“My passion is Abilene”: Brian Yates discusses his new role on the Abilene City Council | KTAB
ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – In this week’s edition of Big Country Politics, Big Country Homepage welcomed newly elected Place 4 Abilene City Council member Brian Yates.
On election night, Yates won 65% of the vote over Scott Beard to become the next member of Abilene City Council 4 and was sworn in Tuesday in the city council chambers, succeeding Weldon Hurt.
“The election process was exhausting and you should give credit to all the people who were willing to step up and get through this because it was a lot,” Yates said. “There is absolutely a sigh of relief to have it finished and to have the resolve to be able to focus on the future and focus on the city.”
One topic that was discussed throughout the election and is still an issue among voters is the upkeep of city streets, something Yates introduced this election season.
“Everyone has something to say about the streets,” Yates said. “We are well on our way to solving this problem and having a sustainable street program.”
When it comes to fixing the Abilene streets issue, Yates said the process isn’t a quick fix.
“You’re looking at another ten years before you’ve gone all over town to repave all the streets,” Yates said. “If you repair all the streets at the same time, in fifteen years they will wear out all at once and you will have the same problem.”
Before the election, the McMurry professor of political science-Dr. Paul Fabrizio told KTAB/KRBC that he believes the test of strength between the religious and values-based viewpoint versus the business and economic viewpoint was evident in this May election.
“I’m not saying Brian Yates isn’t religious or anything like that. That’s just where their goal is. I think Scott Beard’s focus, focus and religious values are much more direct with him,” Dr. Fabrizio said.
Council Member Yates added his thoughts regarding the discussion.
“I am certainly not anti-religious. I go to church, I believe in God and I have conservative values. In the end, my values weren’t that different from Pastor Beards’,” Yates said. “The difference was how do you want to achieve this? Do you want to persuade and have a shared value in your community or do you want your government to enforce those values? I don’t think that’s an appropriate use of government at any level.
Yates, a retired United States Air Force colonel, added his approach to how he would navigate the waters of values versus business as a member of the Abilene City Council.
“I approach it from the perspective that you have to persuade people that your values are the best way and you do that by listening to them,” Yates said.
In addition to the discussion on upkeep of Abilene’s streets and values versus business, Yates spoke about his introduction to the fight against the city’s upcoming budget.
“Being in a bureaucracy previously in the Air Force, I know the budget process in general,” Yates said. It’s really about learning the specifics of where we spend our money.
Yates added that the next budget for the city of Abilene is around $315 million and with over 70% of the budget consumed by city employees, there is not much room for global changes unless job cuts are made, which the council does not want. TO DO. asserted that there was not much room for big changes.
“You just want to make smart choices, not dramatic changes, but you want to listen to all sides.”