Editor’s Note: Response not received. A candidate announcement from Mr. Grothues can be read in the February 2 issue of the Bulletin as well as on our website.
1. Why are you running for this position?
I’m David Speicher and I’m running for Bandera County Commissioner for Precinct 2.
I have been in public service for over 30 years and after coming to Lakehills, getting settled in, my wife and I decided this would be our retirement home. We have met many people from various demographics here in Lakehills and we love the charm and environment and the potential here.
7 months ago, I decided to run when talking with some of our new friends they were commenting on the roads, the Garbage Dump, the lake level and new development and drugs. These are major issues that need to be addressed and are not. My wife and I talked about it and decided to put my experience, my education, and my leadership to use to help our community reach it’s potential.
2. What experience and qualifications do you bring to this position?
I have experience in serving with and for local government as a Mayor-Pro-Tem for the city of Justin, TX for 9 years. I was the President of Region 8 of the Texas Municipal League, and President of the Texas Association of Mayors, Councilmembers and Commissioners for 2 years.
I have worked with local governments for most of my career. I have extensive experience working with counties throughout Texas. I’ve assisted counties in developing ordinances, development reviews, capital improvement plans, and designing/constructing roads.
3. What are the biggest challenges facing Bandera, and how do you plan to address them?
There are the top four issues I want to address during my potential tenure as County Commissioner - roads, trash/recycle, new development and drugs.
Roads - The citizens in my Precinct are most concerned about their roads. The County imposes 2 road taxes for repairing our roads. The residents in Lakehills are seeing very little road work by the county.
Trash/Recycle - We have a dump that many residents use including myself. But it is very inconsistent with cost. One time a truck load is $20 and the next $40. In addition, many residents have expressed concerns that there are many homes that extensive trash within the property. We need to investigate how to clean up our community with a cost-effective solution that may include community clean up and bulk trash days. At the last Commissioners Court, it was concluded that we cannot do it because of COVID-19 and the low number of inmates. There must be a better answer even if it means the county must spend money on it.
Development - Many citizens are worried about development. Residential developments are and will continue to move into our county causing increased traffic and flooding. Our local streets are already failing and cannot handle the additional wear and tear. Some residents in Bandera County are already experiencing flooding caused by new development upstream from them. We need tougher ordinances that will protect our citizens, protect our infrastructure and most of all our charm.
Lastly Drugs – I have heard from many of our citizens about their concern about the manufacturing, and distribution of Meth and other drugs in our Precinct. For the safety and welfare of our citizens and children this should not happen. In addition, we will never reach our potential as a community if we have a strong drug use/manufacturing presence. This really isn’t exclusively a precinct 2 issue. If drugs are being manufactured in Precinct 2, they are being sold throughout Bandera County. And for the safety and welfare of our community it must stop it. Therefore, I plan to work with precinct, county, and state officials to come up with a solution that focuses not only on the manufacturing but the overarching drug addiction epidemic.
4. What is something you’d change during your time in office?
Along with working on the 4 issues, I will also create more transparency for our citizens. Our web site is not user friendly. I have attended several Commissioner’s Court. While in attendance, the Judge and the commissioners are discussing items on the agenda. However, there are no monitors in the Commission’s Court. No way for the audience to follow along with what is being discussed.
I’ve gone through the 2021-2022 budget. The table of contents needs work including adding page numbers. The expenditure section is one continues page. There are no blank pages or bold lettering to help indicate the next department. I could go on about this issue but for brevity, I will stop here.
I will be transparent. I plan on furthering my Facebook page to provide more information to our citizens, my cell number and email address will be readily available. I will provide up updates via social media, and our organizations, and other avenues as requested by our precinct. I have the support of my wife and company to attend meetings and functions as requested or needed.
5. What is something you’d keep?
Our way of life, our charm, our community. In the Army and throughout our careers, my wife and I have lived in many communities. We both agree that we love it here and do not plan to move as we have purchased our retirement home. In the short almost three years that we have lived here, we have made so many friends that we cherish. The folks here come from many walks of life, and more are coming in. I want to help Bandera County to grow, but grow sustainably, all while protecting our community.
6. What sets you apart from your opponents?
My experience, education including that I am a Gulf War Veteran. As I have mentioned in previous questions, I have worked for and with local governments. I know how they should function.
I have developed ordinances that protect communities from sporadic growth, develop review process to ensure development codes are adhered too. In addition, I have worked with many trash companies to establish rates and special services like bulk trash pickup, ensured funding for our police and fire/EMS, developed and funded new parks, budgeted maintenance and operation funds for library, animal control, and worked with economic development corporations. I have also established capital improvement plans, budgets and I have even assisted in establishing bonds for communities. I was an officer in the U.S. Army. I am a Veteran, Member of the American Legion Post 410 and a lifetime member of the VFW.
So, if you are looking for someone that can get started on the first day with no learning curve. I’m your guy.