Two candidates prepare for Copperas Cove runoff election on Dec. 7
Two candidates are in the Dec. 7 runoff election for Copperas Cove city council Place 3, to fill the remaining term left when Dan Yancey won the election for mayor. Early voting will take place the week of Nov. 29 – Dec. 3.
Here are the candidate profiles for Shawn Alzona and Scott Remalia, as well as three questions and answers. More information from past candidate forums and meet-and-greet events can be found at the Copperas Cove Leader-Press Election 2021 page at https://www.coveleaderpress.com/election-2021.
Candidate Profile: Shawn Alzona
Shawn Alzona, a decorated military veteran, brings his background of more than 20 years of leadership and management experience in both the Army and the private sector. He is currently a member of the City of Copperas Cove Parks and Recreation Quality of Life Board.
“I have lived in and loved Copperas Cove for almost 20 years and I want to help Cove continue to grow into the future. There is strength in our diversity and as we grow, the diversity of our population grows with it. The future of Copperas Cove is bright!”
Alzona said his platform is strongly centered around diversity, community and economic growth. His focus will be to seek out new opportunities to attract businesses to Copperas Cove.
As to his experience, Shawn Alzona says he understands there is much to learn about the city’s government but pledges to listen to the voters and work to understand their needs. He humbly asks the people of Copperas Cove for the opportunity to serve them and work together in growing Copperas Cove into the future.
“I am excited for the opportunity to serve the citizens of Copperas Cove and add to the diversity of a council that represents the people.”
Candidate Profile: Scott Remalia
Scott Remalia, retired United States Marine, served from 1979-2001 in three infantry battalions; served as an Operations Manager, Drill Instructor, Academics Instructor and Weapons Instructor. He was a Marine Security Guard Detachment Commander at the United States Embassies in Gaborone, Botswana, Africa and Panama City, Panama. His final assignment before retirement was as the Senior Enlisted Advisor at Headquarters and Service Company, 2nd Assault Amphibious Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, NC. He retired from the Marine Corps in 2001 after 22 years of service.
Then in December 2011, Remalia was hired by Titan Corporation, later known as L3, to be an instructor at Camp Lejeune. He then left L3 in 2005 and was hired by Cubic Corporation and became the Director of a Command and Control Computer Systems Training Center in Camp Lejeune. He remained in North Carolina until 2009 when he accepted a civil service position at Training and Education Command, Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia.
Remalia moved his family to Copperas Cove in June 2018 and finalized his retirement from civil service in August 2018. Since then, he has been involved with various non-profit organizations to benefit veterans, is a Life Member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8577 in Copperas Cove and is a Life Member of the National Rifle Association. He is a member of Grace United Methodist Church in Copperas Cove and currently serves as the Trustee Chairperson. He and his wife of 37 years, Rhonda, have two children and six grandchildren.
Questions with the candidates
1. The city of Copperas Cove will be receiving $8 million as part of the American Rescue Plan Act. According to the documentation/conditions, funds may be used to address the city’s lack of revenue or loss of revenue as a result of the coronavirus. How do you think the city should prioritize spending of this funding, and why?
Shawn Alzona: My first priority is to make sure the people of Copperas Cove have a voice in how these funds are spent. Secondly, I want to ensure the decision comes from deliberate planning that focuses on “smart spending” and long term value for the city. I have faith that our city’s directors will identify our most critical needs and provide options that offer the most benefit to Copperas Cove but ultimately, I prioritize our critical infrastructure projects in parks, recreational facilities, and street improvements.
Scott Remalia: I would focus on three areas. Address the shortfall in the Hotel occupancy tax revenue; water, sewer and broadband infrastructure improvements; and to assist local industries.
It is important to ensure the city has a strong revenue stream and using the funds to supplant the shortfall in the occupancy tax would help the financial strength of the city. The water, sewer and broadband infrastructure improvements will be necessary, especially with the long term growth projected. Assisting local industries is invaluable to keeping people employed and residents able to use the services in the city, which keeps the “money” in Copperas Cove.
2. What types of businesses do you believe the city of Copperas Cove should seek to come to Copperas Cove, and how do you propose the city should go about doing that?
Shawn Alzona: I am focused on attracting industries that can provide a wealth of jobs and sales tax revenue for our community, like warehousing and manufacturing. Our location makes us an excellent choice for companies and we have already conducted studies on the feasibility of an inland port-like structure, such as a multi-modal railhead facility. Infrastructure like that creates the framework that will attract businesses to our great city. None of this can be possible without building relationships, which is one of my strengths. Focusing on the negative and pointing fingers only degrades the image of our city and I bring a positive energy that I will use to promote our city bring in big businesses.
Scott Remalia: I would like to see businesses in advanced manufacturing, defense and energy relocate to Copperas Cove. We have a great location, plenty of available commercial property, a wealth of talent, and numerous opportunities for businesses. The Economic Development Corporation (EDC) has many incentives to offer businesses and Copperas Cove has been designated an “Opportunity Zone”, which is a program designed to spur economic development and job creation in communities throughout the United States which could be of great advantage. To be successful this would be a multi-faceted venture between the City Council, the EDC and possibly the Chamber of Commerce.
3. As the city of Copperas Cove continues to grow, plans for infrastructure and more are a part of that growth. Do you believe the city has sufficient plans for future residential growth? If so, why, and if not, why not?
Shawn Alzona: I am confident that the city has sufficient plans for future growth because I have spent time with the leaders of this city to learn what our future needs are and the plans to address them. There will always be work that needs to be done and planning that adapts to future conditions, improvements and technologies, but we are moving in the right direction. I am confident that my leadership experience in planning and operations will be an asset to the city. I trust our experts, experts who work tirelessly to ensure our city remains running everyday, who are the ones closest to the opportunities for improvement, who explore all of the options and will present the best possible solutions to the council.
Scott Remalia: In the 2022 – 2026 Capital Improvement Plan, there are 63 projects divided among Transportation, Street & Sidewalks, Water, Sewer and Wastewater. There are 31 active residential developments with a projected increase of 16,804 and a projected population of 53,419. The city is also working on acquiring more water from Bell WCID to ensure we will be able to have a sufficient quantity of water to accommodate the future growth.
With that as a background I do believe the city has identified issues that will affect the growth. But these plans will constantly evolve and need to be a top priority.