By George Slaughter
Sam Pearson is a retired peace officer and minister who serves on the city’s planning and zoning commission. He is making his first campaign for the Katy City Council, where he is facing incumbent Durran Dowdle for a Ward B council member seat.
For polling times and places, including absentee voting information, see the city’s election page.
1. Why do you want the job?
I have been a public servant most of my employment life. I want to offer my experience to the citizens of Katy.
2. If elected, what would your top three priorities be, and why?
The main priority of the City of Katy is to protect its citizens. With the large growth of commercial, industrial, and residential areas, protection is a main issue. I have seen the faces of victims at building or home fires, flood, auto accidents, and crime scenes. I have seen the hope they have when the first responders arrive. I want to insure the people have the best trained and equipped fire and police departments in the State of Texas. Public safety of the citizens of the City of Katy and their homes is the number one priority.
The second priority is to continue the reduction of taxes. The city has grown in all zoning areas; residential, commercial and industrial. During that growth, the city has been able to reduce the tax burden on its citizens. I will promote increase in tax exemptions for seniors and the disabled. As county appraisals increase, I will also vote for decreasing the tax rate for all citizens. It is essential to continue this reduction, but we must also continue the commercial and industrial growth to reach this goal.
The third is better drainage for the City of Katy. The citizens have had enough problems with the Tax Day Flood and then Harvey. We must work with state, federal and regional authorities to get the water flowing. The City of Katy needs to insure all ditches, detention ponds, underground drainage pipes are kept clean to allow a quicker flow of the water. A close monitoring of new construction and its impact on citizens of the city should be a specific agenda discussed on each request.
3. Would you encourage citizens to vote for or against the bond proposal, and why?
I would encourage the citizens to vote for all the bond proposals. Each one is directed to a specific need for our city. Drainage improvements need to be done as addressed in Proposal A and B. Proposal C is to upgrade and expand the sewer treatment plant. This is a must as the city grows. These bond issues are a start at improving these areas.
4. Is Katy handling growth properly? If yes, why? If no, how would you, if elected, change that?
Growth is good for the city. The main issues concerning growth is its effect on the citizens of the city. There needs to be a balance to any change. Each change is going to have an impact on something or someone. A watchful eye needs to investigate all aspects of proposed changes. The citizens expect the city council to do this for them and not vote simply for the exterior image of an area. True consideration must be given to each area request and time given to investigate the impact on the citizens. My experience is to look, listen, ask questions then investigate all aspects until the truth is found. If good, I will vote yes. If not good, I will vote no.
5. Is there anything else about your candidacy that Katy News readers should know?
Many people in the City of Katy do not know me or my family. Here is a brief background. My family moved to Texas in 1982. We moved to Katy 14 years ago and live in Hunter’s Terrace. In Virginia, my wife and I were full time county employees who obtained college Bachelor’s Degrees. I was a deputy sheriff with the county. With our new degrees, Texas provided us better economic opportunities than Virginia. I went to work as a high school teacher in the Houston Independent School District and gained a teaching certificate with the State of Texas. Two years later I accepted a job with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office and retired from there in 2009. Immediately, I was asked to join the Harris County Attorney’s Office as a senior investigator. In both jobs I had the opportunity to investigate the public integrity of public employees. While employed with the sheriff’s office, I returned to Sam Houston State University and received a master’s degree in criminal justice management. I retired again from Harris County in 2013 to direct a men’s ministry called, Just Man Ministry.
A peace officer is always supplementing his pay. In Virginia I worked as a construction worker and gained my real estate agent license. This taught me the ability to read plans and plats. I volunteered as a fireman and coach to many of my son’s teams. In Texas I became an adjunct professor with Houston Community College. Of course, there were the many extra jobs, such as sports events, security and traffic direction.
During my experiences, I discovered the reason some men fail, and others succeed is their attention to detail. Men have a choice given to them by God. The only reason they do wrong is because they don’t do right. I believe the word “public servant” is a description of the duties of council member. The Bible refers to this as “Promise Keeper” and “My Brother’s Keeper.” It is the simple willingness to accept responsibility for the welfare of others. I am willing to accept that responsibility. In my ministry, I instruct and mentor men in the areas of responsibility, ethical conduct, character, and integrity. I personally finance my campaign because the Bible states, “Owe no man anything except compassion.”
I am committed to my God, my family and the City of Katy.