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Mayor's Message

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November 2020 Message

I first ran for City Council back in 2006, and that seems like it was just yesterday. They say that time flies when you’re having fun, and that time has truly rocketed by at warp speed. All of a sudden, I’m sitting here writing my last column as Mayor of Seguin. My tenure of six years on City Council, and eight years as Mayor has been fun, but also challenging.  It was also sometimes intense, sometimes aggravating, sometimes disappointing, sometimes humbling, and sometimes difficult. However, it was always fun.

I don’t mean fun in a giddy and playful sense, even though there were many laugh out loud experiences. I’m talking about a sense of delight in seeing our citizens finally notice that we are living in a really wonderful city with limitless potential. What I mean is that it was fun waking up every day seeing my hometown grow economically, grow in size and grow a greater sense of self-esteem. 

My number one priority as mayor has been on improving that self-esteem. For decades, we suffered through an inferiority complex which was a self-fulfilling prophesy. We were our own worst enemies. Many of our local curmudgeons regularly bad-mouthed their own home town to anyone who would listen. Since we have so many new residents who may be reading this, they may not be aware that Seguin was very different place 20 years ago.

With the help of a great city council, and a talented city staff that was assembled and led by Doug Faseler, we began to turn the tide, and stem the self-loathing attitude.  We had an overall plan that included job creation and economic growth, streets and infrastructure improvements, and improvements to our “quality of life” issues such as our library, parks system and downtown.

What I must say is that during my tenure as Mayor, this city was blessed with the most effective and productive group of people to ever sit on City Council. Each and every one of the council members did exceptional jobs representing their districts, yet never lost the ability to unify and see the “big picture” of doing the right thing for the city as a whole.

I want to recognize our two previous mayors, Mark Stautzenberger and Betty Ann Mattheis who did amazing jobs of beginning the turnaround, and really started us on the path we are on today. Mayor Stautzenberger did incredible work like securing our water supply for the next hundred years with the SSLGC, and Mayor Matthies brought a civility to our city government, and launched our manufacturing boom by recruiting Caterpillar. Obviously, they both did more than that, but what makes it more impressive is that they did so much while working with councils that were not as unified and productive as the ones I was privileged to work with.

Let me tell you a story that illustrates the unity of the councils for the past eight years. In our system of government, the mayor only votes in case of a tie. I’m proud to say that I only had to vote once… over that most hotly contested issue of allowing dogs on restaurant patios! (I voted in favor of the pooches.)

That unity displayed by our City Council was evident, and not only did it allow us to do so many things to improve our city, it also helped convince many companies and developers to locate in Seguin.

Now, as I look to the future, I know the city is in good hands. Donna Dodgen was a part of those highly productive councils I was talking about. She gets it. She understands where we are going. Our new City Manager, Steve Parker has exceeded all expectations, and has proven to be one of the best hiring decisions we’ve made.  We have one of the most professional and dedicated city staffs in the state. All these folks will be presiding over the greatest growth boom this area has ever seen. Opportunities abound both economically and culturally, and the sky’s the limit.

The following is the Athenian Oath, which is something I’ve tried to live by as Mayor:

“We will ever strive for the ideals and sacred things of the city, both alone and with many; We will unceasingly seek to quicken the sense of public duty; We will revere and obey the city’s laws; We will transmit this city not only not less, but greater, better and more beautiful than it was transmitted to us”

Therefore, I hereby transmit the city forward, and hope it is greater, better and more beautiful than when it was transmitted to me.

Gosh, I love this town!


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