VanHoose hopes to keep his place on the board and continue his progress


Ok, well, I’ve been a resident of Plainview for 20 years. Married to the same man for longer than I’ll admit. I am old. He was a career sailor for 22 years. We lived all over the United States while the boys and I lived on either coast while he sailed around the world.

I was an adjunct professor at Wayland. I have a master’s degree in management. When I was explaining to my mother what I was doing, I told her that I was teaching people how to tell people what to do. His answer was that it was perfect for you. I have a kind of quirky humor that not everyone understands. Its good. I love Plainview. We moved here 20 years ago. The first move I ever did that I didn’t want to move. I did not agree to move. I didn’t want to do that. I love it. It’s a great place to live. The people are wonderful. The day I decided I was going to be happy here. I went to Walmart. She said is this ham salty? I told him how to make it no longer salty. This woman said what kind of socks do you wear with tennis shoes? I told my husband that I would be really happy here because people let me tell them what to do. It was a great experience because I have a lot of good friends. I really enjoyed teaching at Wayland. The students are fantastic. And I miss it. But it was time. My husband still teaches full time.

What are your qualifications to apply for this position?

Well, I’ve had it for almost four years. It was an absolute learning experience. I thought I knew how city government worked and I was just on the surface, but there’s so much more to it than you might think. There are so many parts that need to work together. The best part is that no matter who you are, you can call anyone in town or the responsible council member and get your question answered. The answer is maybe I don’t know yet but I’ll find out and get back to you. All this is possible. Part of the privilege of being a board member is that I get to serve on many different committees. It helps expand my knowledge of how everything works and how it takes so many different people. As for the city council itself, we are all very different people. We don’t always agree. We can always come to a consensus and we respect everyone’s opinions. It’s a large group of people who sit on the board right now.

What are the strengths and weaknesses of the city?

Strengths are people. Not everyone is involved, but anyone who wants to be can be, and that’s a plus. Everyone has a voice. Even if your voice is weak, you can still be heard. You can help expand your voice. Everyone can be heard. Will everyone be arrested immediately? No, because nothing works fast. Because there are so many different things to go through to get your answers sometimes. As I said, everything is addressed.

Probably a weakness would probably be the same. Some people only see their point of view and can’t understand why what they want can’t happen right now. The city as a whole works really well together. It doesn’t mean that everyone agrees on the order in which something should be done or how it should be done, but we have a consensus, which is amazing. I don’t think that’s the case with many other places.

If elected, what do you hope to address first?

To fix some things. We have completed almost all the bond projects, which is wonderful. I’m on the animal task force committee that helps revamp our rules and regulations for our animal shelter and the process of what you do whenever you have animals that are out of control and causing harm to others. We have some great people working there now, which is amazing. It doesn’t have a staff of 50 to look after all the different directions to respond immediately to everyone’s needs and that can be frustrating for all of us. Just keep improving the way we do it so we don’t stagnate. We are looking at long term plans. We have many long-term plans, including our water conservation. It’s going to take everyone working together, especially because we’re in a drought right now. It’s really scary to think that if we continue to use water at the rate we’re currently using it, we’re going to run out of it very quickly and we don’t want to. There are plans in place and everything is falling into place. We have great people thinking of ideas all the time about how we can improve what we have, how we can make it all work together. We have contingency plans in place due to the winter storms we experienced last year. We’ve been very lucky here to only have power outages, unlike some towns that have been without utilities for weeks. We have been very lucky here. This is largely due to the advanced planning they already had in place. And the fact that people had to cooperate and not keep everything. We kind of don’t want to sit in the dark, so we have a switch on to know when the electricity comes on. So just be aware.

What can you do for citizens?

If you call me with a problem, I will try to find an answer for you. It’s my job. Everyone sees the world a little differently and everyone loves the things they want to do. It’s hard for us as a council and it’s hard for us as people to just look around and say these are all the things that need to be done and not miss anything. If you as a citizen come to me and say I want this to happen. I might not be able to make it, but I can talk to someone and we might be able to get it going. Unless it’s something totally unrealistic.

But if you want something done, you have to form a group, let everyone know what you’re thinking. And see if it’s possible. See if we can do a feasibility study on it. Find out if it will happen, even remotely, in this city. I know we always hear rumors about what’s to come in Plainview. We have to be realistic about our goals that we want. Sometimes we don’t know what’s realistic until you’re faced with OK if we’re going to do it, that’s how it’s going to be. Some stores will never come here because we are too small a community. Its good. I like to live in small groups. I love the small town vibe and the fact that no matter where you go you always meet someone you know (whether you’re dressed for it or not).

What is the biggest problem facing the city right now?

Just things like water scarcity, it’s huge. Our emergency, what are we going to be able to do next. Keeping our PD personnel and fire department as staffed and equipped as possible. There is always a dream list of things that we would like to see happen and we would like to have them. Wouldn’t it be great if we had things. They are not necessarily realistic for our region. We never will. I don’t see us having a fire truck that has really tall ladders to get to really tall buildings. We don’t really have tall buildings here. If that’s your fantasy, it probably won’t happen because we’ll never have very tall buildings here. Before the aquatic center was there, everyone thought it would never happen. Look at the setup we have. We have a lot of people coming in to travel 50 or 60 miles to use our facilities – and that’s great.

Any projects you would like to see the city undertake?

I have many fantastic dreams. I think it would be great if we could have a sports pavilion here. In reality, we could never attract a big baseball team because we are too small a community. But we still watch little league. It would be a really wonderful, fantastic thing to be able to do. It is also very, very expensive. I don’t know if that could happen. But improving what we have, absolutely, we can do. Not all at once. It’s like when you’re building a house, you kind of have to do everything at once. For our city, we have excellent foundations, excellent frameworks. Not all of our rooms in the city are finished because we haven’t had time to take care of them, but the main structure is there. We still have empty spaces that we can fill. One of the things I really appreciate is that our code app has done a really good job of finding spots where cars have been standing still for a really long time. Set them aside. Getting collapsing structures, bringing them all the way down so they’re safe for people. Because we don’t want anyone trapped in a building that falls on them. I hate to say a kid especially because if an adult does it they are old enough not to walk into a run down building. Children are fearless and don’t think they can be hurt. We all have places where I wish I had a nicer lawn, planted more flowers, kept things as clean as possible. Most people do a great job at this.

What is your vision of the city?

I would like all the projects that we have considered and those that are in progress to be, if not finished, at least more advanced. There are projects that are going to be a work in progress. Our water conservation will always be a work in progress. Improve our fire department and our police department, our public works department. No gear lasts forever. Make sure we can attract people who are happy to be in Plainview to work here.


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