Q: If elected, would you be more in favor of budget cuts or tax increases in order to balance the budget?
A: Increasing taxes is never the answer during hard economic times. We will need to curtail some nonessential services over the next two years. We also need to continue our efforts to attract new businesses and jobs plus maintain and increase the ones already here. This will increase our tax base and allow the City to collect more taxes from the larger tax base without raising the tax rates for anyone.
Q: If cuts are needed to balance the budget, are there specific departments in which you feel cuts could be made?
A: We need to ensure the public safety. Some departments will probably have personnel numbers reduced by not hiring replacements for some retirees. Honestly, a probable budget cut would be in the recreation department. The City pool could be open fewer days per week and fewer hours per day. The Lera B. Mitchell Club House and The Museum of the Barrens could be closed an extra day each week. These are all unpleasant ways to cut the budget, but would be very effective and would not significantly impact our quality of life within the City.
Q: What do you believe is the public’s role in city government and city council?
A: The City strives to be very transparent and open to all citizens. Everyone who is interested has the opportunity to attend the City Council meetings and the committee meetings. The minutes from the City Council meetings are published on the City’s web page. Anyone who wants to voice an opinion or address the Council has the opportunity to do so. The more the public lets the City and City Council know what they would like to have done, or of their opinions on the issues we are addressing, the better we will be able to serve them. The City Council is composed of citizens who are willing to give of their time to serve. The Council positions are definitely not full time jobs, but do require a lot of work. Most of the work is done in committee meetings. That is why everything appears to go so smoothly and quickly at the Council meetings.