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Corpus Christi City Council District 4: Candidate Forum & Voters Guide

This information was gathered and compiled by the League of Women Voters.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — KIII-TV has partnered with the League of Women Voters-Corpus Christi to help make sure our community has the information they need to make informed decisions at the polls this Nov. 3.

This candidate forum was recorded by the League of Women Voters-Corpus Christi via Zoom. All candidates for Corpus Christi City Council At-Large were invited to participate.

Corpus Christi City Council District 4

Description of Office:

  • Amend or repeal of any existing ordinance

  • Adopt, amendment or repeal a code of ordinances or code of technical regulations

  • Convey or authorize the conveyance of any real property

  • Prescribe a fine or penalty or establish any rule or regulation for the violation of which a fine or other penalty is imposed

  • Regulate the rates charged by a public utility

  • Adopt any legislation.

Description of Qualifications:

  • Resident of Corpus Christi
  • Term of office: 2 years
  • Term limit: Yes
  • Salary: $6,000

Kaylynn Paxson

Campaign Email http://ElectKaylynnPaxson@gmail.com

Campaign Phone Number (361) 204-7722

Private Contact Phone Number (361) 510-7635

Website http://KaylynnPaxson.com

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/KaylynnPaxson4CC

Twitter @KaylynnPaxson

BACKROUND: Describe your competency and life experience that qualify you to hold this office. 

Paxson: My key strength is strategy. While obtaining my Masters in Public Administration, I perfected this skill through research & practical application. I focused my education on programs & projects to giving me the skills and competencies to prepare me for public service. I have continuously used these skills to serve my community, participating on numerous boards and committees and any other opportunity I found to help. I am serving on 3 subcommittees: Bond 2020, TIRZ 2, and Short Term Rentals.

ISSUES: During your campaign, what is the number one concern expressed to you by residents of Corpus Christi? What is your response to this concern?

Paxson: The number one concern expressed to me by the residents of District 4 is the overwhelming sense of lack of representation for their basic needs. The district has been very vocal about the obvious and chronic issues; streets, trash, & safety. It always circles back to feeling “where is the person representing me?”. While public funding is always tight and limited, there is still plenty of opportunity for follow through and improvements. I have witnessed creating success, let's get to work! 

EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT: How would you rate the capability of Corpus Christi to respond to natural and human-made disasters, such as hurricanes, pandemics, chemical fires or spills, and flooding?

Poor

Below average

Average

Above average

Excellent

Explain your answer.

Paxson: I’m not satisfied with the handling of emergencies by our city. I understand the challenges of dealing with these disastrous circumstances–but I am very adamant on two things being completed: There must be planning and strategy. Leadership must examine every possibility and worst-case scenario and have several tiers of responses planned in advance. The second item I feel very strongly about, is communication. The community needs to know what is going on. District 4 deserves to be included. 

ECONOMY: The COVID-19 pandemic has created a feeling of uncertainty. What are your views of the future for our local economy, including local jobs and property values, and general well-being, including healthcare, affordable housing, and schools?

Paxson: The pandemic has caused a lot of hardship and fear for so many in our community. Yes, safety must always be the top priority. But there should have been more consideration given to the long term effects on the future of our local industries and jobs. My heart breaks to see the number of local businesses whose doors are now closed forever. These were investments and dreams, and the livelihood of our neighbors and their families. We must invest in restoring and strengthening these businesses! 

PRIORITES: Other than the issues previously addressed, what are your top three priorities, and, if elected, how would you address them?

Paxson: 

  1. Sustainable growth and support for local businesses This needs done by successful code enforcement, cooperation with local organizations, and also creative solutions and incentives for growth. 
  2. Engage, enhance, esteem Engage in our district, enhancing true qualities, building a culture of esteem for District 4. Healthy, beautiful neighborhoods and streets need to be a priority. 
  3. Make District 4 Safe The safety of District 4 needs to be a priority. Not a second thought. 

Jim Klein

Campaign Email http://jim4district4@gmail.com

Campaign Phone Number (361) 334-3908

Private Contact Phone Number (361) 334-3908

Website http://jimforcc.com

Facebook http://Jim Klein for District 4

BACKROUND: Describe your competency and life experience that qualify you to hold this office. 

Klein: I grew up on a family farm where I learned the value of hard work. This was reinforced by later jobs as a roofer, as a transit bus driver, and on an asphalt crew. Returning to school to earn a Ph.D. and gaining a college faculty position fixed in me a determination to finish long-range projects and taught me critical thinking skills. Through community service work I have met passionate caring people in this city. I will draw on all of these experiences to serve District 4. I ask for your vote.

ISSUES: During your campaign, what is the number one concern expressed to you by residents of Corpus Christi? What is your response to this concern?

Klein: There is a need to make local government more transparent and responsive to city residents. This affects infrastructure issues such as street maintenance and repair as well as water issues such as the question of spending hundreds of millions of dollars for desalination plants that will harm Corpus Christi Bay and drive up monthly water rates. As a Council member I will listen to my constituents, ask hard questions about these projects, and be willing to defer to the voters on big ticket items.

EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT: How would you rate the capability of Corpus Christi to respond to natural and human-made disasters, such as hurricanes, pandemics, chemical fires or spills, and flooding?

Poor

Below average

Average

Above average

Excellent

Explain your answer.

Paxson: Corpus Christi has avoided a direct hit from recent tropical storms. We should prepare for such natural disasters with improved flood planning, particularly regarding new development. Our response to human-made disasters must improve. The reverse alert system said nothing during the August 21 refinery row fire though residential neighborhoods were only a few thousand feet from the site. We should take steps to ensure that industrial water users do not despoil the residential water supply.

ECONOMY: The COVID-19 pandemic has created a feeling of uncertainty. What are your views of the future for our local economy, including local jobs and property values, and general well-being, including healthcare, affordable housing, and schools?

Paxson: The people of Corpus Christi are resilient, hard working, and kind hearted. We need to diversify our local economy by recruiting high tech companies to tap our population's strengths and encourage our young people to stay. We need to attract healthcare providers to this region by addressing quality of life and wellness issues. There is a dire need for affordable housing in this city. One way to address this is to create a community development corporation similar to that of other cities. 

PRIORITES: Other than the issues previously addressed, what are your top three priorities, and, if elected, how would you address them?

Paxson: We should increase social services for the public by placing social workers in the public libraries so people can tap their expertise and resources. Regarding street repair, we should prioritize those streets that are in greatest disrepair. Everyone should pay their fair share of property taxes--we should re-examine the industrial district agreements that allow area industries to make reduced payments in lieu of property taxes. We should reduce bacteria levels in the bay following rain events.

Greg Smith

Campaign Email http://greg@pioneerresorts.com

Campaign Phone Number (361) 500-9735

Private Contact Phone Number (361) 500-9735

BACKROUND: Describe your competency and life experience that qualify you to hold this office. 

Smith: Besides the 4 years serving on city council experiences that have prepared me for the position are; producing concrete structures for bridges and road primarily for TXDOT, Assistant General Manager for HEB Video which taught the importance of culture in a large organization, building and operating RV parks which in practice are small communities and a commitment to serving the community on both public & private boards such as ISAC, Flour Bluff Com. Council, Nueces County Beach Committee as a few.

ISSUES: During your campaign, what is the number one concern expressed to you by residents of Corpus Christi? What is your response to this concern?

Smith: Improving our streets: We are addressing this is two ways; Increasing funding on streets, our last two budgets have had the highest level of street funding in history and doing the work more efficiently by moving more work in-house and improving maintenance practices.

EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT: How would you rate the capability of Corpus Christi to respond to natural and human-made disasters, such as hurricanes, pandemics, chemical fires or spills, and flooding?

Poor

Below average

Average

Above average

Excellent

Explain your answer.

Smith: Corpus Christi has been brushed by hurricanes twice in the last 3 years, both times the Emergency Management System was activated and we suffered no loss of life and damage. I advocated the move to require all new buildings to be built 1 foot higher than the FEMA minimum providing a more resilient community. The City/County health district provided first line help in testing, coordination, reporting & treatment in the Covid pandemic. CCFD responded immediately to the port pipeline explosion.

ECONOMY: The COVID-19 pandemic has created a feeling of uncertainty. What are your views of the future for our local economy, including local jobs and property values, and general well-being, including healthcare, affordable housing, and schools?

Smith: Prior to the pandemic CC's economy was strong with a 4.4% unemployment rate in Feb. Unemployment peaked in April at 16.2% and has dropped to 9.6% as of July. The hardest hit area is hospitality and restaurants. With the advances being made in the treatment and prevention of the virus that will be taking place in late of 2020 & early 2021 our local economy should rebound. i The underlying reasons for a strong economy have not changed; beaches, weather, quality of life and a strong port. 

PRIORITES: Other than the issues previously addressed, what are your top three priorities, and, if elected, how would you address them?

Smith: Public Safety is always the top priority of a community and I support the stepped addition of personal. A dependable water supply is critical to the Cities economic health. Supporting adding to the supply when demand reaches 75% from a drought resistant source. This is Council policy and I made the motion on both these items. Emphasis on our beaches, bays and natural resources. Corpus Christi is the gateway to more accessible beach than any other city. We need to protect and promote this.

Dan Grimsbo

Campaign Email http://dgrimsbo@gmail.com

Website http://www.dangrimsbocc.com

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/DanGrimsboCC

BACKROUND: Describe your competency and life experience that qualify you to hold this office. 

Grimsbo: Stationed to Naval Air Station Corpus Christi were I completed my 21 years of distinguished Naval Service. I lead two departments at the city for five and half years, to include working with many of the other supporting departments. I fully understand the operations and procedures of the city council and city. Education in engineering, urban planning and business. A licensed professional engineer and certified planner. A broad work experience gained working throughout the US and overseas.

ISSUES: During your campaign, what is the number one concern expressed to you by residents of Corpus Christi? What is your response to this concern?

Grimsbo: Resident’s concerns are water demand and if new water sources are needed. Water relates to public health, environmental issues, economic progress and long term debt. There are four water sources with a limited capacity by storage or contract, providing multiple users. With open dialog and responsible engineering/planning, the community can establish multiple water sources. Otherwise, as the population increases, economic development strengthens, with droughts; water sources will be stressed.

EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT: How would you rate the capability of Corpus Christi to respond to natural and human-made disasters, such as hurricanes, pandemics, chemical fires or spills, and flooding?

Poor

Below average

Average

Above average

Excellent

Explain your answer.

Grimsbo: This year alone, the Emergency Management Team as faced, a pandemic, a Hurricane, large refinery fires and took the lead, sharing needed information to other agencies and the public. They addressed each emergency head-on, preventing loss of life, with continued vital services. They continue to find innovative ways to address disasters, improving response and recovery. As a community witnessing extraordinary dangers across this city, the Emergency Management responses have been extraordinary. 

ECONOMY: The COVID-19 pandemic has created a feeling of uncertainty. What are your views of the future for our local economy, including local jobs and property values, and general well-being, including healthcare, affordable housing, and schools?

Grimsbo: Uncertainty is always with the City of Corpus Christi, Hurricanes, booms and bust of oil, and currently a pandemic. Even with uncertainty, the city has been forward thinking, now having four water sources, third largest in tonnage port, established naval base and university, and the construction of the new harbor bridge having the longest cable stay in the US. This city and residents are diverse and successful across multiple sectors, working through uncertainty, creating a strong economy.

PRIORITES: Other than the issues previously addressed, what are your top three priorities, and, if elected, how would you address them?

Grimsbo: District 4 priorities are future growth from Barisi Village and new bridge construction, flooding concerns and services supporting parks, libraries, and centers. City priorities are public safety, increases in rates or taxes, infrastructure reconstruction for street/ utilities, which must fit within the budget and debt capacity. Being complicated issues that need thorough discussions, I would fully engage the residents, businesses, and stakeholders finding workable solutions for the priorities.

The above information was gathered and compiled by the League of Women Voters, a non-profit and non-partisan organization dedicated to voter education.

3News has partnered with the League in order to help make sure our community has access to all the information they need before they hit the polls. You can find more of this information at Vote411.org.

Back to the Voters Guide.

In the meantime, you can find out all about the candidates you will see on your ballot by visiting Vote411.org. You can also check out the League of Women Voters-Corpus Christi's Nueces County Voters Guide here.