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Gustafson vies for third term on council

March 20, 2019

Friendswood City Councilman Carl Gustafson is seeking a third term in the May 4 election on a platform that emphasizes downtown revitalization, drainage and infrastructure upgrades and equitable treatment of all areas of the city.

The 55-year old engineer is challenged by Brent Erenwert, a Friendswood business owner, for Position 6.

During the last election in Friendswood, one subject that kept coming up was whether the city was divided among older, more established areas versus newer neighborhoods, as well as by county.

“While I believe that there were, and may still be, perceived differences with regards to the Harris County and Galveston County sections of our city, significant efforts have been undertaken to address the concerns of residents in older parts of the city in both counties,” Gustafson said.

As examples of that effort, Gustafson pointed to several road projects that impact a wide section of the city, including the rebuilding of Blackhawk Boulevard.

Gustafson also cited a program that is evaluating street and pavement improvement projects to identify areas in most need of repair “without regard to which part of the city they may be located.”

“It is in the best interest of our entire community to ensure that all areas of our city are well-maintained, and infrastructure upgrades are made equitably,” he said.

Hurricane Harvey, Gustafson said, turned out to be a unifying experience for the city.

“(Harvey) demonstrated that old perceptions and biases are quickly becoming a thing of the past,” he said. “I can state emphatically that nobody cared anything about anyone’s economic status or where they lived in Friendswood when they sprang into action to help their fellow citizens during this overwhelming challenge to our community.”

Gustafson has been supportive of downtown revitalization efforts, saying that they allow Friendswood to boost its commercial tax base.

“A vibrant downtown increases commercial property values, adds to our sales tax base that is paid by both residents and nonresidents and improves our citizens’ perception of their city,” he said.

Gustafson who co-chairs the city’s drainage committee, believes his experience as an engineer in the oil and gas industry is valuable in planning to prevent flooding.

“Drainage has been a challenge in our city for many years,” he said. “While serving on council, my engineering and project management background have been invaluable in providing me with the experience and knowledge base needed to adequately support the efforts of staff and others developing solutions to our drainage challenges.”

Gustafson said he has worked with the subcommittee to identify these projects, their costs and how they would minimize flooding and support cost-sharing partnerships with neighboring municipalities and counties.

“The cost to enact every project that will be needed to reasonably address the flooding and drainage issues in our city far exceeds our city’s ability to pay for them from the general fund,” he said. “We will need to partner with neighboring cities that share the Clear Creek watershed with us.”

Gustafson, who is married and has four children and one grandchild, is self-employed as an engineering consultant. He attends Friendswood United Methodist Church.

For more election information, visit https://bit.ly/2VhpEBx.

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