WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Incumbent councilor Jeff Browning said he plans to try to restore the local economy as quickly as possible and help the city grow if he is re-elected.
Mel Martinez said he hopes to help improve transportation and spend more time on supporting current businesses in the district.
The District 3 seat in the Wichita Falls city council is up for grabs and Browning said he hopes to keep it so he can keep serving the public.
“I wanted to keep going with where I was. I wanted to keep educating myself and that was the key of getting on council anyway,” Browning said. “Educate myself and help educate the public. So it was a no brainer for me to run again.”
Martinez is a pastor at Metropolitan Community Church and said he hopes to bring diversity and open dialogue to the council.
“That happens to be one of my gifts and skills is building bridges. And I’d like to offer that to the city. I hope that others see the value in that as well,” Martinez said.
With District 3 running through the heart of town, Browning said there are not a lot of issues plaguing the district. But he would like to see some vacant lots in the area taken care of.
“I would like to see some kind of program put together to where we can keep these lots taken care of if nobody owns them, or if somebody owns them and they’re not taking care of them. I think that’s a big thing,” Browning said.
As a transgender man of Hispanic descent, Martinez said he wants all of the diversity of Wichita Falls to be heard by the council.
“Those voices just aren’t getting there,” Martinez said. “And if they get there, if they get into the room, they’re given 5 minutes of consideration and that’s it. Often times, after the city council members have already made their minds up. That needs to be addressed. We need more diversity on the city council. We need different voices with different perspectives.”
While Browning has council experience, both candidates said they want to be transparent to the public and serve the city that they love.