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Published Wednesday, April 16, 2008 2:12 AM

Councilman wants time for his projects

Editor's note: This is one of an occasional series of profiles on candidates who have filed to run for seats in the May 10 municipal election.

It's been less than a year since John Crompton was elected to the College Station City Council, and the Texas A&M University professor said he needs more time to finish what he started.

Crompton is seeking a three-year term against political newcomer Derek Dictson, director of the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association.

The councilman is touting on his Web site a six-pronged platform: Preserving neighborhoods, spending conservatively, making growth pay for itself, alleviating traffic congestion, enhancing attractiveness and recruiting high-end economic development.

"I had this same platform when I ran last year," Crompton said. "We made more progress on it than I expected, but there's a need for a three-year term to bring this agenda to fruition. A lot of this has been agreed to in principle by the council in workshop, but the devil is in the details."

Crompton supports creating a dedicated fund for transportation projects and the expansion of hiking and bike trails. He also wants developers who build new subdivisions to pay for surrounding park land, adequate streets and infrastructure.

"Current taxpayers massively subsidize new growth," Crompton said. "That is not fair. I'm not opposed to growth, but it's got to be when we have infrastructure that can carry it.

"Right now the model is developers do their development and inflict the cost of infrastructure on the citizens," he said. "If we don't control growth, we will continue to have erosion of our quality of life and erosion of our city's financial viability."

While Crompton is backed by several neighborhood association representatives, his opponent has the support of many local real estate and development officials.

Neighborhood policies have dominated discussion among College Station City Council members over the past several months. The council recently adopted "overlay districts" that allow neighborhoods to set a standard for how they want their subdivision to look. When more than 60 percent of the residents in an area petition for the change, homeowners can require new development to meet the area's median requirements for things such as lot size, maximum building height, garage location and landscape maintenance.

Crompton drew criticism from some Texas A&M University students when he said in October he wanted to give neighborhoods the option of lowering the limit of unrelated adults in a home from four to two. The councilman later reversed his position, saying there was no political consensus for the change, and it wouldn't be an effective means to correct bad behavior in residential areas.

Instead, Crompton joined a majority of the council in supporting an initiative that requires rental property registration, public education, a neighborhood mediation program and aggressive code enforcement.

"I have a 30-year record of working for neighborhood integrity," Crompton said, highlighting his community activism and service on various advisory boards. "I want to protect our neighborhoods."

• April Avison's e-mail address is april.avison@theeagle.com.





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