Youngs tosses hat in the ring for council seat
By LYNETTE SOWELL
Longtime Covite and former Copperas Cove city council member Charlie Youngs filed on Monday morning to run for Copperas Cove city council place 7.
Youngs, who along with his late wife, Peggy, moved to Copperas Cove in 1984, continued to make Copperas Cove their home after his retirement from the military in 1988.
He held a council seat from 1993-1996 and then again from 2010 until July 2012, when he resigned due to his wife’s health and subsequent passing that same month.
Youngs has kept an eye on Copperas Cove’s operations and its city government over the past five years and said he hasn’t been happy with the way the current council has handled things, particularly where it concerns the city’s relationship with the Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce and the Copperas Cove Economic Development Corporation.
“When I was on council, we had our disagreements (with the chamber), but we were always able to sit down and work things out. There was none of the bickering over the last couple of years.
“To me, the entire process with the EDC and the chamber, there seemed to be one thing in mind for the city: destroy the chamber and destroy the EDC, and reduce their functions and take over as much of the funding as possible and put it in the city bank account.”
He lamented the loss of the large bicycle races that are no longer held in the Copperas Cove area, which were held by Team Bicycles, Inc. and sponsored by the chamber.
“That was one of the first results of the city’s attempt to destroy the chamber,” Youngs said.
He said he wants a spot on the council to help rebuild that relationship on a business and professional level.
“I don’t think the city has shown a professional or business attitude toward the EDC or the chamber. I’d like to establish new bridges with chamber.”
Another thing that concerns Youngs where the present council is concerned is the move to dissolve the EDC and let voters create a municipal development district, or MDD. He said discussions were had about an MDD back when he was on council, and the way an MDD can spend sales tax revenue concerns him.
Also, if the EDC were to be dissolved by Copperas Cove voters, he has concerns about the future of economic development in Copperas Cove.
“I think the city’s aim is to take funds out of the EDC and put them in the general fund. It would end up going to the golf course, to the parks, other projects – it won’t go for economic development. Not that there is anything wrong with other projects, but we will have no economic development in Copperas Cove.”
Right now as a voter, Youngs aims to make the case against voting for the creation of a municipal development district, since it will likely be on the November ballot.
He said he also had an inner debate about if he should run for office, both in 2015 and 2016.
“For the past two years, I would fill out the paperwork, but then I didn’t file it,” Youngs said.
This year, things are different, given what he’s seen from the present seated council, he said.
“I talked to some of my friends and asked them who they wanted off the council, and every single one of them said (Matthew) Russell,” he added. That sealed the deal for him along with his concerns about the chamber and the EDC, so he filed on Monday to run.
Russell ran unopposed in 2014 for the place 7 seat.
Place 6, currently occupied by retired veteran and small business owner George Duncan, is also up for election.
The city secretary is accepting applications to run for office through Tuesday, August 22 at 5 p.m.