The year 2020 has been one of the most difficult years most of us have ever experienced. I am impressed by the people who found a way to persevere, help their neighbors and fight through the difficulties to come out of this stronger and wiser than before. There are lessons to be learned about what we can do to improve.

To add to the complications, we had to delay our Denton city election and now hold it while the pandemic continues.

I was elected by my colleagues to be mayor pro-tem, and now I am asking you to let me take one step up and serve as your mayor. History will be made on Nov. 3, and with your kind support, I will be part of it.

The first historic event will be that this will be the highest voter turnout in Denton’s history — by a mile! Thousands of people who have never considered voting in a city election will look over their options and join in planning Denton’s future.

There have been many elections in Denton’s 151-year history. We have elected 52 different men and women over those years, and those people have done an excellent job of bringing Denton to where it is now — one of the most vibrant cities in Texas.

But there is something else historic about this election. Denton was incorporated as a city in the same year Congress passed the amendment to the Constitution that would give African Americans the right to vote. And now, 151 years later, Denton could very well elect an African-American mayor. We have made tremendous progress in mutual brotherhood in 151 years.

I love Denton. I am running not to make dramatic changes but preserve the wonderful place of culture and accomplishment that I grew up in. My vision for Denton is to preserve the family-friendly community that I grew to love 47 years ago. I look forward to continued growth, but good city policies will keep the close-knit culture.

I will protect that culture by supporting policies that attract first-time homebuyers by keeping taxes as low as possible. I will support strategies to attract high-quality businesses to grow our commercial tax base. That shifts the tax burden away from homeowners but also brings jobs for our children and grandchildren. Jobs and low taxes will allow children to grow up here, graduate here, work here and raise a family here.

Too many politicians get it wrong: They want to raise taxes to pay for programs to help people but sacrifice economic health while achieving that goal. I support keeping lower taxes to attract jobs and wealth and then return a part of that wealth to help others. That is the proven recipe.

I will invest in our roads, parks and essential city services that contribute to our quality of life. I will lead the discussion on the council to spend wisely and invest in key growth sectors. I will continue to support fiscally responsible, zero-based budgeting practices.

I will improve Denton’s quality of life by repairing the aging infrastructure (streets, sidewalks and bike paths). The citizens recently passed a bond, and I will ensure the funds are used wisely and ensure we obtain the maximum value for the investment in infrastructure.

You can learn more about my plans at www.GerardForDenton.com. My campaign Facebook page is @GerardForDenton.

GERARD HUDSPETH is running for Denton mayor in the Nov. 3 general election. His opponents are Keely Briggs and Michael Mitchell.

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