CD 25 Spotlight on Dianne Costa Part 1 - Creating Jobs and Economic Growth as Mayor
by Bob Price on September 12, 2011 at 1:43 PM
Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with Congressional District 25 Republican candidate and former Mayor of Highland Village, Texas, Dianne Costa. This is the first of five parts of this interview. This segment focuses on Mayor Costa's experience of creating jobs and other economic growth while applying Conservative principles.
Jobs and economic growth are two of the most important things to be addressed by this and the next Congress. In this interview, Mayor Costa talks about her experience as mayor in expanding the business community of her city - creating jobs and expanding the city's tax base while improving the quality of life in Highland Village.
The district stretches from the southwestern portions of Tarrant County 200 miles across Central Texas to the western side of Travis County. It encompasses all or parts of 13 counties: Hays, Travis, Burnet, Lampasas, Coryell, Bell, Hamilton, Bosque, Erath, Johnson, Somervell, Hill and a small portion of Tarrant. The seat is currently held by Congressman Lloyd Doggett who has elected not to run for re-election in this district.
Map of Newly Drawn CD-25
Bob Price: Good afternoon, I'm Bob Price, and we're here today with former Highland Village Mayor Dianne Costa who is running for Congress in the 25th Congressional District of Texas. Dianne, thank you for inviting me out here today to this beautiful set of shops that you were instrumental as Mayor in bringing a lot of business to Highland Village. Tell us a little bit about this community that we're in here.
Dianne Costa: Well Highland Village is a lakeside community of about 16,000 people. We have, through the years, developed a lifestyle center and a power center across the street. This is a gathering place for our families and our citizens. It's a place for the children to come and enjoy the water activities and come and eat a great ice cream at Nestle or some of the other places. We have a great Barnes & Noble, AMC Theater. It's basically a place where our citizens can come and shop without having to go outside the area and meet and greet as neighbors and friends. It's been a great development.
Bob Price: As you developed this as Mayor, would you say that it pretty substantially impacted the city in terms of creating new jobs as well as tax revenue for the city?
Dianne Costa: Absolutely. That was our focus. We saw, looked ahead, recognized that, you know there's only two places where cities get revenue, it's from the citizens (their property taxes) and from sales tax. And in order to keep our sales tax where it was and to look ahead and plan ahead, we recognized that we were going to need some sales money and bring in some businesses that would be able to provide that, but we didn't want just any businesses, we wanted a planned development that reflected the needs and wants of the citizens, and so the developments, the two developments that we brought in, absolutely do that. It basically provides an environment where our citizens don't even have to leave the area to shop and go to the movies and just kind of hang out.
Bob Price: That's so important right now is people are wanting more jobs created. Right now, government, with overregulation, is making it very difficult for people to create businesses and create jobs. Tell us how, as a Congresswoman representing Texas, you would help bring more jobs to Texas?
Dianne Costa: Well, I think Texas already has a great business environment. We have basically said the same things here at Highland Village that we are open for business, and we've demonstrated that by not providing those regulations that keep businesses [from growing]. We've created a business friendly environment. It's exactly what we did here. As Mayor, there was a time when developers said I'll never develop in Highland Village y'all have such great restrictions, and what we had to do was come back and say was really, what we need to do is look at those restrictions that we had to developers coming in, do away with those restrictions without compromising the quality and value of our developments, and we were able to do it. We worked as partners together with the landowners, the developers, and the city, and it's basically providing a friendly environment for businesses, and we never had to compromise the type of developments that we wanted to bring in.