Dr. Andrew Young: Candidate says he will be leader who listens

June 2, 2013 at 1:02 a.m.

My family moved to Texas from Missouri when I was 9, and while we moved away when I was a teenager because of my Dad's job, 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 (D.P.M.) Degree from the Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine in Chicago. I was offered a job in Indianapolis following my residency training, but I wanted to get back to Texas as soon as I could.

Whether I really chose Victoria or Victoria chose me, it's turned out to be a great choice. 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. We've since 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 felt called to give something additional back. I decided to run for City Council because I want to make a positive change, and after watching the antics at recent City Council meetings, I know that I made the right choice.

While some complain about my lack of political experience, I don't believe people want or need more politicians on the City Council. We need public servants who will listen and use common sense when dealing with city issues. My experience as both a physician and businessman make me uniquely qualified to do this. In the course of running a busy medical practice, I make decisions with patients every day. I listen, analyze data, weigh risks against benefits and focus on improving a patient's quality of life while being mindful of their finances. I strive every day to do all this with the highest degree of integrity, and I will take these same traits to City Hall. As a councilman, I will listen to people, follow the law and act with honesty. I will work hard to be a councilman you can be proud of, and I will treat people with respect.

When examining the challenges facing Victoria, we will need to balance future growth with updating our existing infrastructure. At the same time, we should keep tax rates as low as possible. We've been blessed with the recent oil and gas boom in our area, which has had positive financial impacts 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, the City Council must deal proactively with the issues this growth will create and work together in the best interests of everyone.

While it's exciting to see our city grow, 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. With so many opportunities and challenges before us, there is no place for petty bickering and temper tantrums on the City Council.

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 listen. There's been more talking than listening on the City Council lately, and I will listen carefully to the people of Victoria.

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.



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