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Groves Council Ward 2 candidates make their cases

GROVES — The race for the Ward 2 seat on Groves City Council has incumbent Karen Theis pitted against opponent Cory Perry.

Here’s a look at the candidates:

• Karen Theis, 54, is self employed and is currently serving as the Ward 2 councilperson.

• Question — Why are you running for reelection?

I am running for reelection because I want to see our city succeed.  Over the past several months there have been some items brought to the council’s attention that I would like to see addressed, and a plan of action put in place. For example: the council being more informed on our financial position, a plan that can be implemented to help improve our drainage situation and to work together to possibly help speed up our street repairs.

• Question — Has the city recovered from Tropical Storm Harvey? If not, what needs to be done and how can it be achieved?

The city is recovering from Harvey slowly but surely.  At this point the city is evaluating some of the streets, which could have possibly been damaged by Harvey, to qualify them for grant money that is available to help with those repairs. I think utilizing the grant money will further the recovery in our city even more.

• Question — What are some specific issues that need to be addressed in Groves and how would you address them?

Specific issues are what I mentioned before; council should be kept informed of our financial position by receiving monthly reports and disbursements.  I have actually asked for these reports to start being presented with our new budget. 

Drainage, I think we need to work as a team (council, citizens and public works) and hand in hand with DD7 to come up with solutions that are feasible for all parties involved. Streets, again to work together to help the street program that is in place be executed in the most efficient way possible.

• Cory Perry, 42, is a water plant operator for the city of Port Arthur. He has no political experience.

• Question — Why are you running for city council?

I am running for city council because I want the best for our city. I want try to make change for our city. Be someone that our citizens can come to with any question or issue and me working with our other leaders to get the issue solved. I want to be a voice for everyone that lives in Groves.

• Question — Has the city recovered from Tropical Storm Harvey? If not, what needs to be done and how can it be achieved?

I do not believe the city has still fully recovered from Harvey. Even though we have come a long way, there are still homes that are being rebuilt after the storm. The storm affected our city in many ways. It showed us what needs to be improved on and a better understanding of what our city needs to focus on more clearly.

• Question — What are some specific issues that need to be addressed in Groves and how would you address them?

Drainage — Ditches need to be graded out and dug correctly. Culverts need to be blown out for water to be able to flow more freely. Leaders of our city need to work more closely with our drainage department to create a better preventative maintenance program to keep these issues from getting worse.

Streets — Most of the streets get a patch job done and it does not fix the problem. We have to work better with the Street department to implement a better program.

Finance. — I want to work with our leaders to discuss budget programs so we can improve all aspects of it. I believe every citizen should have the right to know how the money is being used in every way in our city. We need to communicate any positive or negative progress the city has.