Joshua Baker has thrown his hat into the ring, and officially announced that he will run for the Ward 1 city council position.
Baker, one of two people who has applied for the Ward 1 job, is a Huntsville High graduate with a background in political science. He owns Good News Cup and Market Creek Food Park in Huntsville, and said that he wants to be sure the city plans for incoming growth.
“The university and the city are not going to start growing. There are some people that are very comfortable with how Huntsville is, but I believe that we need to plan smart for the growth that is coming,” Baker said. “I love Huntsville and it is important that we keep the small town feel that we all love about this place.”
Baker, 34, said that he plans to do this by expanding zoning rules and limit loopholes that have “allowed outside developers build huge apartment complexes in the middle of residential areas.”
The Ward 1 candidate also stated that he wanted to work to repair animosity between locals and students at Sam Houston State.
“The city has been strong-armed by the university a lot, which is understandable. The city must put the things into place,” Baker said. “Approximately 51% of the land in the city is owned by the state and that is a major issue, we need to stop the university buying up all of the land, because that jus shrinks our tax base.
“You look at a city like College Station … they have found a good relationship between the college and the city, and the citizens are benefiting from it. Why can’t we do that at Sam Houston State.”
Baker said that other focuses on his campaign is to fix transportation issues, expand activities at local parks and increase lighting in the Avenues to help with crime.
“We can’t force businesses to build here, but we need to do whatever we can to encourage families to stay here and spend their money here,” Baker said.
City Council elections will be held on November 5, with early voting from October 21 through November 1.