and enhance the overall efficiency of the water system.
  5. **Billing transparency**: Ensure transparent and accurate billing processes. Educate customers about their bills, provide clear explanations for charges and make billing information easily accessible. Address any billing discrepancies promptly and courteously.

Name: David DeSoto

Occupation: Retired military, retired law enforcement, currently part-time private security

In 100 words or less, tell us about your education:

HS graduate

BA counseling psychology

MA management

Ph.D. (ABD) organizational leadership

In 100 words or less, tell us about your community involvement: This would be my significant entrance into community involvement as I have only moved back to this area in 2019.

In 100 words or less, tell us about your family: I am married with three grown daughters and one grown son.

In 300 words or less, describe why you are running for a place on the Walnut Creek SUD board of directors, and what experience you are bringing to the position.

I am just another of hundreds of customers that continually get sub-standard service and decided to act in some way. Like everyone else in this situation, there is little else one can do. We constantly have no water, low water, boil notices and various stages of water restrictions at times of year when that should not be expected — like now. We also have frequent incorrect billing due to faulty meters; sometimes by as much as 1,000. The water company continues to agree to service more and more homes when they are unable to adequately serve their current customer base. This is either being done due to moneymaking as a result of conflict of interest or incompetence or both. I do not have the specific answers because I am not exposed to details unless I get elected, but it is clear that some things must end. That would include accepting any more new home service and correcting the repetitive incorrect billing and faulty meters. I believe that when a government entity has a monopoly — they have a special duty to perform above and beyond, not below, as we see now. We have no other choices for water, so we expect, and should expect, to get outstanding service.

In 300 words or less, what goals do you have that you feel will help serve Walnut Creek SUD customers?

(a) Put a pause on accepting any more new construction service.

(b) Repair/replace faulty meters and/or send out readers for old school manual read meters that actually work.

(c) Hold builders responsible for water main breakages that seem to happen frequently. It is my understanding that these expenses are absorbed by the current paying customers (the water company).

(e) Compensate customers that spend days without water and/or significant expense buying bottled water due to boil notices and undrinkable water.

(f) Establish sufficient water sources to adequately serve the customer base and make staged water restrictions the unusual rather than the norm.

Name: Mark Green

Occupation: Mechanical maintenance supervisor at Whip Industries

In 100 words or less, tell us about your education: Graduated from Richland High School

In 100 words or less, tell us about your community involvement: I am an active member of First Baptist Church Springtown and participate in community outreach programs through the church. 

In 100 words or less, tell us about your family: I have been married to my wife, Glenda Green, for 26 years and together we have three wonderful daughters, two amazing sons-in-law, one precious granddaughter and a new grandson.

In 300 words or less, describe why you are running for a place on the Walnut Creek SUD board of directors, and what experience you are bringing to the position.

As a former Walnut Creek SUD employee, I am experienced in the SUD operations.

In 300 words or less, what goals do you have that you feel will help serve Walnut Creek SUD customers?

As Springtown continues to grow, I hope to help better serve the community with expansion needs, staying ahead of the growth, while still providing high quality water as well as services and reasonable prices. I will support the public by keeping an open line of communication and positive attitude while continuing to expand my knowledge of the water system.

Name: Bill Roesicke

Occupation: Retired in 2016 after 39-1/2 years from G.D./ Lockheed Martin

In 100 words or less, tell us about your education: High school, military aircraft training, certified working with industrial gases and contaminated chemicals.

In 100 words or less, tell us about your community involvement: Served as board member on Springtown Park, Springtown Chamber Wild West Festival volunteer.

In 100 words or less, tell us about your family: Born and raised in Springtown. I'm very proud to have served my country for four years in the U.S. Army including a tour to Vietnam as crew chief/gunner on a helicopter. After the service I lived in Brock for four years and returned to Springtown in 1983. My wife, Lee, and I have been married for 40 years and we have two daughters that live in this area and eight grandchildren, six great-grandbabies. Lee and I are members of First Baptist Church of Springtown. We both love our church, family and community.

In 300 words or less, describe why you are running for a place on the Walnut Creek SUD Board of Directors, and what experience you are bringing to the position.

I was part of a department/group that managed all the chemicals/hazardous waste from the factory and coordinated with outside vendors for the disposal of waste per EPA guidelines.

I am concerned about the future condition of Lake Bridgeport due to the growth of this area that depends on WCSUD for water. The everyday stress on the pumps, pipes, tanks, meters, not to mention the employees that have to manage the system in all types of weather.

I feel I have the experience to be part of the direction that WCSUD will need to take for the future. 

In 300 words or less, what goals do you have that you feel will help serve Walnut Creek SUD customers?

Work with improving and extending the utilization of equipment. Lowering variable operating costs. Protecting and preserving environmental resources, just not during stressful conditions.