Early voting for the May 6 city election has already begun. But for those who have not yet cast a ballot, I urge you to vote to re-elect Sherry Zachery to the Stephenville City Council.
Sherry and I don’t always agree on the issues confronting the city council. For example, in 2013 I voted for the infamous one-cent property tax increase from 48.5 cents to 49.5 cents per $100 assessed valuation. Sherry opposed it. With both of us running for city council that year, the voters accepted Sherry and rejected me. I suspect that had we both won our elections, we would have cancelled each other out on several city council votes.
But I’ve known Sherry for almost twenty-eight years, and although I’m now a widower, I was privileged to have once been married to her beloved and much-missed sister Cindy. I’ve come to appreciate two of Sherry’s strongest qualities which, together, make her an excellent city council member: Her incorruptible personal integrity, and her profound business and financial acumen. Both of these qualities make her especially well qualified to cope with the issues the city council is likely to face in the next few years.
Sherry’s integrity is on display in her continuing opposition to a tax rate higher than the 48.5 cent tax rate before the 2013 hike. Other council members who were on record as opposing the tax hike have nonetheless failed to try to roll it back to the pre-hike rate. They’ve evidently wanted the credit for opposing the tax hike while accepting the increased revenue it generated. But not only did Sherry oppose the tax hike before her first election, she has continued to oppose it, and to support a rollback. Imagine that—a city council member fighting to keep her campaign promises even after she’s been safely elected!
Opponents of the tax hike have always maintained that natural economic growth, as well as cutting fat from government, will supply all the money needed to allow the city council to continue to implement both old and new policies and meet the rising costs of government without a tax hike. But what if the growth slows down or even ceases? How will more fat be found and cut from government then?
Here Sherry’s business acumen will be especially needed. She’s already showed her financial management skills as the owner-operator of the Santa Fe County Taco Company, one of Stephenville’s oldest, most popular, and most successful restaurants. Her ability to keep her business thriving in an industry noted for far more failures than successes proves she is well-suited to help meet the financial challenges which the city may soon meet.
The City of Stephenville is facing, and will continue to face, many challenges in the years ahead. The public wants no new taxes, but it also wants more spending on economic development projects without harm to other existing programs. And the costs of maintaining our current infrastructure as well as building new infrastructure—roads, sewers, etc.– will continue to rise. By virtue of both her character and her skills, Sherry Zachery is ideally qualified to help lead Stephenville through the years ahead. I’m enthusiastically voting to re-elect Sherry Zachery, and I urge you to do so too.
Malcolm L. Cross has lived in Stephenville and taught politics and government at Tarleton since 1987. His political and civic activities include service on the Stephenville City Council (2000-2014) and on the Erath County Republican Executive Committee (1990 to the present). He was Mayor Pro Tem of Stephenville from 2008 to 2014. He is a member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and the Stephenville Rotary Club, and does volunteer work for the Boy Scouts of America. Views expressed in this column are his and do not reflect those of The Flash as a whole.