What do you have to offer to the City of Wellington and the community?
I have 36 years as a public servant, 18 of those years with the City, therefore I know how the City operates. I was previously a City Council Member from 2004 to 2012, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I was born and raised here, a fourth generation Sumner Countian, and have a deep love for this town. I remember when Wellington was quite a bustling community with a full and busy downtown and industrial parks that offered a host of employment. While we are in a different era with different values and lifestyles, I can't give up hope that Wellington can return somewhat to those days. I believe that elected officials are duty bound to represent the voice of the citizens, and not simply vote for what they personally feel is best for the citizens. I try to keep the citizens informed of City activities, and encourage them to provide me with their opinion on what approach should be taken.
ONLINE BONUS question:Can you outline some specific goals you have to improve the community?
I would really like to get the public more involved with City Government; encouraging them to make their opinions known. We haven't had a public strategic planning meeting in nearly a decade, so I would like to revive that and allow the citizens input into long range planning. We as a community have to come together and determine what our priorities are. We can't have everything we want and keep taxes and utility rates in check. Some of the "wants" are going to have to take back burner until the more critical needs are met. I would like to see taxes reduced in the community, not just for the sake of reducing taxes, but for the sake of economic development. It is really difficult to recruit big business and industry here when they can locate 30 miles north and have a lower tax liability. And new business and industry add to the coffers which in turn, reduces taxes on everything else. Safety and security is the most basic of human needs, so we need to ensure good public safety to make sure our citizens receive quality police, fire, and EMS protection. We need to continue with long range planning to replace old water lines, and definitely support a vigorous street maintenance schedule. While I didn't work very much with the City's Economic Development Director, I know that a portion of his duties are researching grants. Obtaining grant funding for projects helps keep local taxes lower, while at the same time recouping some of the taxes we've sent to Washington. I think we should take advantage of every grant opportunity we can. In a nutshell, I would like to continue to strive for a better Wellington which provides a good quality of life for our citizens and is attractive to visitors.