Denton Matters City Council Candidate Interviews: Mayor, Gerard Hudspeth

Question 1: When asked about advancing inclusion and protecting civil rights, a common answer recently given by candidates is a pledge to “meet with local leaders.” What specific plans do you have to meet the needs of our diverse community? What have you done prior to this election to advance these causes?

Response:

I completely understand what it is like to be discriminated against. I am against all discriminatory policies or actions. I would continue to support and draft policies that make everyone feel safe from discriminatory practices.

Question 2: Did you support the City’s mask ordinance? Yes or No. What in your opinion would be your responsibility, as a city official, in protecting Denton’s citizens from COVID19 or similar threats?

Response:

I support residents wearing masks in public as a means to mitigate the spread of COVID. My family and I were wearing masks in public before the ordinance was voted on. I did not vote in favor of the mask ordinance. Before the government removes individuals liberties, I favored an education program to encourage residents to wear a mask in public.

Question 3: Council Members pitch ideas for initiatives to have city staff research. At your first work session, after this election, what will be your first pitch to help the citizens of Denton?

Response:

Prior to being sworn in as Mayor, I’ll meet with city department heads, council members, business leaders, and community leaders to listen to their top priorities and challenges they face. I’ll be seeking where we can work together and use it as an opportunity to learn. Then I’ll form my initiative plan that achieves my campaign goals while being fiscally responsible. My overriding guidelines will be:

Protect Our Quality of Life

Support Local Business

Tax Relief

Strengthen Our Neighborhoods

Question 4: Our City will be facing a budget crisis due to reduced tax revenue. What, specifically, will you do to bring home recovery funds to assist Denton residents and businesses who are struggling with Covid-19 related economic challenges?

Response:

As Mayor, I would take a very active role in ensuring Denton’s public health. Public health is a core responsibility of the City Council, per the city charter. As Mayor Pro-Tem, I have been actively taking action to combat Covid-19 from a policy perspective. I would do the same as Mayor. The federal government stepped up to allocate funds for our local businesses and our citizens, and I am grateful for that support. It saved jobs and put food on the table for thousands. The State of Texas partnered with the City to serve the elderly and with state-assisted living facilities. The City has a great working relationship with Governor Abbott. The County assisted with local business and disseminated the Cares funds in with transparency and professionalism.

Question 5: What in your history/record qualifies you, above your challengers, for the seat you are seeking election?

Response:

My diverse experience makes me uniquely qualified. I’m proud to have the support of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents. They know my record of bringing people together to solve problems. For any council to function, you must achieve a consensus to move our City forward. That means respectfully listening to opposing views, finding common ground, and then taking action.

Highlights of current civic involvement/accomplishments:

  • Denton Councilmember, District 1
  • Denton Mayor Pro-Tem
  • Kiwanis
  • Mentor Denton volunteer

Question 6: The DEC Net projected Income is in the Red year over year and citizens have been informed that our energy rates will go up as a result. What are your plans to help resident ratepayers keep costs lower? Do you have any ideas or plans in place to assist with this?

Response:

The Denton Energy Center is a key component of Denton’s 100% renewable energy plan, and I support that goal. The current policies have allowed the council to reduce rates. As Mayor, I will work with the council and staff to continue to innovate and implement policies that lower the citizens of Denton’s’ taxes and utility rates.

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