Voting in the May 4 Sulphur Springs City Council and special charter proposition elections continues with early voting from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, April 29-30. Election Day voting will be from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, May 4. All voting in city elections is being conducted in the second floor conference room at City Hall.
Voters are asked to consider approving 13 changes to the Sulphur Springs Home Rule Charter and to select one of the two candidates listed on the ballot in each of the three council races.
To help voters who have yet to cast their ballots learn a little more about the six council candidates, KSST asked each to provide information about themselves and their candidacy, including their reasons for seeking a seat on Sulphur Springs City Council. Those responses are shared here, in ballot order by Place.
City Council Place 4 Candidates
Name, place sought: Freddie Taylor, Candidate for City Council, Place 4
Family Information: My wife is Rita V. Taylor, who is employed with Sulphur Springs ISD. We have 5 children, Erica (30), Ethan (28), Mia (26), Ayana (24) and Imani (18).
Occupation, brief job description: Store Manager at VF Outlet for nearly twenty-five (25) years
Education, training, special skills, experience: Education, training, special skills, experience: Attended Troy University – Troy, Alabama and received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business Administration, with a minor in Criminal Justice.
Why are you seeking this office? It has been an honor and a privilege to serve on council in the great City of Sulphur Springs. I believe that my faith, commitment, integrity, and experience have afforded me the opportunity to assist in the growth, development and success of our community. My objective is simply to continue the progress that has been made thus far. Our City is headed in a positive direction, and I want the opportunity to ensure that Sulphur Springs continues to grow and prosper.
Top areas of concern, need or challenges in the office you are seeking, and your plan to address them? Any issue that is presented to Council is always of great importance. Some specific areas of emphasis include continuing the improvement of infrastructures and business expansion; repairing more streets effectively; and upgrading local parks by collaborating with the community. It is my obligation to ensure that tax payer’s dollars are utilized in a manner that gives the city the biggest return on its investments. I believe that my work experience and the ability to work well with others, has equipped me to make informed decisions to address the needs of the entire community.
What do you feel is most important for the public to know about you and your candidacy? When I was elected to City Council, I took an oath to serve ALL citizens of Sulphur Springs. I have no hidden agendas or an ax to grind. My desire is to continue to listen to the various concerns of our citizens and make decisions to meet those needs. My parents raised me in a Christian environment and taught me the value of service and hard work. These are qualities that I have applied to own life and family. As I have shared before, Christ is my true role model of servanthood. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve…” (Mark 10:45) It is sincerely my desire to serve with the heart of Christ.
Thank you for support and I would greatly appreciate your vote.
Name, place sought: My name is Reiko Alexander. I am running for place 4 on City Council. I was born and raised in Sulphur Springs.
Family Information: My parents are the late Cleveland and Wanda Alexander, who passed away in 2009 and 2001, respectively. I am blessed with three wonderful children, Shaquille, China and Iverson who is currently serving in the military.
Occupation, brief job description/education, training, special skills, experience: I have more than ten plus years of executive experience in management, accounting, finance, purchasing and customer service.
Why are you seeking this office? A few years ago I attended council meetings and it gave me some concerns that the entire city was not being represented. We have a great city and it’s a great place to raise kids but there’s just not a lot to offer our youth. I seen the problem and this made me want to be part of the solution.
Top areas of concern, need or challenges in the office you are seeking, and your plan to address them? Areas of concern: I would love to see a future recreation center developed for our youth. I think a crime watch program should be re-started and active in all the neighborhoods, so that the community can work with the local law enforcement agency and build a good relationship. Everyone needs to feel safe in any community that they live in Sulphur Springs. In addition, make sure our Police Dept. and Fire Dept. is appropriately staffed, fully funded and those public servants paid an income that is comparable to the surrounding cities of our size. I will also work to ensure that all city employees are paid a decent wage, treated with respect and have benefits, so they can have a peace of mind to care for their families. I would like to see the city and county work together on projects that can overlap and benefit all the residents of Hopkins County, such as a county/city animal shelter.
What do you feel is most important for the public to know about you and your candidacy? Most importantly I feel it is important that the public understands that I’m not running to gain anything, I am running to be a voice for those who don’t have a voice. I am running to stand up for equality for everyone. I am far from perfect but I will give my all to do what’s best for everyone.
City Council Place 5 Candidates
Name, place sought: My name is Jeff Sanderson and I am excited and proud to announce my candidacy for City Council, Place 5 in the upcoming May 4th election. I was born and raised in this county and have lived most of my life as a resident of Sulphur Springs.
Family Information: I am the son of Opal and the late Jim Sanderson and the grandson of the late Shirley and T.L. Sanderson. My wife is Anitha and she is the Chief Nursing Officer at Christus Mother Frances Hospital – Sulphur Springs. Together we have two children: Allison Miesse and Hunter Smith along with five grandchildren.
Occupation, brief job description/education, training, special skills, experience: This year I will celebrate 20 years serving the community as a critical care paramedic with Hopkins County EMS. I serve as Ambulance Strike Team Leader, Ambulance Staging Manager and AMBUS Coordinator for Texas Emergency Medical Task Force, Region 4.
I am proud to say that I have been endorsed by the Sulphur Springs Firefighters Association, Hopkins County Professional Firefighters Association and for the first time in city council election history publicly endorsed by the Sulphur Springs Law Enforcement Association.
Why are you seeking this office? My goal in seeking this office is to offer support to this great community and be a voice for all citizens regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, or socio-economic status. We made great strides in the last election to change the face of city council. If elected, I will work diligently for the people to bring new ideas to the table, as well as continue with the current efforts of our city council for revitalization, promotion of business growth, and making improvements in our city.
Top areas of concern, need or challenges in the office you are seeking, and your plan to address them? Top areas of concern are: 1. Ensuring safety of the citizens through management and oversight of city emergency resources (fire & law-enforcement); 2. General, park and street improvements to ALL areas of the city; 3. Create (and maintain) a city that is economically stable through growth and development; 4. Ensure city council business is conducted in a manner that is fair and just for ALL citizens.
What do you feel is most important for the public to know about you and your candidacy? What I feel is most important for the public to know about me and my candidacy is I am an honest man…I want to be a voice for ALL people…and my heart is in making Sulphur Springs the best it can be…a place we can all be proud to call home.
Name, place sought: Emily Glass, Reelection to Place 5
Family information: My family has been in Hopkins County since the 1890s. My husband, Garrett, and I have three kids, ages 7, 5 and 5 months.
Occupation, brief job description: VP-Compliance Officer for Alliance Bank
Education, training, special skills, experience: After graduating from Sulphur Bluff, I attended Texas A&M University-Commerce for both my bachelor and master’s degrees. I have served on city council for the previous six years. Additionally, I have served on the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, as a member of the United Way Budget Allocations Committee, as President for the Sulphur Bluff Scholarship Foundation Board, the Veterans Ball Committee, as secretary for the Hopkins County Adult Leadership Class, as numerous officer positions in the Dial Study Club, on the Finance Committee of Wesley United Methodist Church, as President for the Texas A&M University-Commerce Hopkins County Alumni Association and as an executive member of the Ark-Tex Council of Governments. I believe you only truly learn the needs of a city when you serve that city.
Why are you seeking this office? I believe that we are not entitled to a great place to live. We must work to make it great. I believe in being a good steward of the taxpayers’ funds by seeking grants, as well. I am committed to not only attending meetings, but I am committed to showing up informed of the items on the agenda. I do my due diligence and research issues versus making a quick decision.
Top areas of concern, need or challenges in the office you are seeking, and your plan to address them? I recognize that both time and money are finite resources, and it is vital that we are good stewards of both. I plan to continue to make myself readily available so that I am able to more fully understand an issue. I also plan to continue supporting grant applications to help spread our funds more.
What do you feel is most important for the public to know about you and your candidacy? I have learned many of the needs of Sulphur Springs through my many years of service to this community. I make factually-based decisions as opposed to feelings-based decisions. I will always research an issue before coming to a conclusion.
City Council Place 6 Candidates
Name, place sought: My name is Doug Moore and I am running for Place 6 on the Sulphur Springs City Council.
Family information: I am married to Susan Gulley Moore, a retired teacher with the SSISD and 53 year resident of Sulphur Springs. We raised our two children Steve and Stacy Moore here. They still reside here along with our grandchildren Jolea Moore, Maverick Moore and Jett Moore.
Occupation, brief job description/education, training, special skills, experience: After graduating from Texas Tech University in 1975 with a degree in accounting I moved to Sulphur Springs. I have lived in Sulphur Springs for 43 year. I have worked as a CPA in private practice, as part owner of Buster Paving Company and Co-owner of Medicine Chest Pharmacies, a 29 store chain that we started here in Sulphur Springs and where we maintained, until my retirement, the corporate headquarters for our 600 employee company. I am currently retired from those endeavors. I have also served on Sulphur Springs Planning and Zoning Commission, multiple non-profit positions, for-profit boards and for the past year on the Sulphur Springs City Council and the Economic Development Corporation. I have been a member of First Baptist Church since 1975.
Why are you seeking this office? As a retired businessman and longtime resident, I want to use my experiences in business to help guide the City in the coming years. The City has a large budget and the need to properly utilize those funds. I want Sulphur Springs to continue becoming an even better place to live and raise families. We need input from all citizens to be the best that we can be. It doesn’t matter what you know if you’re not motivated by the right reasons. My desire is to truly serve the people to make this an even greater community than it already is.
Top areas of concern, need or challenges in the office you are seeking, and your plan to address them? The streets, water and sewer are a top priority. We have some water and sewer lines that are 100 years old. We can’t kick this problem into the future for the upcoming generations to worry about. The problem will only get worse if not addressed now. I also feel that we must strive to maintain good morale among our city employees. We have great employees and must strive to recognize and appreciate all they do, from the City Manager on down. We also need to find a way to generate more public interest in sharing good ideas. Everyone has different knowledge and experience and sharing that can only make us a better community.
What do you feel is most important for the public to know about you and your candidacy?
This community has been a great place for me and my family. I want to do what I can to make sure that all citizens of Sulphur Springs can make this same statement.
Name, place sought: Landon Thornton, Place 6
Family information: Mother: Jill Thornton, Father: Jody Thornton, Brother: Jarrett Thornton, Sister: Debra Thornton, Grandparents: Ed & Karen Thornton.
Occupation, brief job description: Student / Atwoods Hardware Department Manager
Education, training, special skills, experience: Sulphur Spring High School, Attending UT Tyler to continue my understanding of business and entreprenuership planning to graduate with an MBA.
Why are you seeking this office? As a young member of the community I see a growing need for the my generation to start taking a vested interest in our flourishing community that the current and previous generations have provided for us. It will soon be our job as young men and women to continue the growth and development that Sulphur Springs has enjoyed. I strongly believe that being on the city council doesn’t just mean going to meetings once a month but asking questions everyday, going to the job sites, and projects approved by the city council ensuring that what the council approves is being accomplished at the highest level for the citizens of Sulphur Springs.
What do you feel is most important for the public to know about you and your candidacy? Hello, my name is Landon Thornton, I am a proud Christian, runner, and citizen born and raised in Sulphur Springs. Today I seek to serve you on the City Council. I offer my strong conservative values that have helped guide me my entire life, along with my ability and love to find solutions to the problems that face me, and finally my aptitude to stand for what I believe in. Leadership like this I believe will help further the continued growth and development of our community. A community with strong values comes with the need for strong leadership! I pray that I may have your support support in this upcoming election. Thank you!