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City council candidates answer questions at forum



Cove Leader-Press


The Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce held a candidate forum, in a Q&A format, to hear from the four candidates for Place 5 of the Copperas Cove city council.

The candidates, in alphabetical order, include:

Timothy Traeger, currently a teacher for CCISD, where he has taught for the past eight years. He is a veteran of the United States Army.

Dale Treadway served for more than 20 years in the U.S. Army. Treadway serves on several city boards, to include Planning and Zoning Commission (five years as chair), the Subdivision Technical Advisory Committee; Charter Review Committee; and the Board of Adjustments. He is also on the Bell County WCID#1 Board of Directors and has served on the Chairman of the Appraisal Review Board for Coryell Central Appraisal District.

John N. Valentine III served in the Army for more than 20 years and is the CEO and Founder of the 501C3 nonprofit, Operation Phantom Support. He also operates local businesses to include Phantom Warrior Brewing Company and Black Hawk Brewing Supply.

James Wilson is also a military veteran, and has been a longtime community volunteer for more than 19 years. He volunteers with Meals on Wheels and said he’s called “Coach Wilson” because of his volunteer work. He is studying criminal justice and social work.

They were asked four questions by Beth Galick-Carney, chamber president, and had three minutes to respond.

The questions were:

What relevant experience or attributes do you possess that make you the ideal city council candidate?

Is serving on city boards necessary and what boards have you served on?

What previous large budget preparation experience do you have?

What is the city’s greatest weakness and what is your solution?





He said his employment brings relevant experience for him, in looking at the future.

He does not have any experience sitting on a city board, but said he is a member of the campus needs assessment committed for his campus, where they look at what’s working and what’s not working, what can be done to fix something.

“I'm a fresh face, young face, probably the youngest (candidate) here, and I’m willing to help.”

Traeger said he does not have any large budget experience. “But in my military experience, I have been responsible for handling millions of dollars of equipment when it comes to supply or any anything Boeing military vehicle,” he said. “I am willing to learn, learn on the go. Just like what Mr. Wilson said, you don't have to know everything right now, but learn as you go.”

The biggest weakness of the city is understanding that businesses need to come to the city.

“We're a growing community, and if we want to see our economy thrive, we need to bring in businesses,” said Traeger. “They don't come to Cove for family-oriented fun unless it’s the movie theater or having a small meal at a mom and pop shop here in town.”



Currently he sits on the board of BCWID that provides water to the community. “I do believe in transparency and accountability. During the audit last year, I went back and looked at it. All the numbers added up correctly. But something didn’t add up right to me.”  

Treadway said they located an issue in the audit, which had cost area cities more money. Research was done, and the cities were reimbursed.

He said in sitting on a board, he believes in doing what’s right, and that growth is coming to Copperas Cove and the city needs to plan for that growth, improving roads, water structures, wastewater infrastructure, and bringing big businesses in here.

Although Treadway has served and previously served on a number of city and local boards, he said it is not a prequel to run for city council, but he said it does help to learn the background of the city, how things operate. Those who serve on boards, learn rules and regulations.

He said he has no experience with the budget, but with WCID, they just finished the annual budget for the upcoming year.

“I believe in accountability and responsibility. We happened to find that error, and made sure all the cities were taken care of.”

He said the city needs to plan for the future, although it has made improvements especially in the area of water. He said water is an issue in this area and statewide.

He believes communication needs to be improved, not just with the city but with the entire community. He said people will go to a restaurant and then complain about it on Facebook and blast the mom and pop restaurant. He said the city has improved its water infrastructure and still has a long way to go on the roads, which the city is in the process of fixing.




Valentine said that the biggest attribute he brings is that he is a problem solver.

“I've been doing it for the last 10 years for people coming to my door about different situations they're in and helping them solve problems. Now I'm not the answer to those problems. But I'm one of the type of people that I am willing to work with people to figure out the best community driven answer for that problem.”

Valentine said he hasn’t served on any city committees, because he has been busy raising a young family and has also been running a nonprofit for 10 years. But now with his kids grown, hie is ready to bring fresh eyes to these kinds of committees to pump up the boards a bit, and question things a little bit more.

As far as his budget experience, Valentine said that in his tie in the military, there were of dollars’ worth of budget items to manage.

“The military is a little different than what we would do in a city environment. I would assume that the city manager and the city attorney would be involved, that way we make sure we're not misspending the funds,” he said. “Our job as a city council just to make sure we're spending the money where it needs to be spent.”

He said his job as a councilman would be to sit down with the rest of the council, discuss things that they think are important, come to an agreement, and then run it through the channels.

Valentine echoed Treadway’s comment, that the city needs to work on communication with the community, so the citizens know the city is making the effort to make things better.

He also believes there need to be more restaurants in the city, and entertainment options and not have to go elsewhere for those activities. He wants to help entrepreneurs bring business to the city. He believes the city should have pushed to be named the most patriotic city in the state, with more than 50 percent of the community either active duty or veterans.



James Wilson said he listens to people and that growing up in this area, and living in Copperas Cove for 19 years, is relevant experience. He said he has a lot of networks in the local area. He said he wants to give and to help people, from his background as a social worker.

“I've already visited the senior center, the library, waste management. I'm listening to what they're telling me because it's not about what I want. I think that is the key thing.”

Wilson echoed Valentine’s comment, that he has not served on any boards and was busy raising kids. “But now I feel like it's my turn to try to give back.”

Wilson said that a city budget is much larger than the experiences he has had, such as with planning expenses for the youth sports coaching, and also in contracting.

“I am willing to learn and have my ear to the ground. One thing in the military, you learn to adapt.” He said he has been to visit a number of city departments to learn.

Wilson also believes that the city needs to bring more things in, just by looking at what other neighboring cities have to offer, and that the city needs to be prepared for things such as an ice storm or other crisis.

He said one of the priorities should be the new senior center, which the seniors know is coming. He also believes there should be more activities for children to socialize.

“I do agree with all these other gentlemen, to increase the communication. A lot of times people say, well, it's online, but everybody doesn't have WiFi. Everybody doesn't have computers. Not everybody has a cell phone.”

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