Name: Wayne Rast
Occupation: Aerospace\Environmental Engineer
Campaign website or social media site:
Elected offices held (with years of service): Kemah City Council Position 4, since 2002 (11 years)
Q: Are you a legal resident of the district you are seeking to represent?
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ADDRESS: 623 Oak Glen Drive, Kemah, TX 77565
Q: Have you ever been charged or convicted of a felony crime? If you answer yes please explain.
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Q: Have you ever sued a public entity or been sued by one? If you answer yes, please explain.
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Q: Do you have any other debts (including unpaid taxes) to a public entity? If yes please explain.
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Q: Will you have your home phone number listed in the phone book or your mobile number listed for the public to contact you directly?
But my publicly available e-mail is available from city website listings, and account is checked daily.
Q: Why should voters choose you? A: My experience and hopefully my proven judgment, especially on policy and budget matters, my thoroughness of preparation and review, and my independence from doing the popular and willingness to stand alone to do what is right.
Q: What are your specific qualifications for the position?A: Eleven consecutive ongoing years in this elected office, my understanding of Kemah's history and policies, my specialized budgeting experience, and an engineer’s understanding of cost benefit analysis, and the trade-offs required therein.
Q: What are the issues in this campaign?A: There are a few naturally competing priorities to resolve about the best use of our limited funds, but they are not unique to this election. The real issue of this election is the future direction of Kemah, specifically whether we continue moving forward or vote to go back. If voters keep us moving forward then we can resist revisiting the problems that arose during our recent difficult past. For many the worst blow from that past has been to our sense of ourselves, and the bitterness opened up in our community, which for some contain wounds that exist even to this day--wounds that we need to close.
Q: What is your platform on those issues? A: I can only believe that the voters of Kemah see how things have gone since we returned Kemah’s reputation, and set it on the current path of growth. Kemah operates now as smoothly as I have seen it in all my decade of public service, during this last year. The progress that we will see from the traffic and parking problems being substantially addressed will be a boon for both for our visitors and our residents, as will the new projects that will bring many additional choices to town. None of this is happening by accident, but through the conscious efforts of your elected officials and Kemah’s amazingly dedicated staff.
Q: If elected what would you do to foster a more civil tone in city politics and government? A: The tone among candidates is and has been generally civil. Occasionally the tones among some supporters, often on forums like social websites, can result in less than fortunate outcomes that further inflame ill will. I can only hope that by sticking to the issues, the majority of readers, voters, and others of fairness and understanding can work together to heal the worst emanating from those few that refuse to avoid unrelenting cynicism. I truly believe the result of this election will be even better tone among our residents. For in the end, when this election is over, we are all what we started out as—colleagues, friends and neighbors.
Q: Do you support the proposal to facilitate construction of a park and ride garage or lot in Kemah? Why or why not?
A: I am strongly for the park and ride. Initially I had some concerns about the parking garage, as anyone might at first glance. These included concerns about how it might affect traffic, our current businesses, potential crime, and similar issues. As I learned more about it and went through it all, each of those concerns was addressed, and more. It is now clear that if we are selected for the grant, we will get a park and ride facility that will take long haul riders out of the Houston traffic equation, reducing our overall load into the environment. I continue this answer in the next question.
Q: What plans do you have or would support to address parking problems in the city, specifically in the Lighthouse District and busy weekends?
A: There are no viable plans that address this large problem other than the current park and ride proposal. Continuing from previous question, I found zero reasons for any increase in crime, as the riders are weekday M-F commuters to the Medical Center downtown and UTMB. With no bus riders on nights and weekends, exactly when Kemah desperately needs parking, we get hundreds of extra parking spaces right in the entertainment district where needed. Finally, this will NOT cost the city money beyond the small amount initially budgeted to review the concept. The $10 million value of the lease of property will be the city’s match, and grants pay the rest.
Q: What area of city spending would you want to see reduced and why? What area of city spending would you support increasing and why?
A: I take pride in the fact that we run a very tight ship in our pay as you go government, and keep our taxes correspondingly low. All areas for cutting are addressed yearly during the budget cycle. I would spend less on certain non-optimal hotel/motel expenditures from our specialized fund for this purpose--one that is paid entirely by visiting hotel guests. Inside of the KCDC budget I would spend more on parks and green spaces, a priority of mine since I arrived in office. I have worked unrelentingly through a variety of Mayors to make the 57 acre site lease from Galveston County into a park reality for Kemah.