By AMANDA KIMBLE
STEPHENVILLE (February 10, 2017) — A regular attendee of Stephenville City Council meetings is ready to take his participation in city governance to the next level.
David Baskett, 37, a fifth generation Erath County resident with business and personal connections across the county, issued a few challenges in announcing his candidacy Friday.
Baskett filed for a shot at Place 7, which is held by Sherry Zachery. The incumbent previously announced her bid for a second full term.
The challenger has been keeping a close eye on council operations for about six months, attending regular monthly meetings, but his participation in community affairs and issues goes beyond occupying a seat in the council audience.
Baskett is the market president or Citizens National Bank of Texas in Stephenville and has been in the banking and real estate mortgage business for 14 years. He serves as vice president of Stephenville Economic Development Foundation (STEDCO), treasurer for Erath County Builders Association and on the multipurpose center core committee. Other affiliations include being a Stephenville Chamber of Commerce ambassador and a member of the city’s board of adjustment.
Baskett submitted his application to City Secretary Cindy Stafford days after the council voted to table a vote on contracts related to the Eastside Sewer Project, and he told The Flash the renovation and expansion project is one of this key concerns.
“The Eastside Sewer Project is not a want, it’s a need,” Baskett said. “It’s something we are going to have to address.”
He said while the current council has stalled to the project to make the best possible decision for taxpayers, costs continue to rise.
“I see the council trying to save money, when in reality they are costing us more money,” Baskett said.
Meanwhile, Baskett said he is also issuing a challenge to citizens in their 30s and 40s.
“I encourage those who are 30 to 40 years old to get out and file, even if it is against me,” he said. “I don’t think any seat should be uncontested and the idea of not having an election is crazy. Voters should always have a choice, an option.”
Prior to Baskett’s filing, all four incumbents on the May 6 ballot were uncontested. Also up for re-election are places 1, 3 and 5, which are held by Mark McClinton, Doug Svien and Rhett Harrison, respectively.
“I want a younger voice on the Stephenville City Council,” Baskett said. “Right now, the voice that’s on the council is not my voice.”
He said a constant complaint from his generation is the fact there is nothing to do in Stephenville, and he believes likeminded individuals need to come together to reshape the city.
“They’re always saying how they have to travel to other towns,” Baskett said. “I want to challenge them to get an application and file as well. We need a younger voice, and I want someone to run for every seat.”
He said the city needs to aggressively work toward public and private development with a keen focus on infrastructure.
“I am not all for raising taxes, but, at the end of the day, we need to spend money to make money,” Baskett said.
Before investments are made, Baskett said city officials and staffers need to explore all possible alternative funding methods, including grants and monies available through the state and federal government.
He said it’s time for younger generation to stand for progress for current and future generations.
Baskett’s wife, Mailyn owns and operates Baskett Insurance, a Farmers Agency. The couple has two children, a daughter, 8, and son, 4.