1. What experience do you bring to the job to set policy for your city and what is your motivation to serve?
My motivation is simple: I want to make a positive difference in the community where I live. Over the past 30-plus years, I have worked in government, law enforcement and the corporate world. I have owned and run a successful small business. I believe my wide range of experience has prepared me well for public service. Hard work, passion and determination are characteristics I apply to everything I do.
I also have a long history of service. I have served as a Board Member on the Fort McPherson Local Redevelopment Authority, Storm-water Advisory Committee and the East Point Building Authority. I have volunteered with and supported numerous nonprofit organizations. As an East Point council member, I will work to develop and support policies that improve the quality of life for East Point residents. I have the leadership experience to address the varied issues facing our city government. My motivation is to work to create an environment where my fellow residents can reach their full potential.
2. The 1% Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) is levied by counties and shared with cities therein based on a formula agreed to at least once every 10 years. LOST used for annual operational expenses and reduces property taxes. Do you support or oppose the formula which is currently used to determine your city’s share? Why or why not?
As an East Point council member, my primary responsibility would be to look out for the best interests of the citizens whom I have been elected to serve. I would support the 1% Local Option Sales Tax levied by counties because it would help to ease the tax burden off of local property owners. I believe the tax would spread the burden more fairly because those who don't live in East Point, but work or conduct business here, would also pay the sales tax that will benefit basic city services and infrastructure reinvestment.
3. In Georgia 1.8 million people currently live in poverty, including 137,000 working families and nearly 651,000 children. What policies would you support to address inequalities that exist in your city?
The City of East Point has limited resources and reach of influence to solely take on the issue of homelessness and poverty. It is imperative that we partner with other public and private sector entities to effectively utilize existing opportunities for our citizens. We must create additional opportunities through partnerships so our citizens have the resources they need to lift themselves out of poverty.
One cause of poverty is a lack of opportunity. That's why I believe a laser focus and commitment to smart economic development is imperative to create more opportunity. Industries such as transportation, distribution, film production and any major employers that operate and/or affect our local economy, must be engaged consistently and partner particularly with local government for mutual success and opportunities for all.
4. Would you support a “Pay to Play” ordinance which could ban or limit municipal candidates from receiving campaign contributions from holders and/or seekers of City contracts? If yes, please explain the parameters you would support, in terms of dollar limits, time limits, and ease of access for public review. If no, please explain.
I would support limits on campaign contributions, but not a total ban. Integrity, accountability and transparency are keys in ensuring money does not influence political decisions. Speaking from experience, the ability to raise funds for a successful campaign is necessary. Many candidates do not have the financial resources to fund their own campaigns. In small, working-class cities like East Point, resources from private and business sectors are extremely limited. Without the support of the business sector, the choices of candidates voters would have also be limited.
5. Every city elects council members through at-large voting, at-large with a district residency requirement, district voting or a combination. What do you believe is the best method of electing city council members to ensure proper representation for your citizens?
I am in favor of more ward-specific seats and less at-large seats in East Point to ensure proper representation of the rich and diverse population of our city. While both ward-specific seats and at-large seats have meaningful and important purposes, balance is key to creating proper government representation within local government.
6. Cities across the country are embracing aggressive goals to reduce carbon pollution. What do you believe your municipality should do to support cleaner air?
The first thing I would do to improve the air we breathe is introduce legislation to invest in electrical-charging stations for vehicles throughout our city. That is something that can be done at the local level sooner rather than later. I would also make sure we, the City of East Point, lobby and put pressure on the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia (MEAG) as well as other participating cities to promote and support a strategic plan to transition from carbon-burning fuels to cleaner, alternative fuel sources, whether it be solar, wind or other non-carbon producing sources.