DISTRICT 4 CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATE INTERVIEWS

DISTRICT 4

Wrapping up our Politics Week series of interviews with city council potentials, today we bring you District 4. District 4 opponents Joey Hawkins and Phil Kregel have some different views on what may be best for their district and our city - but they do agree on one entirely important issue: tacos. These guys both fully support the tasty taco efforts of Casa Galaviz. We suggest you grab your wallet, head to said taco mecca, get a taco, and read through their answers to our hard hitting questions.  

If you aren't sure which district you live in or if you're even registered, go ahead and check out The League of Women Voters of Denton or votedenton.org to find out. Don't forget that the last day to register is April 11th! 

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JOEY HAWKINS

What are the three most important issues facing the city today?

Denton is the 7th fastest growing city in the nation and is projected to double in size by 2030. This projection makes growth the greatest challenge for our community in the near future. I believe the three most important issues Denton faces will require us to meet this challenge wisely:

1) I am concerned about maintaining Denton's vibrant identity.  Growth is both inevitable and vital for a healthy community.  I know that with a very strong, deliberate plan and with the right leadership, Denton will continue to achieve great success without having to sacrifice its soul, the thing that makes us special.  I choose to live here because we have retained so many great things of our small-town past, such as our street festivals and parks and small family-owned businesses, while also embracing our future and the exciting things that are still ahead of us.  Like any successful relationship, it will require a lot of work to keep balanced and on track.    

2) The City of Denton has been a convention destination without a convention center for years. Denton has turned down important convention business due to the lack of an appropriate facility. That is something we simply cannot afford. That we aren’t attracting business to Denton is bad enough; exporting our business, such as the Denton Benefit League Ball, high school proms, etc., to other cities is just irresponsible and embarrassing.  

3) Speaking from my own experiences and from conversations I have had with other small business owners, we need simplified and more reasonable practices that assist in obtaining permits, passing inspections, and adhering to the Denton Property Maintenance Code.  The relationship between private citizens and city officials too quickly becomes adversarial.  I recently looked up the mission statement for the Code Enforcement Division, and it states: 

The Code Enforcement Division provides enforcement and educational services to ensure the health, safety, and general welfare of the citizens of the City of Denton.”  

Compliance with the code is not the goal; it is the means to achieve the goal, our common goal—a better City of Denton.  As such, more emphasis should be placed on education, understanding that most people want to do what is expected and may simply require explanations, advice or assistance in finding resources to help them comply with the code.  Obviously, repeat offenders that ignore offers of assistance and show a blatant disregard for violations should be penalized – heavily!  That behavior diminishes our city.   The rest of us are all on the same side.

What do you think are Denton's greatest strengths and weaknesses?

Strengths: Our many festivals (Denton is the City of Festivals), UNT & TWU, our neighborhoods, the diversity of our people, the revitalized downtown and historic areas, our amazing music scene, the Denton Parks and Recreation Department, our commitment to the environment seen in our recycling program and the state-of-the-art landfill

Weaknesses: The City’s permitting and code enforcement process, insufficient infrastructure, and the temperature in August

What single thing makes your district awesome?

Single thing that makes D4 awesome- Eureka Playground at South Lakes Park! My family visits the playground and park weekly. My son wants to LIVE there. The park encourages a healthy lifestyle for Denton residents through a variety of attractions: walking/jogging trails, fishing, basketball and tennis courts, barbeque pits, and nature trails.  Combine all that with a pit stop at Mr. Frosty on the ride home and you have an experience worthy of a family tradition.

How do you see your possible councilman-ship positively affecting Denton?

Through owning my two businesses and my volunteer endeavors, I feel that I am in the customer service business. Customer service involves the skill to truly listen, a deep respect for all people, ownership of mistakes, commitment to fixing those mistakes, a good work ethic, and an attitude of cooperation in doing whatever is needed to get the job done, regardless of whether it is “in my job description” or not.  As a Denton City Councilman, I look forward to adding my invaluable customer service expertise to great and varied assets of fellow Council members.

In your opinion, what is the best taco in Denton?

Nothing is better than taking someone to Casa Galaviz for the first time and introducing them to the carne guisada taco with the special verde salsa (made only when Joe, the inspired owner, wants to).

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PHIL KREGEL

What are the three most important issues facing the city today?

The three important issues that affect the city would be: upholding the integrity of the city by not allowing a convention/hotel/conference center to be built; competing with other cities in the area for business and new residents; dealing with a severe lack of citizen participation in the local government process. 

What do you think are Denton's greatest strengths and weaknesses?

Denton’s greatest strengths would be: Unique citizen perspective; the square/downtown; and being in a region that is experiencing great growth and change. Its weaknesses would be: poor roads; lack of leadership on the council; bottleneck on I-35; and our town has a label within the outside business community that it is difficult to do to business in Denton.

What single thing makes your district awesome?

Broad demographic spectrum

How do you see your possible councilman-ship positively affecting Denton?

I would bring to the table a tenacious and input provoked from outside of the box type of thought process which I would hope to translate into more citizen input, increase in commerce, and an overall increase in quality of life for our residents.  

In your opinion, what is the best taco in Denton?

The best taco in town would have to be from Tortilleria La Sabrocita on Dallas Drive and breakfast tacos would have to be Casa Galaviz on Elm.