Why Are You Running For Office?
I an running for re-election because after years on the Council and chairing the Finance Committee for the last 8 of them, I realize that the finances of this city are complex and, I believe, at a critical stage. What protections I used to think were in place were not of use as we found that there were ways around the rules….most of them perfectly legal. For those that were not, the issue was have to stop the behavior. State Board of Accounts, DLGF the Attorney General and finally legislative change. All have been explored. We learned that money budgeted for one use was taken for another….re-paving is a case in point. This office requires diligence and honesty.
What Are Your Qualifications For the Office You Are Seeking?
Every person on the Council brings a wealth of background, the more varied the better. Mine is that of a commercial real estate broker with a knowledge of values, contracts and even negotiating on behalf of the City with developers who, obviously want the best deal for their company while we are representing the interests of the taxpayer. I have served on the board of First Merchants Bank of Hamilton County, board of the Carmel Chamber of Commerce,president of my HOA and currently am a board member for the Humane Society and president of the Carmel Economic Development Commission. With that background I also have working relationships with the private sector as well as local and State officials.
What Would You Like to Accomplish When In Office?
I would like to insure the fiscal stability of the City while moving forward and investing in our growth. With the establishment of the new Stormwater Utility, the money currently secure for its intended purpose, I hope to keep up the infrastructure as the City is aging, to protect the values of our homes. I also value the varied neighborhoods, varied in size and price as our neighborhoods are our strength. I, along with Diana Cordray, put the Rainy Day fund in place. Our target is to maintain a balance equal to 10% of the General Fund budget. We have moved money out of this fund for unexpected expenses but have replenished those funds. I maintain that this money not only keeps our credit rating high as S&P now not only looks at the ability to raise taxes but at liquidity. The Mayor has for 3 years attempted to use this money for operations but to no avail.
How Do You Define “Fiscal Responsibility?”
Simple…..you can’t spend more than your income. You can’t keep borrowing for current projects, assuming maximum income to pay the debt, postponing principal payments, which payments may not be possible if the optimistic projections fall short. This is exactly what happen to the CRC. The Council had to basically become the guarantor for a new $180,000,000 loan which was backed by the residential property owner. The the CRC TIF income failed to cover the debt payment…a residential tax would be put in place. The Council avoided that, we hope, by putting in place a Special Reserve Fund and pledging the resources of the Rainy Day Fund.
What Will You Do to Promote Transparency to the Citizens When You Are in Office?
That is exactly what I have done all the time I have been in office….I don’t just make promises, I stand on a record of transparency.
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