Mayoral candidate John Hagan called Cleburne a city of huge potential.
“I believe Cleburne has the opportunity to be the crown jewel of the south side of, or all of, the Metroplex,” Hagan said. “We’ve got the people. We’ve got some of the infrastructure, but the coming of Texas 121 gives us a big opportunity to grow as a city.”
Hagan said he entered the mayor’s race, in part, to help prepare Cleburne for that coming opportunity and growth.
“Cleburne, in a lot of ways, is a city of firsts,” Hagan said. “There’s plenty of initiative and a lot of entrepreneurial spirit here, but for some reason the city just hasn’t grown as it should have. I want to work now to ensure there are jobs here for the children growing up here so that there’s opportunity for them here when they’re grown.”
Hagan recently entered the race. He faces former Cleburne Mayor Tom Hazlewood and Cleburne business owner Justin Hewlett so far, although residents have until Monday to file to compete in the May election.
Mayor Ted Reynolds announced he would not seek re-election shortly after he entered the state representative District 58 race.
Hagan, who moved to Johnson County in 1991 and Cleburne in 1994, works in the restaurant business.
If elected, Hagan said he hopes to work with fellow council members and city staff to improve city services and efficiency.
“I know the city, like other cities throughout Texas and the country, is expected to face serious budget issues this year,” Hagan said. “My goal is to try to work through that to maintain current services and amenities. My grandmother had a saying, ‘Can’t, never could.’
“If you say you can’t do something, how do you know until you try. It’s amazing what can be done with a different attitude.”
Many projects completed in recent years, such as the Youth Sports Complex, Splash Station and the Cleburne Conference Center make Cleburne attractive to tourists, residents and business, Hagan said.
Hagan said he will work to support park projects if elected such as the possibility of trails connecting parks and plans to make improvements at Lake Pat Cleburne over a period of years.
Hagan also said he would hold informal town hall meetings the first and third Tuesday of each month.
“Just to give citizens an opportunity to talk to the mayor and be able to voice their concerns and ideas,” Hagan said. “For citizens to have trust in their city government, openness and honesty are prerequisites. I want to work to eradicate the idea that city business is conducted in smoke-filled rooms behind closed doors. If someone has an issue, it’s important and they need accessibility and the chance to be heard.”
Hagan said he understands that serving as mayor will require significant commitment and time.
“It’s a lot of responsibility to do it right,” Hagan said. “And it’s something I thought very heavily upon before deciding that I should and want to run. I don’t have any axes to grind. This is about Cleburne and our future progress.”
Hagan and his wife, Leslie Hagan, have three children: Ben, Bryce and Hillary Hagan.