Councilwoman Lynn McIlhaney is running for reelection and being challenge by two other candidates in the campaign for College Station City Council Place 4.
Councilwoman McIlhaney, Mayor Pro Tem, is a long serving member of the local government, and has served as a city council member or mayor for 22 of the last 27 years. It should also be noted that McIlhaney is a member of the Arts Council of the Brazos Valley, Keep Brazos Beautiful, and was a board member of the Brazos Valley Animal Shelter. McIlhaney is the only candidate for Place 4 who answers all of the Brazos Progressives candidate survey questions.
According to an article in The Eagle, McIlhaney supports building a convention center to foster tourism; however, she would also support allowing the voters to have the final word in a referendum. The councilwoman believes that the current City Hall “does not give us the space needed for future growth, it is not centrally located for our citizens and the cost to re-locate rather than renovate is a better investment for our citizens in the long term.”
She supports the U.S. Mayors' Climate Protection Agreement and noted that the city is in the “process of looking for a staff person to co-ordinate the Green City program.” On her list of possible improvements are hybrid cars, energy efficient buildings, and continuing the wind watts program. Along with these the councilwoman also supports promoting the curb side recycling program, and ensuring that new programs are cost effective and achieve the goal of reducing waste.
Providing access to pedestrians, bicyclists, and wheel chair users is something that McIlhaney supports, and note that the city plans to address the issue of “connectivity through our transportation plan as part of the new Comprehensive Plan and our Greenways Plan.” The councilwoman does not support funding for a permanent farmer's market. Although she supports public/private partnerships, she does not “support tax payers buying land, building a building” in order to create a permanent famer's market.
According to the article in the Eagle McIlhaney supports the current “conservative approach” to annexing land, and believes that the city should encourage “development within the existing city limits, in-fill development, zoning, building standards and pedestrian friendly infrastructure.”
More on the Other Candidates Below the Fold…According to an article in the Eagle, Douglas Cummings made to the decision to run in a “spur-of-the-moment decision.” Cummings came to College Station in 2000, and after living in Japan for a while, moved back to College Station in 2004.
Cummings favors building both a new City Hall, and a convention center, however, he believes that the City Hall should not be renovated or built without a compromise plan such as “selling it to offset the costs of the move, or allocating it for something such as a farmers' market.” He supports aggressive annexation of land but feels as though the city should focus on high density development to prevent urban sprawl.
Creating “incentives to redevelop areas within the city more densely” is how Cummings believe “smart growth” should be achieved; some of those incentives would include tax breaks, green building credits, and pressuring owners of vacant land to either develop or sell the property. Funding for a permanent farmer's market is an idea that he supports, and believes that a “central public square would be ideal.”
Cummings supports the creation of single member districts to replace the six at large city council places, which none of the other candidates have supported.
Katy-Marie Lyles has lived in College Station for seven years, and is the Director of college ministries at A&M United Methodist Church. In The Eagle's endorsement of Lyles it characterized her as “young, she is energetic and we feel that she would be willing to ask tough questions of the staff and stand strong for her positions.” However, Lyles did not answer any questions on the Brazos Progressives candidate survey, and it certainly appears as if Lyles is running on only one issues: protection of churches and faith based institutions in and around North Gate. According to her Facebook group she makes it clear that she is “grossly offended and concerned about the city's behavior towards the church community and faith communities of Northgate. Also, in the same article in which The Eagle gave its endorsement, she made the claim that the city council is attempting to take “land her church sits on for commercial development,” and compared it to gentrification. Perhaps a better place for someone with such a narrow issue focus would to be on the College Station Planning and Zoning Commission.
Cummings has some interesting ideas, and creating single member districts is an important idea that should be promoted. However, a decision to run for public office should never be made without full considerations, and there is some concern about his lack of positions on environmental issues.
Left of College Station supports Councilwoman Lynn McIlhaney for reelection.
Political and Social Thought…
to the Left of College Station
Find out where each of the candidates stands on the issues visit:
Brazos Progressives Survey
For information and links about the Bryan-College Station municipal elections visit:
BCS Elections 2009