Editorial note: This is the fifth in our series of electronic interviews with City Council, City Controller and Mayoral candidates. We have sent 10 questions based on seven different templates: (1) incumbent City Council, (2) challenger City Council, (3) open seat City Council, (4) challenger Controller, (5) incumbent Controller, (6) challenger Mayoral and (7) incumbent Mayoral. The following are verbatim copies of the questions sent out and the answers received.
Ron Hale, Candidate for Houston City Council District A
Texpatriate: What is your name?
RH: Ron Hale
T: What is your current occupation?
RH: Director | Engineer at NZ Control Specialists
T: Have you run for or held public office before?
RH: No, I have not ever ran nor held any public office.
T: What is your political affiliation? We understand that City Council elections are nonpartisan, but this is a point many voters find important. If you are not comfortable currently identifying with a political party, what was the last Political Party’s primary election you voted in (a matter of public record)?
RH: I identify myself as conservative, republican. However, my aim isn’t to conserve anything which is no longer providing intention and or results. I will accept change and improvement based on the need, that is what makes me different than just your typical conservative. I am not between parties or waived on what my core beliefs are, I am very aware of my stance within the party I claim, but I do welcome and accept change, as it is necessary if growth is to be acquired.
T: Typically, this board will defer to incumbents unless we are convinced the incumbent has failed in some way. Do you believe the incumbent has failed at her or his job? If so, why?
RH: In this particular case. I do believe the incumbent has not lived up to the job in question. Identifying to the lonely and to the no-vote only, isn’t how a council member stands resolute. Opposed to focusing on what the incumbent did wrong, I’d rather discuss how I would better handle things. Through observation of what approach seems to fall flat, I have a decided manner and new direction which will produce results, that being said I recognize the importance of working with others and realize that the willingness to do so is also imperative, especially as the position and the success of the position depend on how well you connect and collaborate with people. My results will be driven by careful planning and through proper action, also by my choice to always inform and listen to the people along the way. Essentially the ideal candidate should be the very representation of conservative values, and is exemplified in the application of these principles when running a business or organization. The notion is that the candidate will make a lot of officials and people otherwise want to work with them, while supporting them. Furthermore, being a conservative … I understand the need to try and stretch every dollar, to make it last, but I also fully believe that saving a dollar is every bit as essential. It is about appropriating the cities tax dollars wisely, spreading them to cover even more of the cities projects without spending more of the peoples tax dollars. It should be this way, we need to manage better because it is up to us to initiate projects, and we shouldn’t spend any more than we have to, and we have to cut down on wasteful spending and poorly drafted projects which result in overspending, bottom-line, and this is what every council member should want in order to meet the needs of their constituents.
T: Why are you specifically running against this incumbent?
RH: The opportunity to approach things differently and more effectively is why I am up against the incumbent Helena Brown, I aspire to bring my community back together and bring more people into the combined interests of the city council, and showcase what it can do for their community if given the opportunity. My notion of community togetherness, implies that once the people are willing to get behind a candidate either with full support or maybe just some blind faith, this action speaks the loudest because when that council member speaks by the people, that council member is undoubtedly fulfilling the wants and needs of their constituents.
T: What do you hope to get out of serving on the City Council?RH: I am committed to improving many aspects, but it is in my main interest to change the way city services handles CIP projects. I want to extend the tax dollars being spent in order to get more CIP projects done, with as little waste possible, if not any waste, preferably. I venture to bring all the sides of my District together, in resolution of all our combined needs, once these are addressed properly, it directly affects and improves the way of life for all my constituents.
T: What is an ordinance you would introduce in your next term?
RH: I believe we already have too many ordinances as is, but if I would have the opportunity, I’d like to revisit the existing ordinances with a revised methodology. This way it wouldn’t be necessary to create more,(ordinances) just for the sake of creating more. I understand it isn’t easy to change existing ordinances, but if they were once necessary ordinances, then it’s likely they are still very applicable and in the right direction when speaking resolution. The ordinances which I’d want to fix or extinguish the most are the ones that are responsible for hurting our residents and our businesses from flourishing ever like so. I would really like my staff and other council members to be on board with revising or getting rid of any ordinances which don’t properly facilitate the needs of the people. In condensing the number of ordinances to a more manageable amount, improvement and a clearer focus of what remains is only the beginning of the positive outcomes in store.
T: You discuss wishing to repeal or revise many ordinances, includes those
“responsible for hurting our residents.” Could you please give an example
of such an ordinance?
RH: No. 2012-269; Ordinance amending chapter 20 (Homeless Feeding Ordinance)
T: Obviously, an officeholder strives to maintain a diverse core constituency and political base, but all candidates have interest groups they have been traditionally strong with and traditionally weak with, respectively. For you, what would be one example of each type of group?
RH: I am stronger than most to the technology driven younger generation, as they are familiar with the importance of my way of campaigning and connecting to the people through media and social networking. It isn’t going away and I utilize technology everyday, and this mostly resonates with the younger generation. I do not have any special interest groups as of yet that push me to believe that I am weak in their eyes. If I would have to state any it would be the older generation, because they often think I should wait my turn, and work for others until I get more experience in city government before running. They imply that my inexperience or youth is somehow a downfall, these are the people I must win over by talking to them one-on-one … this is so they may form their opinion of me based on the facts rather than the assumption and judgement made. While I respect their suggestions, and get where they are coming from, as far as certainty in me, but I also think they are resistant to change … and probably don’t realize that a change is what they need, not another career politician. I tell them we need people outside of politics, people who can provide a fresh perspective to an old, but good, design … which I still embrace just as much as any politician would. I’m not getting stuck in the failed attempts of politicians who place their agendas before their approach and how they deal with the people. I think experience and this mindset I’ve got is what will provide the momentum needed to tackle the cities many looming issues … and here-on-after, I’ll take the stance of a guy who is considered politically charged, but I’m no political ingenue, I’m a guy who hopes to speak for the many and the few.
T: Are there are any specific organizations who have endorsed your candidacy?
RH: RPA (Republican Party for America) and HBAD (Houston Black American Democrats)
T: What has been the most important thing you have learned in your campaign?
RH: I have been awakened at the sight of the abundant groups of people who band together, almost religiously, and all in hopes of bringing about change and change alone. The people are desperately seeking a leader and reformer, as well as a voice which speaks of all their various concerns. The people across this city are looking for the right people or person to take control of current issues, and who will be prepared … take on city hall. Keeping in mind that the voice isn’t heard in just a way so that it only helps one specific group of people … it helps with everyone as a whole, all the people. To my surprise community is very much alive and accepting of forward motion, more than I ever anticipated … and this fuels me to bring about togetherness persistently.