Copperas Cove city council Place 3 candidate holds meet and greet
By LYNETTE SOWELL
Scott Remalia, running for Place 3 on the Copperas Cove city council, held an hour-long meet and greet on Saturday afternoon at Waffle Cone.
Several friends and supporters showed up, along with a couple who were interested in finding out more about the candidate.
Remalia said he has four issues behind his reasoning to run for office.
“That’s why I’m wanting to run, to look at the four things that were really concerning to me, the growth, property taxes, leisure activities for children, and economic development for jobs in town.”
Remalia referred to a 2016 video in which a current councilmember discussed issues at that time.
“Nothing’s changed,” Remalia said. The same things he referred to then, are issues now.
“Growth and traffic are things we need to address, particularly the growth in the northern part of the city and the traffic coming through downtown to go out to the shopping center. There have been talks about the off ramps from Highway 9,” Remalia said. “But again, they have to have funding for those ramps, and the funding is supposed to come from the (Congressional) infrastructure bill. Well, that hasn’t even been passed yet.”
Remalia said with the growth Copperas Cove has had, what comes from the growth looks like a spiderweb of issues that must be taken care of, such as infrastructure, water, fire and police services.
Where property taxes are concerned, the increase in tax payments due to increased valuation concerned him.
“We can’t keep funding the city on the backbone of the homeowners…This city has the highest property tax rate in the area. Now, yes, we don’t have that business base that other cities do, which can offset that.”
Remalia pointed to the city of Allen, which approved the no-new-revenue tax rate.
“That’s a break because even though your assessment goes up, you’re not paying more taxes.” Remalia expressed concern that there are some who are fixed incomes, and even though area taxing entities voted to lower property tax rates, they are paying higher tax bills.
He also noted the recent discussions the city council has had regarding the $8.2 million the city is to receive in coronavirus relief funds.
He believes that the Copperas Cove Boys & Girls Club should receive funding, as well as some of that funding being used to bolster the city’s hotel occupancy tax funds.
Remalia said he also believe more needs to be done to address the city’s streets, although the city council recently approved a contract for the repair of significantly damaged roadways after Winter Storm Uri.
He also addressed quality of life for residents.
“I’m a granddad and I don’t have young children, but I live around an area that has kids, and what is there for families besides going to the parks and going to the pool? I know Jeff Stoddard is working hard to do certain things, but we need to have more things for the children.”
He addressed one of the elements of park improvements, namely, restrooms in City Park.
“Look how long it’s been going on. I dealt with contracts in the military, sending out request for proposals and then awarding contracts. I want to look at, what’s taking so long for them to get this going. I’ve been here three years and I can see it, and folks that have been living here a lot longer, they’re not seeing the improvements. Even though things might be going on behind the scenes, residents can’t see any physical activity being done. So they think nothing’s happening in the city. That can be a perception problem too, which also needs to be addressed.”
Remalia said another focus needs to be bringing in companies with good jobs with good pay.
“I do bring a different perspective; I didn’t grow up here and live here my whole life, and I haven’t been here for 20 years,” Remalia noted. He’s lived in other military communities, and like Copperas Cove, they were service industry focused communities.
“We need to get out of that mindset, or bring in those high-tech jobs, and get the EDC to work on bringing those things in.”
Remalia is running against Shawn Alzona and William Gregory Smith to fill the one year that is left on Place 3, being vacated with Dan Yancey running for mayor.
Early voting for the Nov. 2 election starts on Monday, Oct. 18.
Next up for the candidates will be the forum, set for Thursday, Oct. 7, starting at 5:30 p.m. held by the Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce at the city council chambers, 508 S. 2nd St.