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Cove mayor candidate says stability goes hand-in-hand with economic development | Local News

Cove mayor candidate says stability goes hand-in-hand with economic development | Local News

One thing is for certain in Copperas Cove when voters take to the polls soon — there will be a new mayor in the city.

Shortly before the filing period opened, current Mayor Bradi Diaz announced that she would not seek re-election.

On the next day, mayor pro tem and council member for Place 3 Dan Yancey announced he would run. He officially filed on July 19.

He is being challenged by Devin Meadows, who is a write-in candidate.

Meadows, a resident of the southeastern part of the city, filed as a write-in candidate on Aug. 20.

As a write-in candidate, Meadows’ name will not appear on the ballot, but he is eligible to win the election if enough people write his name on the ballot.

Meadows did not respond to the Herald’s requests for more information, nor did he respond to questions or provide a photo for this report.

Yancey, 67, was elected to the City Council in 2015 and has been mayor pro tem for four of his six years in office.

After the death of then-Mayor Frank Seffrood in December 2018, Yancey handled the duties of mayor until Diaz was sworn into office on May 7, 2019.

The Herald sent three questions to each candidate. The questions and their answers are below:

Question 1: If elected as Mayor of Copperas Cove, what would you do to ensure the stability of the city as it continues to grow?

Yancey: “Stability is achieved through diligent long-range planning for growth. The Mayor and Council … reviews its Strategic Plan, Comprehensive Plan, Capital Improvement Plan, Capital Outlay Plan and Personnel Improvement Plans to ensure our city can meet the infrastructure and maintenance needs of a growing community. Continued investment in infrastructure and funding for economic development are vital long-term needs… The city has been in a “catch up” mode for several years … because of the lack of utility infrastructure and development in the late 90’s and early 2000’s and must continue to expand growth opportunities within our city limits. More infrastructure = more rooftops and commercial (retail and restaurant) development to satisfy the demands of a growing population will help curb “leakage” of shopping dollars spent outside of our community. Prudent funding and proper planning for economic development can accelerate growth with more job opportunities, which means new income generated within the city.”

Question 2: What are your top issues, and what would be the most important to you if you were elected Mayor of Copperas Cove? Why?

Yancey: “My top issue is obtaining property for future economic development and discussed further within question 3. Another priority would include a continued effort for infrastructure improvements and proactive rather than reactive maintenance schedule to keep city services running as efficiently as possible. City staff has put a concerted effort to identify and implement orderly maintenance and replacement policies creating a continuity of service and cost savings to taxpayers. Continued collaboration with Ft. Hood and our regional neighbors to bring quality business to our region is necessary. Working together as a region makes all of us more attractive. Whether a business locates within Copperas Cove or our neighboring cities, we all benefit. Copperas Cove has an advantage because elected leadership, EDC, Chamber and city staff are working together to create a positive environment for economic growth.”

Question 3: As the city continues to grow, economic development is a must. What kind of business(es) would you like to see in the City of Copperas Cove, and if, elected, what would you do to assist in bringing that type of business to the city?

Yancey: “I believe the top priority for future economic development is obtaining property for that growth. The city needs to work closely with the EDC to obtain land needed or work on an alternative plan to enter into a land swap agreement with Ft. Hood for property orphaned by State Hwy 9. The EDC has discussed the possibility of constructing a spec building within the Narrows large enough to attract a business looking for space to occupy immediately. A building ready for immediate occupancy can be marketed to businesses working closely with Operational Test Command on west Ft. Hood as well as Army Futures Command in north Austin. Additionally, Apple has located offices in north Austin within 45-50 minutes of Copperas Cove. Marketing efforts directed at ancillary businesses working with either business highlighting a high-level competent workforce coupled with a lower cost of living within our city can be successful.”