BRIDGE CITY CITY COUNCIL & SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATES for May 7th
by Ginger Broomes
(Brooks Report does not endorse any candidates and is providing statements for information only)
Mike Reed: Incumbent. No statement provided but has served six terms on city council previously
Carl Harbert: Retired Plant Manager/ Operations Manager
I am running for City Council again to be a voice for the people. I previously served 4 years on the Council and have volunteered at the city court for the last 5 years.
With the growth of Bridge City I want to make sure our infrastructure keeps up with the demand, such as the sewer system and our water system. I was involved with the installation of the water filters and the flushing of all the water lines. I want to stay on top of drainage so our citizens don’t have to worry about their homes flooding.
I do a ride-around weekly looking for problems and talking with citizens to find out what issues are important to them. My main focus is open communication with all of our citizens. I will devote all the time needed to better serve them. Thank you for your support.
Kenneth Prosperie Sr.: Bridge City Citizens, I am not a politician. I am just a citizen who wants to work hard for the betterment of our community. I, Kenneth Prosperie, have filed to run for Place 4 on Bridge City Council. I will focus on our City Services such as clean, safe drinking water; good drainage; and clean outfalls; drivable roads; and a properly functioning sewer system. I have been very active for years working through City Council trying to achieve what's best for our community. Bridge City is down to two water wells from four. These wells supply our fire water and drinking water. Our growing community needs the proper infrastructure to sustain our City. When I see a problem, I contact the necessary entity to repair the issue, whether it be City, County, TxDot, or Entergy. This is why my wife and I have been labeled as civic activists.
My wonderful wife of 40 years, Peggy, and I have lived in Bridge City for over 23 years at 819 Sunnyside Drive. We have enjoyed raising our three amazing children in Bridge City, all who graduated from Bridge City High and completed bachelor degrees at Lamar University. Our children have blessed us with 11 precious grandchildren. Bridge City, to us, is a family-oriented community, and I want to keep it that way.
I learned many mechanical and troubleshooting skills from my father and my employment. I was lucky enough to be employed at Gulf Oil/Chevron where I retired after 29 years of working around highly skilled, old-school craftsmen and many exceptional operators who had a wealth of knowledge. Along with mechanics, I have learned the importance of preventive maintenance.
I am a true conservative who believes that our City tax dollars should be spent on our City Services. City Council should always ask our City employees what tools they need to succeed. Council needs to put the safety of our citizens first and foremost, and work closely with our police to keep drug dealers out of our community.
I will work relentlessly to get your concerns dealt with. I will also keep a close eye out for any profit agenda items that are not in the best interest of our City. I will be independent, impartial, and responsible to our citizens, and always have unconflicted loyalty for the interest of the entire city! I am not in any special interest groups or have any affiliation with any company or other private or public organization, which is a requirement by our City Council Standards.
If elected, I will be a very active Council member who will always show up, and check out all issues that arise. Some of the best ideas and solutions come from our fellow citizens, so I am always asking questions and listening. I can promise you if you allow me with your vote, I will make a difference!
Patty Collins: Executive Director of College Affairs at Lamar State College Orange
Why are you running for office: I am seeking a city council position because of my love for the city in which I was raised, and my desire to give back through dedicated service. Service to the community is a calling for me. Offering my time and talents to the city that my family has called home for over 85 years would be an honor. Valuable traits of a city council member include dedication, innovation, and strategic thinking. Both my professional experience and formal education have given me the background and ability to fulfill the responsibilities of city council position with a high level of performance.
Experience in public office/community service: My public office experience began in 2018 when I was elected to serve a three-year term as a Bridge City ISD Trustee. I was appointed to the Bridge City Planning and Zoning Board in 2022. I began my volunteer community board service over 25 years ago. My first board appointment was to the Girls Haven board of directors, where I discovered my passion for serving. Other board service has included St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation, Leadership Southeast Texas, Junior Achievement, Better Business Bureau-Southeast Texas, Wellspring Credit Union, United Way of Orange County, and the BCISD Education Foundation. I have also served in numerous volunteer capacities at my church, including Staff-Parish Relations, Finance, Trustees, New Building, and Prayer Garden Committees.
Issues important to you/your voters: I would like to work with the city council and city administration to support planned growth in Bridge City, including new businesses and housing. Growth can provide new jobs, new income, and new local tax revenue, as well as opportunities for revitalization. I would also love to see more community involvement in our city. The “Christmas in the Park” event is an example of the type of community involvement I would like to see. And of course, I would focus on the Council’s bread-and-butter responsibilities like public works and infrastructure improvement, safety, and budgets. I believe many voters are interested in growth and revitalization for our beautiful city. They are also interested in water and drainage issues.
How have you addressed these issues, or how are you addressing these issues: I would work with city council, the Chamber of Commerce, BCISD, and other local organizations to establish more community events for citizens to enjoy. The City currently has plans in place to address the water and drainage issues, and I will support city staff to bring those plans to fruition.
What will be your focus going forward: If elected to serve as a City Council member, I will make decisions that are in the best interest of the citizens of Bridge City and the City as a whole. I will listen with an open mind, seek clarification and understanding, and work with fellow council members and the City Manager to serve a city my family has called home for over 85 years.
Mike Boyd: No statement given
Sherby Dixon: I retired in 2020 from Bridge City ISD after 40 years of service. As a supervisor with the district I feel this experience makes me uniquely and better qualified to be a city council member. I have decided to dedicate my time working with the city council to improve our community. If elected I will work hard for the citizens to continue projects started by the current council.
I have coached our children in various little league sports. I volunteer with CASA of the Sabine Neches Region (Child Advocacy); I have volunteered in the past with the Friends of the Bridge City Public Library. I was a board member of the BC Cardinal Athletic Booster Club & have volunteered with the Bridge City Historical Society.
I believe as a citizen of Bridge City I can make a difference and I would like the opportunity to give back to my community.
BCISD School Board
Peggy Prosperie: I am a homemaker, mother, grandmother, and was a caregiver in our home to my mother-in-law for over 12 years.
Why are you running for office: The School Board of Trustees' job is to oversee the operations of the district. That includes being fiscally responsible with the citizen's tax dollars. I want to be a voice for those families already struggling with their finances, who have been through floods, Covid, and now high inflation. I believe that the School Board members are well-intended, but their focus seems to be more on extra-curricular activities before the need of the schools with the surplus funds. In 2014, they felt the need was a proposed Arts Theater. In 2019 and now, they spent millions on prestigious turf fields, then asked for bonds. Those funds spent on the turf should have gone toward repairs or additions to the school buildings. Kids have played on grass fields for decades.
I believe that the Middle School is a solid functioning school with plenty of room. I feel that this is a terrible time to ask for a bond to rebuild it. It would be much much cheaper to repair it than rebuild it for $96.8 million(after interest) for 30 years! We are still paying on the high school. The Middle School needs repairs and maintenance.
Experience in public office/community service: I spent over 12 years caring for my mother-in-law in our home, along with raising our family, so have not had time to serve in the community. I come from generations of teachers, and have a high regard for teachers!
Issues important to you/your voters: The School Board of Trustees should be fiscally responsible with our surplus tax dollars. The necessities of the schools should always come first, before extra-curriculars. Let's address the repairs at the Schools as they come up. For instance, a collapsed plumbing pipe a the Middle School was discussed during the 2019 bond issue. Why has this not been replaced yet? The faculty should not have to be dealing with a plumbing issue that should have and could have been repaired several years ago. I have a great respect for the teachers and , and support proposals that would put core curriculum education ahead of extra-curricular.
Have you addressed these issues, or how are you addressing these issues going forward: I am encouraging BCISD to make necessary repairs to the schools, especially the Middle School. It does not need a total renovation, it needs regular maintenance and repairs. There are plenty of classrooms, and all of the classrooms have wifi, AC, and smart boards. If I were on the School Board, I would encourage the Board to save as much as possible toward the expense of building a new Middle School in the future. The more that is saved towards the expense, the less that will be wasted on loan interest. The High School bonds should be paid off first. I do not see the need for having designated classrooms for classes like dance and cheer that used to be after school activities, that are now elective courses. But, to remedy that situation, a new band hall and CTE shop class could be built on the right side of the school, and dance and cheer could have the current band hall. There are many innovative options available, and I would look into each one.
Rebecca Rutledge: (Incumbent) Why are you running for re-election:
A good education will open doors to great jobs; financial stability; and dreams. Education is the best way for those living below the poverty line to break the circle of economic hardships. I want to continue working with our Team of 8 to make BCISD the absolute best school district it can be so that the children of the District will be equipped to do whatever they desire.
Experience in Public office / Community service:
I currently serve on the BCISD school board and have for 25 years. In addition I serve on the governing board for Leadership Southeast Texas. I am currently on the governing board of St Paul’s Episcopal Church. In the past I served on the Planning & Zoning Commission for the City of Bridge City.
Issues important to you / your voters:
It is imperative we address the physical problems of an old Middle School building. Our students, faculty and staff deserve better. We need a building that meets the needs of all. We need a career & technology building to house our ever growing programs. Having a separate CTE building will also free up space for more classrooms at the high school. This will address the overcrowding on that campus.
How have you addressed these issues, or how are you addressing them:
The Board has studied the reports from numerous consultants - demographic studies and engineering studies showing the needs of the District. We added 10 classrooms at Bridge City Intermediate campus, and we will begin construction on 6 new classrooms at our elementary school in May. We have called a bond election to address the needs at the high school and middle school. Hopefully both of these will pass and enable us to build a new middle school and CTE building.
What will be your focus going forward:
I am very concerned about mental health issues. There seems to be more & more since COVID. We currently have a grant that pays for two Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC). We use them on all of our campuses. We need to find a way to work them into our budget when the grant expires.