Questions Along the Campaign Trail

These are questions sent to me, and my responses:

Q:  Why are you running?

R:  I have been provided the gift of 40 years of experience in local government affairs.  I started in Lake Providence Louisiana in 1978 before computers.  I am still here serving the cities of Seagoville, Hutchins, and Wilmer as financial consultant.  Along the way, I have audited the cities of Tallulah and Grambling in Louisiana and worked in financial affairs/financial management for the cities of Dallas, Desoto, Glenn Heights and Seagoville.  I retired as Director of Finance for the city of Seagoville.  To put it plainly, I offer Duncanville for a monthly cell phone allowance expertise that the cities I spoke of earlier keep me on retainer.  There is no other councilmember currently serving or council candidate running that provides this skillset.
I simply wish to share this gift with my neighbors.

Q:  What do you hope to accomplish if elected?

R:  Building a replacement fire station, public works facility, new Kidsville, splash pad and street reconstruction of Danieldale and Cedar Ridge Road.  Continued high level of transparency in fiscal affairs. Implementation of smart water meter technology.  Continued commitment to asset management of streets, water & sewer, drainage and alleys.  Determining uses for undeveloped properties in the City consistent with the highest and best use, while maintaining greenspace.  Maintaining limited government at the lowest cost while at the same time meeting (as much as is possible)  community expectations.

Q:   Are you a Christian?

R:  Yes, a member of The Exciting Singing Hills Baptist Church and involved with the Sunday School teaching ministry.

Q:  Do you think you will have the time to adequately prepare for council meetings?

R:  Yes. I encounter problems that plague cities on a daily basis and I have been doing it for quite some time.  I’ve noticed that communities sometimes share similar concerns.

Q:  What do you think of our Duncanville police ?

R:  Personally, I am fine with Duncanville PD. The community and the Duncanville seem to have a good working relationship.  There were concerns with staffing, but the department did a study on its existing hiring practices, made changes and decreased its vacancy rate significantly.  Some other residents may disagree.  What I would like to see is our police department benchmark its performance to similar cities in the metroplex to develop a context for judging its performance.  Otherwise in my opinion, all we can do is measure the police department’s performance against itself.  I am not sure if that approach provides sufficient context to determine if the police department is doing “better” or “worse”.  If we benchmark ourselves against other cities and say for example, we want to be the _______ safest city in the group, then the next step would be to study and implement best practices with the desired outcome of doing “better” and we can objectively measure what “better” is.  I would also include in the city comparison the number of neighborhood watch groups and citizens on patrol.  That comparison may indicate that Duncanville may find more citizen involvement helpful.  I would also include in the comparison number of police officers and percentage of the General Fund budget held by the police department.

Q:  Are you for balanced budgets and low taxes ?

R:  I am definitely for balanced budgets.  I am for quality services and low taxes.  Quality and low are of course, subjective.  Again, I think context through benchmarking is helpful.  The Council I have served on has lowered the tax rate for two consecutive years.  So we are doing the low taxes part from that perspective.  We have balanced the budget as well for two consecutive years.  So we are doing that as well.  Quality services?  I believe we can do better.

Q: What can Duncanville do to be more business friendly?

R:  During my second term on Council (2015-2017), I wanted City staff to develop a development handbook.  My hope was to synthesize and standardize the development process so that businesses would have clear guidance for the steps to follow to do business in Duncanville.  I was informed that something was underway, but unfortunately, that City staff is no longer with us.  I understand our former planner is doing quite well leading Arlington’s efforts.  Another area of concern is Code Enforcement.  My desire is that we simply not be satisfied with telling residents what not to do, but work together with residents to get to yes.  In the past Duncanville has had excellent code officers, but they are now leading the effort in Houston and also in the private sector.  I continue my efforts to obtain continuous improvement in Duncanville City operations.

Q:  What do you think of bus service for Duncanville ?

R:  I am originally from New Orleans which has a long standing public transportation network.  Duncanville however is not New Orleans and so I am awaiting community consensus on public transportation.  I also wish there were other ways of funding public transportation besides, or in addition  to the sales tax, but the primary issue is community consensus.

Q;  Is Duncanville doing enough to keep our roads in good repair ?

R:  Barely.


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