Home CELINA Meet the Celina City Council Candidates: May 1, 2021

Meet the Celina City Council Candidates: May 1, 2021

by Heather Reynolds

General Election: May 1, 2021

For more information on the election, please visit https://www.celina-tx.gov/174/Elections

Introducing your Celina City Council Candidates!

JAY PIERCE, PLACE 2

I have a strong passion for Celina, and I am humbled and excited to have the opportunity to serve on Celina City Council.  I believe that my resume of very diverse experiences (Army Combat Veteran, Businessman, Community Engagement, Family man) makes me uniquely qualified and allows me to take a holistic approach to problem solving and finding solutions. 

My passion for community involvement started with coaching my son’s flag football team for 3 seasons.  It was a great way to connect with different families across Celina.  I have been the HOA Board president for DC Ranch the past 3 years working with my fellow board members to create an inclusive, family friendly community and to protect property values.  I also served as a member of the Celina ISD Student Health Advisory Committee for 2 years. I expanded my community involvement to include strong engagement with our city through an appointment to the Celina Economic Development Corporation, which I’ve served on for the past 2.5 years.  I was also a member of the Celina Census 2020 Complete Count Committee this past year. 

One key priority for my term is to act as a liaison between the citizens and small businesses and the city.  I want to ensure that everyone’s voice is heard.  As a city official elected by the citizens, I want to support in addressing and finding resolution to issues brought to the Council by the citizens and small businesses.  Some potential options to address are to initiate community meetings in the different neighborhoods across Celina in which members of City Council can hear city resident concerns in a smaller setting which would allow for more dialogue.  Also, I would like to work to develop a small business committee comprised of small business owners to again allow the City Council members to hear concerns directly and discuss ways to collaborate on solutions.  Additionally, I believe the City is doing a lot of great things and works to engage the community.  However, I think there is an opportunity to establish more procedures and processes that would allow for greater transparency between the city and the citizens and increased community engagement.

When you move to a city, you are making a personal investment in that city, with your home and your family.  Whether you’ve lived here your whole life, 10 years, 3 years, or have just moved to Celina, I think we all have a shared passion for what Celina is and what we want it to be.  While growth is inevitable, I think we can manage it strategically with the input of all our citizens and businesses to ensure that we are working toward a shared image and successful future. Please follow me on Facebook at Jay Pierce for Celina City Council.

ANDY “HOP” HOPKINS, PLACE 3

Celina City Council

City of Celina – Finance Committee

Celina Chamber of Commerce – Board of Directors

First United Methodist Church – Church Council

Celina American Legion Post – Commander and Founding member

My wife Debbie and I feel so lucky to be able to live in Celina. It’s like no other community we’ve ever known.  While we all know there is tremendous growth happening now and much more on the way, Celina still has the charm and feel of a small town. I believe our historic downtown will be the centerpiece of the city for generations to come, and it serves as the heart and common bond for everyone in Celina. We can all be very proud of it.   

I have been very involved in the growth of Downtown, creating the Neighborhood Empowerment Zone (NEZ.)  This program allows downtown residents and businesses to get rebates on their impact fees when making renovations and new builds. It’s a win-win for the city and its merchants, because it encourages folks to take on these upgrade projects while helping them mitigate some of the costs.  One entire neighborhood, Celina Village, was built because the NEZ made it possible.  The NEZ led the way for the Downtown Tax Incremental Reinvestment Zone.  This is a tax reinvestment program that puts sales tax money back into downtown businesses.  It is very expensive to rehab old buildings and can be cost prohibitive to small business owners.  The TIRZ has been able to provide money to offset some of those large costs and encourage growth.  Many of the downtown businesses wouldn’t be there today if not for the Downtown TIRZ, which I helped create.

The Dallas Business Journal recently mentioned Celina’s amazing growth. Because there is 10 miles of the Tollway and Preston located in Celina (more than any other city,) we have all known for quite a while that major growth is coming our way.  That’s a positive thing for us, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t direct how that growth occurs.   WE CAN!  I am concerned about how the new neighborhoods will be laid out, and so I have directed the City Manager and Staff to work in ways to lower density in them.   Some of them have as much as 23 percent park and green space which include trails that are connected to other neighborhoods, which will give our city a more connected feel. Another way to lower density is by requiring developers to build alleys behind the smallest lots. This is now a standard piece of development agreements.

It’s been one of the great honors in my life to represent and serve the citizens of Celina as a member of our City Council.  I believe I am the best candidate to continue in this roll.  I bring solutions, a positive attitude and a servant’s heart to a city and people I love dearly. Elect me and I will continue to work hard and smart for the community I’m proud to call home. Please contact me on Facebook: @HopForCelina or at HopForCelina@yahoo.com.

LANFORD RODGERS, PLACE 3

My Platform:

  • First Responders
  • Control high water bills
  • Strategic Growth

I plan to focus on improving the work environment for our first responders and help them protect our citizens and our prosperous community. We as a city, must do our best to create a strong dependable community for them to lean on when they’re in need. The city has hired 22 officers in the past two years and lost 11. The men & women of CPD are overworked and understaffed. In addition, the fire department in the past two years hired eight staff and lost nine. Although I have never been a firefighter or paramedic, it’s clear to see they are slightly understaffed as well. First responders are vital to the heart of the city, especially a growing city such as Celina. If I’m elected, I will address the staffing issues and assist the new Police Chief along with the Fire Chief with the resources they need to acquire and maintain adequate numbers and good personnel.

I would like to lower some citizens’ water bills by removing the additional charge for a 1” diameter pipe in their household plumbing and to get our base and tier rates lower to compete with surrounding cities and towns.

I believe in strategic growth for the city. For example, Preston Rd is a major arterial and should be reserved for major future business’. The square has seen tremendous growth, but I believe growth should also include the other parts of the city especially the south end of Celina because if we build up this area in Celina, we can keep more tax dollars instead of the taxes going to the neighboring cities and help to build Celina into an economic powerhouse.

Differing from strategic growth, I don’t believe in eminent domain or annexation of a person’s property. In addition, I believe the city should not use the taxpayers money to acquire properties via eminent domain. If they do, the citizens should be able vote on it. Most of the residents have been a part of Celina for years and have helped make it a great community. As for annexation, the city should allow all people that had their properties annexed to obtain the right to cast their vote immediately. This will only apply to certain items that may impact them directly. Upon the passing of annexing their property, instead of making them wait until the official date of annexing we should give them the right to vote, thus not depriving them and the right to reject or approve things that impact them in the future since we already know they will be future residents.

Overall, my goal is to have the city and council to be transparent and a good steward of taxpayers’ money at all times. More oversight on city manager’s spending on severance packages and any other single matter with a certain dollar amount. Not to impede his job, but make him be held accountable.

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