My Interview with Catherine Butschek
Why are you running for the Council seat you selected?
Because I have many skills that will contribute to the Council and help shape the direction that Wylie is headed. I have been here a long time and experienced the growth and I don’t feel that planning has always been quality. In the past I have always been one to get involved and I contribute money and my talent to civic improvement. I don’t sit on the sidelines and wait to get involved. My record of involvement shows that. I chose not to run against Councilman Bennie Jones because I think he is doing a great job. Why would I want to take that away from him? I think he brings a wealth of information and experience from Dallas to Wylie. I don’t want to reinvent the wheel when someone has already been through the experience.
What are your plans beyond City Council?
None. I only care about what is going on in the City currently.
How do you feel about the Code of Ethics brought forth to City Council?
That is a really a hot topic. I think it’s a good thing to have in place and I fully support a code of ethics. We have one in place for the employees, so why not one for the council? But it must work with the charter and must be legal.
Do you feel the city should come up with the funds to outfit the old library?
People seem to think I am against the seniors. I’m not. I am concerned that the City will be taking on more responsibility and cost in renovating the old library. They are putting an unjustified obligation on taxpayers because the cost (of that) building will not pay for itself. The City should not be in the business of funding non-profits. I’m in favor of the senior activities and am thinking about joining. Did you see how many activities they have planned? (To which she handed me the Wylie News which had a list of activities).
What do you think of our current tax rate?
The city plans to sell 19 acres on FM 544. Proceeds from that sale will go to lower the debt payment. The savings from the lower debt payment should be given back to the citizens to lower property taxes and not be used for other things.
Did you read the budget and what do you think about the rainy day fund?
I have looked at it and am studying now as we speak. There are many areas that need to be reviewed in detail and I plan to know every inch of the budget when I am through.
How would you work to fund a 4th fire station?
The council has known for several years now that this is needed. My question to the council is why have they not started to save for the truck so that when the station is built, up, and running, it would be paid for in lieu of figuring it out (after the fact) how to raise funds? The council should have something in the budget to plan for the emergency equipment that is going to be needed in coming years.
Would you provide permanent raises for city employees? Are they fairly compensated?
I was in favor of the 2% bonuses. I have had 2% raises in the past and in a weekly or bi-weekly paycheck, 2% isn’t anything to speak about. At least it was a little bit of money. I understand the employees have not had a raise in three years. I support that they get a raise and I think the Contingency Fund, if there is enough to cover it, is a good place to start. I prefer not to use the Rainy Day fund unless it is an emergency, because that is what that fund is (designed) for.
What pet project would you take on if you get on council?
I am in favor of the Wylie Youth Council because it teaches kids some skills and helps keep them off the streets. Some people think this is a socialist program, but I don’t agree. This program has nothing to do with that. No funds have ever been asked of our City and I will help them with their fundraising efforts from private individuals. I am also interested in working with WASA in their fundraising activities for the senior center. I think that being mentally and physically active gives a better quality of life to seniors. I work out at the Rec Center and I know the benefits of it. Because of this I want to be involved.
What are your views of the WEDC?
I have a meeting scheduled with Sam at WEDC to find out more. Economic development is important and I want to visit with him to see what his plans are. I support economic growth of Wylie because it will is an important part of helping reduce property taxes to citizens.
What support do you have already?
My husband and family and a few friends.
Who did you vote for in the last presidential election and why?
Republican all the way. I think we should be following the constitution fully.
What are your thoughts on police staffing?
I support increasing police staffing and pay. They are so low paid (and) in the past Wylie has been the training ground for police officers who can then leave and go to Allen or somewhere else and make more money.
What I want voters to know about me is that I am a hard worker, dedicated, and by running I do not stand to gain any personal profit. I will bring fiscally conservative planning, work to reduce the tax burden, and I know we need economic development in a really big way. I have a working farm and my office is located in Wylie, it will be easy for me to have a presence at local events. I have supported the police departments in the area for years working as a member of the Dallas Junior Chamber of Commerce for a total of 30 years and volunteered to work at the police Rookie of the Year event for many years, that is still held even today. I am presently involved in three insurance organizations, the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution), Wylie Youth Council and formerly active in Wylie Funfest and Wylie Kwanis.
My assessment: I found Catherine to be very different than what I thought. She is very down to earth and highly intelligent. She holds a couple degrees including a Masters, runs a business, and has an understanding of Wylie politics and workings of the City because she has been active off and on throughout the many years she has lived here in Wylie. She holds very fiscally conservative values. People suggested to me that she was a real brow-beater, but I did not find that at all. She takes the time to fully explain her views and is also open to listening. She is no push-over but she is reasonable and logical. There is a maturity level there that is refreshing.