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Candidate Profiles: Sulphur Springs City Council Place 1

The early voting in the Dec. 15 runoff election for Sulphur Springs City Council Place 1 is under way at Sulphur Springs Municipal Building, 201 North Davis St. As of Friday afternoon, only 20 of the 9,695 registered voters in Sulphur Springs had cast ballots in the runoff election.

Early voting by personal appearance continues from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 7, Dec. 9 and Dec. 11; and from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 8 and Thursday, Dec. 10. Election Day is Tuesday, Dec. 15. Voting will be conducted from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. All voting is in the conference room on the second floor of the Municipal Building.

Sulphur Springs voters are asked to select one of the two candidates, Mark Bradley or Jay W. Julian, for Place 1 on the ballot.

To help voters learn a little more about both Sulphur Springs City Council Place 1 candidates, KSST asked each to complete a candidate profile prior to the election, providing information about themselves and their candidacy, including their reasons for seeking the Place 1 seat on Sulphur Springs City Council. Candidates responses are shared here, in ballot order by Place.

Mark Bradley

Name and office sought: Mark Bradley, City Council Seat 1

Family information: I am a married man. Married to Gloria Bradley. We have been married for 41 years and have four children, Gavin, Angela, Graeme and Leigh-Ann and three grandchildren Kayla, Devon and Finzelle.

Occupation, brief job description: President and Chief Executive Officer of “A2Z Contractors”. And in a partnership B Builders

Education, training, special skills, experience: Lived in South Africa for the first 45 years of my life. Immigrated to the United States of America Legally in June 2000. I am a CPA (CA SA) equivalent. Trained at KPMG. Been in Property Developer partnerships, owned my own business and have been employed as Chief Financial Officer’s for most of my life. Have been part of constructing new buildings and houses, renovated old historic buildings with extreme care and recycled and repurposed buildings to create better use for them.
Immigrated to the USA years 20 years ago and worked in Orange County and Los Angeles as a Chief Financial Officer for the first ten years after immigrating, before purchasing my own company.
Currently, we are general contractors: “A2Z-Contractors” and working on property development B Builders and A composting business. We strive to do excellent work in everything that we do.

Why are you seeking this office? The people and Town Council of Sulphur Springs have done a wonderful job developing the downtown area, and recruiting new businesses to our area, but there is still a lot of work to do.
I have a vision to create Sulphur Springs as the Garden Town of north East Texas It will be the Hallmark Town where everyone will want to be.
We can take what has been started by the excellent people of this Town and make it grow, so that it can me more prosperous, successful and beautiful than ever before.
Imagine Broadway Street, Church Street, College Street and the others with Sweeping sidewalks, manicured lawns and gardens. Overhead lighting sporting spring succulent baskets and Christmas wreaths in the winter.
I want to give back to society and especially the people of Sulphur Springs. Many houses are derelict. The owners as well as the tenants have lost interest in their assets. Let’s help give the people of Sulphur Springs pride of ownership, where everyone can feel safe and feel great in their surroundings, so that Sulphur Springs and all its people will prosper.

What do you feel are the top areas of concern, need or challenges in the office you are seeking, and your plan to address them:

  1. We need better affordable housing for all.
  2. We need financial Stability for Sulphur Springs.
  3. While we have a wonderful downtown area, we need to improve and beautify all roads and accesses to this area.
  4. Parking and Travel routes to and from the downtown area need better planning
  5. We need to clean up some properties. We will find the legal way to help and assist all people.
  6. Let’s help diversify the businesses in order to create more jobs.
  7. Create more small affordable retail outlets and affordable commercial outlets with ample parking to assist entrepreneurs, where we can use the diversity of our many cultures and multi cultures to encourage success.
  8. Let’s focus on the town center and build our ideas outwards. We have so many pocketed developments outside of the Town area.

What do you feel is most important for the public to know about you and your candidacy? I love the United States of America. My family and I adopted this wonderful country 20 years ago and this country adopted us. We are now all, American Citizens.

May God Bless this wonderful country of ours.

Jay W. Julian

Name and office sought: My name is Jay W. Julian, and I am seeking the office of Sulphur Springs City Council, Place 1.

Family information: My parents are the late J. W. Julian, Sr. and Mary E. (Ames) Julian. I have one brother, John P. Julian, of Winnsboro, Texas.

Occupation, brief job description: I have spent the last thirty-two years in Sulphur Springs in the community banking space in bank operations in one capacity or another. Currently I am an assistant vice president within the risk management department.

Education, training, special skills, experience: I have attended Sulphur Springs High School, University of Texas at Arlington, and East Texas State University.

Why are you seeking this office? I have worn many hats in my 30+ years of community banking — problem solver, fact gatherer/ researcher, negotiator, independent thinker, development team member, strategist, trainer, project manager, committee member, counselor, and futurist. As a result, I have a unique ability to manage multi-disciplinary projects and to navigate complex challenges. But my actual experience has taught me that my professional and civic values boil down to the following:

  1. I am a curious being, and I always have been. As a result of my curiosity, I ask a lot of questions on the journey toward solutions and believe that minds are like parachutes, working best when they are open.
  2. I dissect things in order to get to know and understand things. Understanding means fewer missteps, and missteps cost money.
  3. I have BIG ideas. Big ideas require execution, execution is what matters, and I DO execution.
  4. I run full steam ahead into “fires.” What I mean by that is, when things are chaotic and at their worst, I tend to thrive.
  5. I am a man of unbending principles, the first of which is to be flexible.

I want to take my drive and work experience and apply it within the council environment to solve the issues of today and tomorrow.

What do you feel are the top areas of concern, need or challenges in the office you are  seeking, and your plan to address them: First and foremost, we need a city council that is committed to working together for the common good of the city and its citizens, leaving personal differences, personal agendas and grudges at the door. I do, however, believe that thoughtful fact based challenge and debate is healthy in all levels of government. It is by working through our differences coupled with compromise that yield the wisest decisions.

My top concerns, in no particular order, are growing the city’s tax base, an aging city infrastructure (that is, water, sewer, and drainage pipes/systems that are aged some greater than fifty years), city streets, and the recently annexed Luminant property. The Luminant property needs to be utilized in a way that generates tax revenue and/or fee income, or at the very least, be expense neutral and self sustaining—meaning that the Luminant property does not cost the city tax payers any financial resources.

What do you feel is most important for the public to know about you and your candidacy? I am a lifelong resident of Sulphur Springs. I have been attending Sulphur Springs City Council meetings as a regular citizen since approximately June of 2017 and have spoken out on many issues that have come before the council. In September 2018, I accepted an appointment to the City of Sulphur Springs Charter Review Commission. Commission members reviewed and updated the city charter for the first time since the 1980s. The commission was comprised of appointed citizens, city councilmen, the city manager, the city attorney, and the mayor. In June of 2019, I accepted an appointment to the Zoning Board of Adjustment and Appeals, on which I still serve. My ZBA voting record is open to the public, and I have endeavored to base every ZBA decision on its own merits with thorough research without any bias or favoritism. I think that my experience coupled with my increasingly incremental interaction with the city administration positions me to be able to ramp up on city issues quickly so I can have a positive Impact immediately.

Sample ballot for the Dec. 15 Sulphur Springs City Council Place 1 Runoff Election

Author: Faith Huffman

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