"Council hopefuls field forum questions" by: Jessica Shepard

Sentinel photo/Jessica Shepard
Candidates for city council answer questions during a political forum sponsored by Happy Radio Tuesday night at VFW Post No. 2438. Those present were, from left: Esau Rodriguez, Becca Sitz, Jason Childers, Donnye Stone and Chrystal Folse.

   About 30 people came to see four city council hopefuls and one incumbent participate in a variety of question and answer segments during the political forum sponsored by Happy Radio 92.5 at VFW Post 2438.
   Place 3 incumbent Crystal Folse, Donnye Stone and Becca Sitz for Place 4, Jason Childers and Esau Rodriguez for Place 5 all answered a panel of questions.
   Candidates Floyce Brown and Franc Paiz, for Place 3 and 5 respectively, did not appear.
   Happy Radio’s Jeff Michaels was on hand to ask questions and to oversee the forum while it was projected live over the radio station, too. 
   He was joined in asking questions by Mike Reddell with the Bay City Sentinel and Dwight Baker with the Bay City Tribune.
   Opening statements kicked off the question and answer round, while featuring many hot topics facing candidates, should they be elected.
   One such question focuses on tax increment reinvestment zones (TIRZ) and whether or not they were a good fit for the community.
   A TIRZ zone is a political subdivision of a municipality or county in the state of Texas created to implement tax increment financing.
   Bay City currently has three such zones - with Schulman MBG, Marguerite Meadow and the North Downtown Plan.
   Rodriguez was the first to answer with his thoughts on TIRZ and said, “TIRZ in commercial areas are good for development when done correctly. 
   “But, I don’t think the TIRZ for Marguerite Street was well thought out; my opinion on the whole issue was why is council offering them a TIRZ zone when they didn’t offer one to Oak Estates and Golden Gate subdivisions?”
   “It isn’t as if the builders are reimbursed immediately,” said Folse.

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