Transparency, affordable housing, and the cost of living in Brenham were just a few of the topics addressed by candidates for the Brenham City Council at Wednesday’s Candidates Forum at Brenham National Bank, hosted by KWHI.
Each of the six candidates in the contested city council races were in attendance to answer questions submitted by the public, though members of the general public were not in attendance due to COVID-19.
One of the questions faced by candidates was what their opinion was on the outsourcing of city sanitation services to Brannon Industrial Group, and whether the city would ever consider taking services back. Leah Cook, candidate for At-Large Position 6 on the council, said she is in support of the current system, but would consider reevaluating it.
Candidates were also asked if they agreed with recent comments from City Manager James Fisher saying that the Brenham Fire Department is struggling to transition to a full-time paid department. Ward 1 incumbent Keith Herring said the city has had difficulty keeping a strong force of volunteer firefighters.
When candidates were asked about their current relationship with Brenham ISD and how the council can help the school district, Ward 1 challenger Shannan Canales said she has a strong personal connection with the district, and that it is vital for the city to support local schools however it can.
Another question for candidates was what they will do to grow the median wage in Brenham. At-Large Position 6 candidate Albert Buchanan said the city needs to find ways to incentivize and offer options to incoming businesses.
The topic of affordable housing was frequently addressed at the forum. At-Large Position 5 incumbent Clint Kolby said there is a great need for affordable housing, and noted he was the lone vote in favor of the recently proposed Sandy Point Housing, Ltd. project on Pecan Street.
At-Large Position 5 challenger Allan Colvin said the term “affordable housing” is not a bad word, and work needs to be done to ensure that more people can be homeowners.
Also in attendance at the forum was Atwood Kenjura, although he did not take questions as he is running unopposed for the Ward 3 council position.
KWHI will host a second Candidates Forum on Wednesday, April 14th for the candidates in the Brenham School Board race. That forum will be held at 5:30 p.m., also at Brenham National Bank.
Early voting begins April 19th, and Election Day is May 1st.