What would your top three priorities be for the first six months? In addition to attending City Council and Committee meetings, my top three priorities for the first six months in office would be:
- I will set up a systematic way to foster dialogue within Ward 3 holding me accountable to needs and interests of the people of Ward 3.
- I will continue learning about the City’s administration and operation including budgeting and planning.
- I will take time to meet with the other members of the council to get to know them and their vision and hopes for the City.
What is your stance on TIF? I do support TIF financing for retail projects. I support the use of TIF in areas of our community that need the support and only where it can be shown that a project will not happen without TIF support. When TIF is used as it was intended the benefits to North Platte far outweigh the costs involved. Certain risks are necessary for North Platte to grow and prosper and TIF is the way we give voice to our willingness to take a risk. I do not support an amendment that expands the boundaries of TIF.
Do you see foresee a need to increase the city’s total property tax levy? I do not foresee the need to increase the city’s total property tax levy.
What is your stand on limiting spending? I favor the City of North Platte limiting its spending to the previous year’s spending plus the rate of inflation with a factor for population growth.
What about the Golden Spike? On Labor Day driving over the Buffalo Bill viaduct I noticed a couple standing on the walkway looking over the yards. I remember asking myself, “Is that Avery and her husband from Durham, North Carolina?” Avery is a participant in an online course I am facilitating. She and her husband were passing through North Platte as they traveled the US in their camper. I asked her if they were the couple on the viaduct and she said “yes.” Someone had told them while in NP be sure to see Bailey Yards. Like Mount Rushmore, Bailey Yards is something worth seeing as you travel across this country. Yes, I do support the Golden Spike project. The Golden Spike project leverages one of North Platte’s assets, Bailey Yards. Bailey Yards, as the largest classification yard in the world brings people to town or calls people to explore this wonder of human technology. Bailey Yards and the Railroad bring people to North Platte. The Golden Spike would be a tool people use to experience the yards and the railroad. The Golden Spike is not a destination the yards are the destination. The Golden Spike is one-way for North Platte to earn dividends from Bailey Yards. Therefore I support the Golden Spike project.
What about NPPD’s offer to manage the city electric utility? I do not see any reason the city should reexamine Nebraska Public Power District’s offer to manage the city electric utility. I place a high value on local control and local service as a result I think the Council made the right decision. I’m convinced this is a case of “a bird in hand is worth two in the bush.” As far as I am concerned, nothing has changed to make reexamining the proposal a valuable investment of time and energy.
What are your thoughts on managing the City Budget? The role of the City Council is to approve funds for the City’s budget. The City’s administration is responsible for assigning those funds within the limits set and approved by the City Council. Further, it is the administrations role to make effective use of the money approved by the Council. I will play my part in supporting limits that hold the line at the rate of inflation and holding the administration accountable for making the best use of the money allocated. We will increase revenue from our community’s growth as the Council continues to foster an environment for quality growth. To increase revenue is a challenge larger than any one person and will require the best thinking of a large range of citizens. I will encourage efforts to bring people together from our community to identify new ways to increase revenue.
What is your stand on establishing a Human Resource Department? For the City of North Platte, as with any organization, personnel are a major resource. We put time, effort, and money into maintaining other city resources and I believe it is as important to place a priority on keeping and supporting City employees. Setting up a new department may not be the only way or most economical way to address the needs of the City’s personnel. I would like to see the City administration identify the strengths and weakness of its current human resource practices. Our first step would be to discover if we need to make any changes.