Four candidates compete for two seats on the Taylor City Council


Highlights

Mayor Brandt Rydell is running against Gary Gola for District 3 seat.

Council Member Christopher Gonzales is facing a challenge from Mitchell Drummond in District 2.

Two rivals are challenging two incumbents on the Taylor City Council in the May 5 election.

Real estate broker Gary Gola is running against Mayor Brandt Rydell for the District 3 seat, while retired electrician Mitchell Drummond is trying to replace Christopher Gonzales in the District 2 race.

Rydell, 47, is an attorney who acts as the assistant general counsel for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas and has served two terms on the City Council. He was chosen by council members to be mayor. He said the biggest concern he’s heard from residents is that “impending growth and development will negatively affect the character and charm of our community and the quality of life of its residents.”

If re-elected, Rydell said he would work “with my fellow council members and city staff to update our development code to ensure that Taylor’s growth is smart, sensible and respectful of Taylor’s history and heritage.” He said his priorities also include addressing street and infrastructure needs and increasing economic vitality.

Rydell’s opponent, Gola, 54, said the biggest concern he’s heard from residents is “with the way things always seem to be done behind closed doors,” he said. “People try to get involved, and then their input is not heard.”

His priorities if elected include making the city more transparent in its day-to-day operations and offering a more “inclusive and accountable environment where more people will have a say in the direction that the city grows and in how the city is operated,” he said.

READ: Taylor’s previous City Council election: Taylor council candidates agree city needs to attract businesses, jobs

Gonzales, 37, is a manager for the Spectrum cable company and has served three terms on the City Council. He said the most recent concern he has heard from residents is about the city government’s transparency, including the “city not having accurate information on council meeting items and not planning financially for the future of Taylor.” Residents also are concerned about streets, he said.

If re-elected, Gonzales said he would “continue to make the best fiscally responsible decisions on all items.” His other priorities include focusing on the city’s infrastructure needs, streets, economic development, and community and neighborhood safety.

Gonzales’ opponent, Drummond, is retired from a career as an electrician and control programmer at the Sandow Power Plant in Rockdale.

“Almost anyone you ask in Taylor will tell you the streets are awful,” Drummond, 59, said. “My goal is to grow our economy and tax base and use the increase to keep our taxes manageable while improving our streets, water and wastewater structure.”

His other priorities if elected include bringing more business to the city and making neighborhoods and downtown “more inviting to families with walkable streets, parks, green spaces and art,” he said.

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