Michael Steenberge for Granite Shoals Texas City Council   
Home About Michael Issues - "The Common Good" Election Information Granite Shoals City Data

"Impress upon children the truth that the exercise of the elective franchise is a social duty of as solemn a nature as man [sic] can be called to perform; that a man [sic] may not innocently trifle with his vote; that every elector is a trustee as well for others as himself and that every measure he supports has an important bearing on the interests of others as well as on his own. "

Daniel Webster, The Works of Daniel Webster (Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1853), Vol. II, p. 108.



Get to know the candidate: listen to 4 minute Steenbergen speech in previous campaign against Bill Rosenburg for State Democratic Committee
Get to know the candidate: listen to 1 minute Steenbergen speech on the most critical issues facing the City of Granite Shoals Texas.


Granite Shoals General Election for Mayor and 3 City Council Seats

May 6, 2017 - Uniform Election Date
The more detailed calendar is available on the Elections homepage and on the Conducting Your Elections pages
Authorities conducting elections include local political subdivisions and counties

Last Day to Register to Vote

Thursday, April 6, 2017

First Day of Early Voting By Personal Appearance

Monday, April 24, 2017

Last Day to Apply for Ballot by Mail
(Received, not Postmarked)

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Last Day of Early Voting By Personal Appearance

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Last day to Receive Ballot by Mail

Saturday, May 6, 2017 (election day) at 7:00 p.m. (unless overseas deadline applies)

Local political subdivisions include: cities, school districts, water districts, hospital districts, and any other local government entity that conducts elections.  Many of these elections are conducted on the May uniform election date. Note:  Counties may also be holding local proposition (measure) elections on May 6, 2017./p>

Filing deadlines:  generally, the filing deadline is the 78th day prior to Election Day.  The Texas Election Code (the “Code”) may provide a different special election filing deadline.  See Section 201.054 of the Code.  Write-in deadlines for general and special elections vary; the deadline for most local (city, school, other) general elections is now the same day as the filing deadline for application for a place on the ballot in a May election or November election; special election write-in rules vary, see long calendars for details.

Source:  https://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/voter/2017-important-election-dates.shtml

Visit the new campaign website at Mike for Mayor

  Information on last election in 2016

Candidate Statements, Granite Shoals City Council
Election 2016 , Place 6

Michael Steenbergen for Granite Shoals City Council, Place Six
Candidate’s Statement: April 29, 2016 (Newspaper release date)
I want to provide a counterpoint, a fresh look at the issues, a new perspective. With decisions like increasing taxes, selling Lakeview park and closing the airport possible, it is critical to have a variety of opinions represented on the Granite Shoals City Council. With $10.5 million in long term debt, before we take on $5 million more debt for road improvements we need to look at the entire financial situation that has developed over 10 years. We need to retire the large debt from purchasing and remodeling City Hall. While a source of pride, the community has sacrificed significantly for this luxury. We must balance the sensibilities and reality of maintaining a “country club” image when the majority of residents are regular, working citizens that struggle to pay bills each month and do not need a “Taj Mahal City Hall”. There are suggestions to sell Lakeview Park and close the airport that I strongly oppose. On the ballot is a confusing set of tax propositions 1 and 2 that are a tax increase that I oppose in it’s current form. Bring common sense back to Granite Shoals, and get the emphasis off owning the fanciest City Hall in the Hill Country and back on the lake, parks and roads where it should be and should have been for the past decade. I need your vote, Saturday, May 7th!
Michael Steenbergen

Will Skiner and  Mark Moran
pending newspaper publication
Candidate Biographies, Granite Shoals City Council
Election 2016 , Place 6

Short Biography for Michael Steenbergen

Monday, April 18, 2016

Michael Steenbergen, 60, is a native of the Midwest who moved to Texas as a child in 1968.  He has lived in Granite Shoals for a little over 8 year.  Steenbergen graduated with honors from McAllen High School, earning a full academic scholarship to the University of Texas, which he attended before joining the family business enterprises. 

Steenbergen helped develop a family drapery business and then a Fantastic Sam’s franchise which expanded to 12 Texas stores.  As General Manager of the family enterprises, Steenbergen handled sales, advertising, human relations, leases and retail space finish-out.  He earned his Microsoft Professional Certification and opened his own business using his technical skills in internet development and network administration while also managing the family’s Marble Falls business called CJ’s Gifts and T-shirts.

Since 2010, Steenbergen has been a political consultant for state and national campaigns and now works at Advantage Sales and Marketing.  He has served as election judge and clerk in local elections while also volunteering as a Burnet County Deputy Voter Registrar.

Will Skiner and  Mark Moran pending newspaper publication

Just Released:  Newspaper Coverage of Granite Shoals Election - Friday April 29th

Text Only - Granite Shoals Full Election Article Text from Glynis Crawford Smith and the Highlander Newspaper - copyright 2016
Reprinted under educational fair use

Granite Shoals candidates address issues
By Glynis Crawford Smith

Granite Shoals voters have two city council choices and a two options on assignment of existing sales tax waiting for them on election day.
Mayor Pro Tem Shirley King is unopposed for Place 2, but incumbent Tom Dillard will face newcomer Arturo Rubio for Place 4 and Place 6 incumbent Mark Morren has been challenged by Michael Steenbergen, making his second bid for a place on the council, and newcomer Will Skinner.
The following biographical information and answers (edited for brevity) to some key questions in the city follow in ballot order. The questions, based on some of the longest and most frequently debated, surveyed and researched issues before the city council, were:
1. Do you have a particular expertise and/or driving concern you want to bring to fore on the Granite Shoals City Council?
2. Even if funded by grants, some citizens have said parks represent a maintenance liability they oppose. What is your opinion:?
3. For many years Granite Shoals has debated use and maintenance of its airport. What is your view?
4. Voters are being asked to make a decision about assignment of sales tax. What informs your own choice?
5. The city has an opportunity to apply for federal grant funds that could be applied 55 cents on the dollar to a streets project. Even if the grant is achieved, city bond money would be required to do even a portion of major road repairs identified as necessary. Explain your position on whether a bond decision should go to voters and, if it should, how much should be sought or what options should voters see on the ballot in November.

Tom Dillard for Place 4
(Tom Dillard's response to question No. 5, found in this story, was erroneously left out of the Friday edition of The Highlander. It was provided in a timely manner.)

Dillard, 43, is a U.S. Air Force veteran who has served almost 16 years as a police officer, nine of those years in detective rank. He and his family have lived in the city 13 years and he seeks a third term to continue progress made over the last four years to become more fiscally responsible and transparent...while increasing and improving service to the community (and) keeping the long view in mind.
1. Expertise/ concerns: My four years on the council has taught me that a breadth of experience among council members is exceptionally important. I bring not only my experience as a councilman, but over 20 years of experience as a public servant on the "working end" of things, first as an enlisted Airman in the USAF and then as a police officer and detective for the last 15 years. As a result, I have a working understanding of all perspectives; a citizen and taxpayer, a policy maker, and as a "worker-bee". On a personal note, I have raised my four children in Granite Shoals, and have an acute interest in the needs of families in this city.
2. Parks: Developing the parks with grant-funds is an absolute necessity. I agree that the maintenance costs must be kept in mind. However, the spirit of volunteerism with the Parks Committee and the continued viability of the restricted parks fund (which does not derive its revenue from taxes) help greatly in managing those costs. We are continuing to explore options for generating revenue through non-tax sources to further manage those costs.
3. Airport: was recently appointed to be the Council's liaison representative to the Airport Advisory Committee. My view is that the airport is an asset that cannot be replaced if we make a short-sighted decision to re-purpose the property. I feel that the prudent course is to explore the feasibility of making it a resource that can bring benefit to the city and generate revenue that will (at least) cover its own expenses. Failing that test, I believe that the discussion about re-purposing should be seriously discussed.
4. Sales Tax: We have a unique opportunity here to generate more revenue from a tax source that does not impact the property taxes. The legislature has removed most of the restrictions on the use of sales tax revenue. This creates an opportunity that has not existed prior to this year. By supporting the proposition, we can increase the sales tax to the same amount that most cities have (2 percent) and infuse most off that directly into the general fund, where it can be used with maximum flexibility. The portions of the sales tax that are dedicated to road improvements and maintenance represent a minimum budget commitment and I will continue to advocate and vote for additional road-project funding in the ordinary budget process.
5. Bond Issue: The grant funding that is sought presents a huge and unique opportunity for the city to leverage some tax-supported debt into a much larger sum of money to be used on our major thoroughfares. We have been studying the needs of the community and balancing those against the realities of the city's financial position. With the current low-interest-rate environment and the city's improved bond rating, along with the terms of this funding opportunity, we find ourselves likely able to complete a five million dollar set of projects for about two and a quarter million dollars. This is not necessarily the budget for the project, but it serves as a good example of the arithmetic involved. Debt should never be incurred lightly, but fiscally responsible "use of debt" in a case such as this can provide a huge, long-term benefit to the community. Both Phillips Ranch Road and Prairie Creek Road require extensive reconstruction and I believe that the opportunity to receive 55% of the necessary funding from sources other than the property tax roll is something that needs to be seriously considered by the voters.

Arturo Rubio for Place 4
Rubio, 50 is the father of three daughters. He has lived in this area for most of his life and in Granite Shoals for 22 years. He and his brother own a family business in Granite Shoals that provides utility services in Central and South Texas. Issues of an infrastructure to attract an expanded business tax base were primary issues that brought him to the campaign.
1. Expertise/concerns: City roads and water supply are in need of repairs, we should come up with a master plan to do that as funds are available, but openly explain to the public how important it is to do this, ultimately good roads and underground infrastructure not only on certain areas but also covering from the main road from city hall to Valley View, will make our city more desirable for new businesses (and) grow our tax base. My experience in construction will help to guide our city trough this process.
2. Parks: Parks definitely need to be maintained, funds have been spent in a small area around city hall, limiting the access for all residents. For example, a ball court on any given park in a different place does not require much maintenance, but would mean a lot for our youth. Grants should be dispersed to benefit all, and we should take on the responsibility of maintenance. It would not be much. We need to let our young people know that we care they are the future of our city.
3. Airport: I hardly ever seen and airplane land on this airport. At least I don't remember seeing one. It is a large piece of land that needs to be put to a good use. Considering the needs of our present population, it certainly needs to be debated involving all the residents of Granite Shoals.
4. Sales Tax: I have mixed understanding, since is not clear how it will work, /The need for an economic development board is here. Granite Shoals is not a small town anymore and deserves to know how our taxes are spent, and get the most of it.
5. Bond Issue: The only way to improve our city is with grants trough federal agencies there is no way around that. My biggest concern is to get this grant money spend it on road improvements without considering underground facilities. It needs to be debated to inform all citizens of any plans and options then put it out to the voters for consideration. Often times cities do what Granite Shoals is about to do, improve roads and then find out that sections of new road have to be removed because there was bad planing in underground facilities, which is directly tied to any road improvements. What is the possibility of a sewer system for the city? It is inevitable. The idea is great but what comes first is more important. A bond decision should go to voters on how much they should see.

Mark Morren for Place 6
Morren, 46, has lived in Granite Shoals 32 years and has been a homeowner for 27 years. Although he does engineering designs for Pedernales Electric Cooperative, he also has channeled his expertise as a sportsman and taxidermist into wildlife management. He has worked closely with the development of the pilot project for urban deer management in the city. He is treasurer for Mosaic Community Church and he and his wife are parents of two children.
1. Expertise/concerns: As a business owner and treasurer of my church, my expertise would be that I make the money that I'm in charge of or have earned be managed in a positive way that they will have a positive outcome for the future.
2. Parks: We are known for being the city of parks. I think that we manage the city's resources in a positive way for the maintenance of the parks that it doesn't affect our budget in a negative way.
3. Airport: The council was informed this year that the airport cost us $13,000 to maintain (last year). The people who use it are not property owners here and we received not a penny for the use of it. Although they are putting a proposal together for the future of the airport, as far as cost of memberships and landing fees. So, once the council receives the proposal, we can make a sound decision on this matter.
4. Sales Tax: I believe it will be good for the city as it will spread the cost out to people coming into our city and buying things from stores and business instead of just the citizens of Granite Shoals.
5. Bond Issue: This new opportunity of 55 cents on the dollar is really good. It is a no brainer. Citizens asked us to do the job to find a way to get things fixed. The council members are doing our part applying for the grant, citizens should do their part to get the roads fixed. The grant would cut a total $5 million in half.

Michael Steenbergen for Place 6
Steenbergen, 60, is a Midwest native and a graduate of the The University of Texas at Austin who has lived in Granite Shoals more than eight years. His experience in family businesses included, C.J.'s Gifts in Marble Falls, a drapery business and a 12-store Fantastic Sam’s franchise. He started a Microsoft Certified Professional Internet development business. Since 2010, he has been a political consultant for state and national campaigns and now works at Advantage Sales and Marketing.
1. Expertise/concerns: I wish to be the Voice of the People. Experience with Burnet County elections, as an election clerk and election judge, and as a certified Volunteer Deputy Voter Registrar, gives me the background to create more citizen input and involvement. From registering residents to vote to encouraging participation in city government and affairs, I intend to lead by example and bring a true voice to the average citizen. With decisions like increasing taxes, selling parks and closing airports possible, it is critical to have a variety of opinions and positions represented on the council.
2. Parks: Our city has long been praised for its beautiful parks and easy citizen access to the lakes. Swimming and boating are why many invested in Granite Shoals. The parks and boat ramps are part of our city’s good reputation and need to be maintained and upgraded. The parks should not be rezoned, sold, nor have their purposes altered. We need to look at using the parks to create “A New Community Spirit” for our city through more sponsored events like family picnics, local talent shows or fishing contests. I fully support our parks and their expanded use. It is also important to remember as council members we are custodians, not proprietors. It is our job to preserve our city’s valuable assets, not dispose of them.
3. Airport: One of the attractions of our local community is having a municipal airport available for our future growth. This is an asset that should be jealously guarded as part of the future of our city. According to an FAA report, the benefits of even small airports include critical community access such as remote rural access, air cargo services, taxi services, along with emergency preparedness and medical flights. We should not change the use of this city property to a soccer field and should look at using some of our numerous existing parks for soccer and youth activities.
4. Sales Tax: I am against both sales tax propositions. The propositions are confusing, poorly worded, and ambiguous. Neither separately, nor together, do they give the voter a true knowledge of what they are voting for or against. Until the city council presents coherent, clear and sensible propositions for the amount and allocation of sales tax rates and revenue the voters should vote “No”. The State of Texas allows local government entities like Granite Shoals to charge up to 2 percent sales tax in addition to the State tax of 6.25 percent. The vast majority of cities charge their allowed 2 percent and so should Granite Shoals. Traditionally, our city sales tax has been under this 2 percent rate at 1.5 percent and 1.75 percent I advocate a single sales tax proposition that revokes all previous rates and a clearly worded proposition that says sales tax will be 2 percent with 1 percent allocated for general fund and 1 percent allocated for street repairs. Stop all this “0.5 percent”, “0.25 percent”, “0.75 percent”, and a “1.0 percent” rate are all terms used in the current propositions. The voter will need a calculator in the voting booth to make any sense of the propositions language and rates, repeals, expirations and new levies.
5. Bond Issue: It is too early to send any bond proposals to the citizens of Granite Shoals. Federal grant money is often available for local road development and should not be the sole reason Granite Shoals looks at a bond issue now. The public is not currently informed enough about the long term road improvement plans to be prepared to take on more new debt. The current tax, borrow and spend direction of the city council had already created over $10 million in bond debt by the end of 2014. This debt was mostly created with the purchase and renovation of the new city hall. Our city government is spending the majority of taxpayer money on itself and its luxurious accommodations. Citizens do not even know they still owe money for the building when I ask. There is not enough of a connection, or true open flow of communication, between the current city council and the community at large to propose and pass more bond proposals in November. Do not let one city festival lull the voters into authorizing $5 million dollars more bond debt.

Will Skinner for Place 6
Skinner, 32 and a native of Arlington, has lived in Granite Shoals more than 8 years. He works with a Kingsland utility company. He and his wife have two children, but he mentors a student, serves on the board of a parent teacher organization and volunteers with a church youth program.
1. Expertise/concerns: Two of my main concerns in running for Granite Shoals City Council are the road conditions and the need for more public outreach.
2. Parks: In regards to our city parks, I believe with so many young families and children in our community, maintaining them is a necessary expense.
3. Airport: After speaking with several residents, they have expressed to me one of their main reasons for buying/building in our city was because of the airstrip. I believe the airport has great potential to bring in revenue to our town.
4. Sales Tax: As far as the pending sales tax issue, honestly, I am unsure of all of the details. Once I get on the council, I will look at the statistics and promise to put the tax payers needs first.
5. Bond Issue: The damaged roads in Granite Shoals have been an ongoing concern. I feel we need to discuss all suggestions brought to the table to remedy the issue.

 

 Granite Shoals City Election Information

City of Granite Shoals General and Special Elections: May 7, 2016
City Council places 2, 4 and 6 are up for election along with a special election for Sales Tax

All voters in the City of Granite Shoals (Precinct 3 and Precinct 18) will vote at the Fire Hall on Election Day.   Voters should bring a form of photo identification.   

Early Voting By Personal Appearance will be conducted at:

Polling Place

Address

City

Burnet County Courthouse

Marble Falls Courthouse Annex

220 S. Pierce

810 Steve Hawkins Pkwy.

Burnet, TX  78611

Marble Falls, TX  78654

Sunday

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

April 25

8am-5pm

April 26

8am-5pm

April 27

8am-5pm

April 28

7am-7pm

April 29

8am-5pm

April 30

May 1

May 2

7am-7pm

May 3

8am-5pm

 

 

Applications for ballot by mail can be requested from and should be returned to:   Doug Ferguson, Burnet County Elections Administrator, 220 S. Pierce ST, Burnet, TX  78611.   

 

 

Contact Information

Website: www.graniteshoals.us   Email: michael@michaelsteenbergen.com   Phone: 512-234-5348

Political advertising paid for by Michael Lee Steenbergen for Granite Shoals City Council

Copyright March 2015 Michael Lee Steenbergen 

Copyright February 21, 2016 by Michael Lee Steenbergen