Sherry Zachery is running for City Council, Place 7.
What is your current occupation?
I am the owner of Santa Fe County Taco Company, one of Stephenville’s longest-lived restaurants. I also teach economics and interview etiquette to various local homeschoolers.
If applicable, what positions on council have you held before?
I am excited to say that this is my first run for any city office; I am a business woman, mother, and mentor, not a career candidate. I have, however, paid rapt attention to our city government since moving to Stephenville nearly 30 years ago, and have seen how decisions made quickly or against the will of voters could affect not only my restaurant but the entire town dramatically and not always for the better.
What has motivated you to be involved in city government?
This is a critical election which will help determine the future of Stephenville. As Tarleton students, you may already be residents of Stephenville, or perhaps you like the town so much you might one day wish to make a future for yourself here. I know we business owners want you future graduates to stay; you are assets to our community, not only in the professional workforce but also in adding to our town’s general vitality.
In order for that to happen, though, we need to attract new industry to and bolster existing businesses in our area to help add both high paying and entry-level jobs. This new growth will be the driver for expanded career opportunities for you as new graduates. Right now, we do not have in place a city-wide system for recruiting business to our town; this stagnates the process for getting one started. This is why I am supportive of our mayor Kenny Weldon and his plans for making Stephenville an attractive destination for new industry, manufacturing, and growth. Unfortunately, last year’s tax increase and refusal by some on the city council to hire an economic developer indicate the need for change on the council for this to happen.
What qualifies you to hold this position?
As a woman with both retail business experience and a solid grounding in the sciences, I am uniquely qualified for this position where both knowledge sets are vital for making wise decisions. Council members must understand how their decisions on infrastructure, water planning, and more affect the environment as well as the health and safety of the citizenry. I have a degree in Radiologic technology; I studied geology while completing Tarleton’s now-defunct Russian courses. My formative years were spent exploring and riding through some of our nation’s most fascinating, arid lands in Utah and New Mexico; this gave me a great appreciation for the importance of good water stewardship and a working knowledge of what that requires.
Additionally, I have run a successful retail business, Santa Fe County Taco Company, here in Stephenville for nearly 30 years while competing with much larger national chains. I have done budgets, sales projections, and survived the ups and downs of the economy. We in private industry know how to bring efficiency to our budgets. We also know exactly what it will take to make our city even more business-friendly while still keeping its small town charm.
What are your goals upon being elected?
My goals are to: streamline the budget and encourage business by making sure we eliminate the long wait times for approval votes; stop the capriciousness with which zoning changes are sometimes granted or not; create an environment that has an understanding of business needs, including those of indie shops as they usually have severely-limited opening funds with which to operate until they begin to generate cash flow. Our city seems to be under the impression private industry can wait forever for variances and has money to burn; therefore, many folks who dream of opening up a business of their own never try or, instead, take their efforts to more business-friendly neighboring towns such as Granbury.
Why would/should a Stephenville resident want to vote for you?
I am not a career politician, just a woman who knows how to get things done. I have no split loyalties, I am not resuming building, and I come to the council with no agenda other than to do my best to promote growth and quality of life for all of us here in Stephenville. I encourage voters to visit www.sherryforcitycouncil.com for a detailed look at the current issues and for a way to contact me if they have any questions or comments.
As a more personal question, what do you find yourself doing in your spare time?
I like to paint, read, camp, and target shoot. I’m a homebody and have a very close-knit family, so I mostly spend my free time with my sisters, my parents, and my daughter and her family.