1). What do you offer as a candidate?
I have represented various constituencies in Districts 15 and 17 for 24 years. It has been an honor to work on behalf of the people who live in those districts. Together we have made real progress in the neighborhoods on the city's Eastside. We have worked on zoning improvements within the districts, helped to establish crime watch block clubs, supported our public safety officers, addressed infrastructure needs, encouraged business development and opportunities, supported local businesses, participated in community clean ups and helped to beautify the neighborhoods of Warren/Center Townships. These are just some of the opportunities and responsibilities of being a city councilor. The delivery of services to my constituents is most important to me and certainly my work is not done as there is more to do however I believe working with my constituents daily to support their needs and the overall needs of the district qualify me for this office.
2). What does your district most need from the city council?
My district most needs economic development initiatives that will locate businesses on the Eastside and create job opportunities for those eastside residents who are unemployed or underemployed.
3). What's your opinion of the 2012 budget proposed by the Mayor?
The 2012 budget proposed has significant cuts to many city/county agency budgets. Negotiations are ongoing to attempt to restore some funding cuts but city/county revenue reductions have created the need for local government agencies to fund their budgets by relying more heavily on agency established fee funds, grant dollars, etc than relying on the county general fund. This can create real budget problems if those fee fund accounts or grant dollars don't realize the anticipated and estimated dollars intended to be generated. Our Mayor has had to obtain a $40 Million dollar reimbursement from the consolidated TIF (Tax Increment Financing) district to shore up the 2012 budget. We have significant challenges ahead.
4). What is your position on a comprehensive smoking ban?
I support it but understand there may be exemptions provided.
5). Do you think the city should add more cops?
Yes, I believe the city should add more police officers and I have supported past initiatives to do just that.
6). Do you support increased funding for public transit?
Yes. I also support the opportunity for Marion County residents to be able to vote by referendum on a regional public transit system.
7). Do you think the streets and sidewalks in your district are in good shape?
Those streets that have already been resurfaced and those sidewalks that have already been repaired and/or replaced are in good shape but there are many neighborhoods with significant infrastructure challenges still within the council district that I will continue to address as the council representative.
8). Name one project that would most benefit your district.
Addressing the abandoned housing issue would most benefit my district as there are a significant number of abandoned or vacant homes within neighborhoods that are a haven for criminal activity and devalue the other properties around them. The city should put in place a plan to tear down those structures that are either uninhabitable or unsalvageable but also partner with developers to rehab properties that will add value to neighborhoods and contribute much needed property tax dollar revenues.