Kenny Weldon is running for mayor in the 2014 City Council election.
What is your current occupation?
I am a businessman. I manage a consulting company located in Stephenville, specializing in organizational management, training, and program management.
If applicable, what positions on council have you held before?
I was elected Mayor of Stephenville in 2012.
What has motivated you to be involved in city government?
My motivation to run for re-election is simple—I’m excited about the future of Stephenville and I want to offer my experience, in service to our community. I want to promote and preserve the uniqueness and value of Stephenville, because our community is a wonderful and amazing place. With my experience, I believe I can help guide positive actions to enable our city government to enact the policies necessary to meet the needs of our community: security, safety, water, roads, and quality of life.
What qualifies you to hold this position?
I have held the position of Mayor the past two years and, while in the Air Force, held positions equivalent to mayor, city manager, and director of public works. I have over 32 years of leadership experience and have successfully led groups as small as 12, as a front line supervisor, to a multi-disciplined organization of over 3,500 as a senior executive. This experience includes extensive leadership success in a wide range of areas that impact city government, including: community planning, fire and emergency services, law enforcement, youth and recreation programs, housing, environmental, construction, and energy. I was elected Mayor of Stephenville in 2012. I’m a military veteran and retired as a Colonel in October 2011. While on active duty, I served as an Air Force civil engineer officer and led organizations at the installation, Military Department and Secretary of Defense-levels. I have an undergraduate degree in civil engineering, and master’s degrees in engineering and environmental management and national security strategy.
My leadership as Mayor has been and will continue to be based on integrity, service to others, and the pursuit of excellence to do the best for our community. As Mayor, I have sought to create an environment where issues are debated and decisions are informed. It is a leader’s responsibility to ask “Why” (even when it’s not popular to do so), to challenge assumptions, and to seek to build consensus for greater achievement. I also believe that leadership must focus on change. Change is absolutely necessary for the survival of individuals and organizations. The question isn’t whether or not to implement change. Over the long run, you have no choice unless you are willing to become irrelevant. Change is about survival. Change is especially necessary in organizations that wish to prosper in a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous environment.
What are your goals upon being elected?
My primary goal is to perform the duties of mayor with a positive, service-minded approach, built on a transparency and level of communication that builds trust, cooperation and a unity of purpose.
A critical priority for our community is economic development. Improving our economy is to find what’s best for local citizens, people who call Stephenville “Home”. It’s not about landing every big company or giving tax breaks without examination. We are blessed with a diverse economy – agriculture, education, manufacturing, regional medical, and regional retail. But we are in competition both regionally and statewide for limited resources. Bottom-line, the more we grow our economy the more capable we are as a City to provide services for our community. That is a good thing for all who live here…more jobs, more places to eat and shop, better streets and parks, plus a higher overall quality of life. A strong local economy provides resources needed to fund basic City services, such as police, fire, streets, and water/sewer. It also provides revenue to enhance our quality of life programs such as the library, senior citizens center, and hopefully someday, a multi-purpose facility. Additionally, growth in the tax base allows the city’s budget to keep pace with rising costs for personnel and infrastructure.
To accomplish this goal, we need to ensure we are providing efficient and effective services to the community within our existing budget. Second, we should promote a positive business climate and advocate orderly growth by planning for land-use, water and roads. Third, we should strive to enhance coordination between the city, county, Tarleton, and the State, because each impact our citizens in some fashion. Finally, we should continue to celebrate our heritage as community, through activities like the Bosque River Trail Corridor project, Stephenville Connect, Western Heritage Week, Veterans parade, and Pioneer Days.
There are several specific initiatives I believe the city council should consider to promote economic development. First, an update to the existing Land-use and Thoroughfare plans. Both documents are key ways to inform and manage development, in response to the growth at Tarleton and other areas, as well.
Second, a thorough review of our subdivision ordinance will ensure we are providing the proper incentives to housing construction, while ensuring our community standards are upheld. Third, the development of specific concept plans for the Central Business District and Bosque River Trail Corridor, will help define the city’s goals and commitment to future development in these areas.
Finally, partnerships with the County, Chamber, STEDCO, SISD, and Tarleton, along with local business, are essential to fully realize the potential of economic development opportunities for Stephenville. To execute and achieve these ideas, I propose our community find the mechanism (organization and funding) to provide for a full-time economic develop program.
Why would/should a Stephenville resident want to vote for you?
Stephenville has reached a population size where the experience and ability of the mayor is more important than ever. My experience and past success should provide voters with a confidence that I have the knowledge to lead the council to meet the future demands of our city. The mayor should lead, as a member of the council, the city government’s responsibilities to provide current and long-term municipal services (security, safety, roads, water/sewer, and quality of life) for our citizen’s. My goal is to perform this duty with a positive, service-minded approach, built on a transparency and level of communication that builds trust, cooperation and a unity of purpose. I believe a true leader is concerned primarily with the welfare of others. Voters can trust my devotion and commitment to Stephenville, our home. I grew up in Stephenville and the community shaped my values. My professional career has been in service to others and my character is a product of this great community.
As a more personal question, what do you find yourself doing in your spare time?
I spend my spare time with family. My wife, Carrie and I have twins, Kyle and Kayla, both graduates of Texas A&M University. Kyle is married to the former Allison Mitchell of Benbrook. We enjoy working cattle on our ranch, where we raise registered Herefords. I also enjoy hunting and fly-fishing. I’m very involved with our church, where I teach a bible study class. I currently serve as a board member on the North Central Texas Workforce Commission and the North Central Texas Council of Governments 9-1-1 Regional Advisory Committee. I also serve on the Tarleton State University Military Veterans Advisory Board; the Ranger College-Stephenville Campus Board and the Stephenville Education Foundation Board (Vice President Finance/Governance); Bosque River Trail Corridor Project – Executive Board; and the Stephenville Economic Development Foundation. I am a member of several local organizations including, First Baptist Church, Stephenville, the Stephenville Optimist Club, American Legion Post 240 Turnbow-Higgs, and The Gideon’s International – Stephenville Camp.