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In this series, Texas Tech Public Media sits down with candidates across the board to discuss issues facing their constituents.

Conversations with Candidates: Chase Head for Lubbock City Council District 5

Chase Head
Chase Head

One of the seats on the municipal election ballot this year is for city council District 5. That's southwest Lubbock. Chase Head is one candidate running for the position.

Sarah Self-Walbrick: Introduce yourself to us and share some of your background. 

Chase Head: My name is Chase Head. I'm running for City Council District 5, like you said, and I was born and raised just north of Amarillo, Texas, and moved to Lubbock to go to Texas Tech in the early 2000s. Met my wife and have two children here. So they are in sixth grade and eighth-grade one's going to go into high school next year in Frenship ISD. That just blows me away that they're getting that old now. But my wife's a dental hygienist. I graduated from Texas Tech with a biology degree and went into agriculture. After that, I also started a small real estate and construction company back in 2008, 2009. So I also got into real estate around that same time period and went back later in life to get an executive MBA from the Texas Tech Rawls College of Business. So I have going on 15 years of experience in both agriculture and real estate. I do consulting in the agriculture industry. I do a lot of operational excellence type of projects is kind of what I look at in supply chain within the ag industry. So that's kind of my background and what I do.

I got interested in running for this. I had a couple of people, back in 2020, come to me and encourage me. Then it really, after that, as me and my wife started considering it and praying about it, it just became what felt like a calling to step up and answer the call. And here I am.

Sarah Self-Walbrick: That actually answered the second question of why you are running for city council. Do you want to add anything? 

Chase Head: So certainly, the number one reason is I feel called to do it. It's kind of always been in my DNA, I think, to step up to the plate and, and get in leadership positions, whatever that may have been. Whether it was athletics growing up, or different positions in college or now potentially city council. I also usher at a church, I serve at church, which I think is super important. I’ve done that for 12 years. We’re members at Hillside here in Lubbock.

One of the differentiators between me and some of the other candidates is I feel like some of the other candidates are doing this in reaction to some of the policies and things that have happened within the last couple of years. What's unique for me, I believe, is that this was early 2020 when I started thinking about doing this. So this was really pre-COVID and wasn't a reaction to COVID or reaction to sanctuary city. This was really just looking at the future of Lubbock and saying ‘what can Lubbock be?’ Looking at it through my daughters’ eyes. What can the future of Lubbock be for them? I want Lubbock to be a place that they love as much as I do and that they're delighted to call home and that they're my kids and their kids can both call Lubbock home and have a bright future here.

Sarah Self-Walbrick: How often have you attended city council meetings in the past?

Chase Head: I've attended city council meetings when there are more interesting things on the docket, I guess. But more often than not, I will go back and review the city council meetings online. So I will usually skim through almost every one of them and see what's on there. Some of them, like one from probably a month ago where the chief of police was giving the annual report, that one I watched in its entirety. Not all of them do I watch in their entirety. But I'll find the parts that are interesting. I mean, one thing of interest in Lubbock, there was a group of pickleball players that had comments during the open session at a city council meeting a week or two ago. We don't have any public pickleball courts in Lubbock. And I'm not saying that's a priority of mine, but it's interesting to see what people bring to the city council.

Sarah Self-Walbrick: It’s always something new in citizen comments. They keep you guessing, that’s for sure. What’s something that you know you’ll need to learn more about, if elected? 

Chase Head: I believe for anybody that hasn't been on city council before, I'm sure it's like drinking through a fire hose when you get on there. So the process itself, I think would be a learning curve for sure. And then a lot of these issues I've been very open about. I don't call myself an expert on most of the issues that come before city council. So there'll be a learning curve, for sure.

What I think I'm really good at is getting the right people at the table and I kind of have this lifelong learner mentality that I tried to apply to everything in my life. So learning about all the different issues is something I'm interested in and it's something I think I have the energy and time to be able to do and do well. So whether it's safety, or streets, or the budget, you know, there's a lot to learn there when you haven't done this before. But for the budget, for example, that's something I've been studying for two years now. I think I have four volumes of the budget on my desk at home that I've gone through and really tried to understand and at least be a little bit ahead of the curve there.

Sarah Self-Walbrick: Tell us about some city-wide issues you think need to be addressed. 

Chase Head: My three priorities are: public safety number one, infrastructure number two, and paying down city debt number three. Those are, I think, some of the core functions of city council and I think that's where the majority of our time and energy needs to be spent.

Sarah Self-Walbrick: And what about specifically in District 5?

Chase Head: So a lot of the violent crime is not necessarily taking place in District 5. We have an enormous amount of break-ins and car break-ins in my district. That's something I know the police have actually put together a special unit to try to start addressing some of the car break-in issues that we're having in District 5. But really, the main concern for me in District 5 is the rapid growth and keeping up with those needs around the infrastructure. Either direction that you want to go, if you want to go south, you want to go west, District 5 is growing and it's growing rapidly. And our streets just aren't keeping up with the rapid growth.

Sarah Self-Walbrick: That actually leads directly into the next question. We learned during the redistricting process that District 5 has seen the most population growth in recent years. Anyone who's lived here, that's easy to see. What challenges and opportunities do you think come with that?

Chase Head: Any time there's an opportunity, I think on the flip side of that you have challenges that come with it. So with that growth, we're seeing a lot of young people move into District 5, a lot of young families that are moving into District 5, because they want to have their kids in some of the school districts over there. The unique thing about District 5 is it is the only district that has all three school districts there. I think that's one of the big attractors of district five is that you kind of have some options on where your children would go to school. But if you look at streets, there's just new developments around 34th, 50th, 98th, all over District 5. There's new developments that are going in, and really large developments. Just on the south side of 98th, west of Upland, is a massive new development that has a dirt road that leads, basically, in and out of it. So that's a major concern of mine that we have to have to address.

Sarah Self-Walbrick: And for our last question, why should voters cast their ballot for you?

Chase Head: I think I have the background to do this job and do it well. In my day-to-day work, I look at budgets and look at supply chain and agriculture and look at how can we do things better. How can we do things higher-quality more efficiently? A lot of times, we can do things better and less expensive. So that's what I think we have to look at as a city is how can we be more efficient? How can we do things for lower costs? Trim the fat where we can but still provide exceptional city services to our citizens.

Early voting is April 25-May 3 before Election Day on May 7.