ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – On this week’s edition of Big Country Politics, News Director Manny Diaz sat with City Council Place 4 candidate Brian Yates. Yates is an east Texas native, A&M Alum, a husband and a father to three daughters.

He has served as the Vice President for Military Affairs for the Chamber of Commerce and as Director of Operations at Abilene Aero. Yates also served in the Air Force for 25 years and was stationed in Abilene twice.

“First from 2000-2003, so that was during the 9/11 period and came back in 2013 as the mission support group commander. In that job, I was basically responsible for all of the technical details of running the base,” Yates explained.

Yates said these experiences have allowed him to meet the community, work with city leaders and learn other skills for this role, something he is grateful for.

“It was a wonderful opportunity, it was very educational for me and I think it was great preparation for this new endeavor,” Yates expressed.

He said he has maintained a partnership with Dyess Air Force Base and has seen how the relationship between Dyess and Abilene works.

“(I’ve seen) how well the community embraces the airmen and the families and the people that are there and so I want to make sure that continues,” Yates said.

Yates has also focused on infrastructure. He said that it is the foundation for activity in the city and wants to ensure it is maintained and grows with the city. He used streets as an example and explained that if the city fixed all the roads in a short time span, it would be expensive and the streets would wear out at the same time.

“The approach to this is to make sure that you’ve got a deliberate and prioritized and methodical way to fix this over a decade and then at the end of that period, you go back and start over,” Yates explained.

He shared that he wants to ensure that all first responders have the equipment, training, and funding necessary to thrive.

“We’ve got some of the best services in any city, anywhere in the world and I want to make sure that we maintain those high standards and provide them the opportunity to serve us,” Yates said.

He added that he chose to run for city council because he has the interest and time since his retirement.

“Overall, without sounding too corny about it, this is a service thing. I’ve got the integrity, the leadership and the skills from my life experiences that have prepared me to be able to offer that to the city of Abilene,” Yates explained. “My whole life has been a career of service and this is just how I’m wired.”

Yates will run against Scott Beard for place 4 and has a Facebook page and Instagram account for his campaign where more information can be found.