Candidate plans to be public servant, not politician
My family moved from Missouri to Texas when I was 9, and while we moved away when I was 16 (dad's job relocation), I knew that I would eventually come back. I earned a bachelor's degree in biology from Monmouth College, and in 1999 received my doctor of Podiatric Medicine Degree from the Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine in Chicago. I was offered a job at a practice in Indianapolis following my residency training but told them that I wanted to get back to Texas. They promptly asked me, "What's so great about Texas?" Where do you begin? And while I don't recall how much time they had, it clearly wasn't enough.
I chose Victoria, and that one decision ranks as one of the greatest choices I have ever made.
I moved here in 2001, joined Podiatry Associates of Victoria and became co-owner of the practice in 2004. I met my wife Kelly here, and we married in 2005. Together, we've been blessed with two precious children: Olivia, 4, and Evan, 2. Victoria has given me much to be thankful for, and while I serve our community as a doctor, I wanted to give something additional back. This is why I decided to file and run for City Council.
While some have pointed to my lack of political experience, I don't believe people here want or need more politicians. We need public servants who will listen, use common sense and lead. My experience as both a physician and businessman make me uniquely qualified to do these things. In the course of running a busy podiatric practice, I make decisions with patients every day. I listen, analyze data, weigh risks versus benefits and focus on improving a patient's quality of life while being mindful of their financial situation. I strive every day to do all this with the highest degree of honesty and integrity, and I will take these same traits to City Hall as a councilman.
When considering the challenges facing our city, I foresee a need to balance growth with the need to update our existing infrastructure, all while keeping tax rates as low as possible. We've been blessed with the recent oil and gas boom in our area, as well as the positive financial impact it's had on Victoria. Caterpillar has invested heavily here, and related companies are beginning to follow suit. According to estimates, Victoria's population will grow to nearly 68,000 by 2015, and to more than 74,000 by 2025. This growth will help broaden our economy while giving us greater financial flexibility in the future. However, City Council must be proactive in dealing with the challenges this growth will create. While in many ways this is a nice problem to have, we must have the right people in place to ensure that the right decisions are made.
While it's exciting to see new growth and the opportunities it brings, we can't let our existing city systems, streets and neighborhoods deteriorate. In order to achieve the right balance, the City Council and staff should work together, use common sense and be proactive in solving problems.
Victoria has a proud history and a bright future, and I want to put my experience and energy to work in making it the best place it can be. While I originally came to Victoria for a job, I also found a place to call home. When I look at my kids, I want them to have the educational and economic opportunities to stay here and raise their children. As a physician, I see patients from all walks of life, and each of their cases is different. It's critical to listen closely as people explain their issues, and one of the most important things I do every day as a doctor is to listen. There sometimes seems to be more talking than listening on City Council, and I will listen carefully to the people of Victoria if elected.
Dr. Andrew Young is a candidate for Victoria City Council District 5. He is a licensed physician practicing in Victoria since 2001 and has been co-owner of Podiatry Associates of Victoria since 2004. He is an active supporter of numerous community groups and organizations as well as an avid sportsman and member of Trinity Episcopal Church.