Three men met the Monday deadline to sign up to run for the office of Van Alstyne mayor. The three candidates are, in alphabetical order, Donnie J. Neill, Steve Riley and Kevin Soucie. All three candidates’ names will appear on the May 5 city ballot, along with the six candidates running for Van Alstyne City Council. With there being no contested races for the Van Alstyne ISD Board of Trustees, the three incumbents will automatically be sworn in to continue their work for the district.
Each mayoral candidates submitted statements to the Van Alstyne Leader as to why they are offering their leadership services to the city.
“My name is Steve Riley. My wife and I opened a business here four years ago and have since made Van Alstyne our home. This is a great community and is poised for growth.
“I’m running for mayor because I feel a calling to serve the community we made our home. I am an advocate of fiscal responsibility and believe we need to receive full value from the resources placed in our charge. I also believe our downtown area is an asset that needs enhancement, but will pay dividends many times over. Every city would love to have a downtown area the size of ours to promote its hometown heritage.
“Further, through public private partnerships, I believe we can begin to improve some of the infrastructure in our town. Many streets need surface repair, not only to improve traffic flow, but for citizen safety.
“Finally, I hope to bring some stability and constancy to local government and avoid the turmoil. I believe everyone wants what’s best for our town, but sometimes we don’t work together as well as we could.”
Donnie J. Neill
“Now is the time for me to step forward and lead our town into a positive future. It’s no secret that Van Alstyne is experiencing growth with more to come. As a pastor and real estate investor, I possess the vision and leadership skills necessary for guiding our city and her citizens during these times. I’ve been doing so in our city/county for years! I was raised in Van Alstyne, as were my parents, grand — and great-grand parents. I’m asking you, the citizens, for your vote.”
“It was a last minute decision to run for the mayor of Van Alstyne. I’ve made comments in the past about doing so, but not everybody believed I would. I try to be as honest with people as I can, which also means that if I say I’m going to do something, I do it.
“The cities surrounding Dallas are growing fast and Van Alstyne is next on the map. I feel we need to what’s best for our community, come up with a plan and stick to it, rather than just talking about it. I would also like to thank the public works dept. in their efforts with the pothole situation.”
Grayson County Judicial Records show Soucie to have been arrested in July 2017 on a felony charge of criminal mischief with damages amounting to between $2,500-$30K. Court records show that he pleaded that down to a Class B Misdemeanor and is serving one-year probation. When asked for comment on that, he promptly returned the phone call, but said he couldn’t comment at this time.
Other candidates for city offices, specifically for the three city council seats, are as follows: Place 1-Kaaren Teuber and Ryan T. Neal; Place 2-Marla Butler and Teddie Ann Salmon (i); Place 3-Bob Hendricks and Robert Jaska (i).
All candidates will be invited to participate in a Meet The Candidates forum, to be held at 6:30 p.m. at Grayson College in Van Alstyne on March 22. Candidates are also invited to provide a photograph and fill out a questionnaire on www.VanAlstynePolitics.org.
Early voting runs from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. from April 23-27 and from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. on April 30 and May 1 at Grayson College.
The official election day will be on May 5, also at Grayson College.