Thursday, January 05, 2017

HP City Council Candidates - First Glimpse and Evaluation

Well, since my retirement I know I have become more irrelevant in the Political World and that is just fine with me. Anyways how many people really listened to me with credentials? I am excited to see opposition in this City Council race and look forward to hear people debate the issues.

We have a City Council race coming up in April and I have been thinking of issues that are important to me. This race is one of best of three for one seat and another of best of four for three seats. There are Three incumbents and four newcomers in this newly contested City Council race and the one thing I can say is there are some very smart and well educated folks that will be on the ballot. The only problem is will that smartness and education be used to further promote the values that are important to me and others that think in a similar manner or will they oppose those values.

One of the most important qualifications to me to serve on the City Council is accessibility to the citizens and timeliness of responses. I'm a kind of guy that expects a Councilman to be ALL IN, respond immediately to a resident, and be as fully engaged and transparent as possible. If someone has a full time job that can be a distraction and limit accessibility and timely responses. On the other hand a particular profession can be an asset to performance as a Councilman. A candidates commitment to time and engagement is a primary focus during evaluation of my choice.

For most candidates there is a learning curve to the job so is the candidate just running for a two year term or are they committed to running in 2019? Most City Councilman serve 2 terms (8 years) so how passionate is the candidate to public service? Does the candidate have a conflict with the functions of the City of HP that can benefit themselves, associates, family, or friends economically? A single issue candidate is not the worse thing if they have the ability to pivot off that issue and use the passion for other matters. Experience may also not be required especially if the candidate can show leadership and good judgement on community matters. Several past Councilman had not served on a commission prior to being a Councilman and were major contributors.

Some Questions I might ask of the Candidates are as follows:

1. Why do you want to be a Councilman and what do you want to achieve?
2. What background and passion do you posses that will make you successful?
3. Explain how you would interact with the decision making process for sister governments like schools? Explain the boundaries of separate authority. Do you believe the City should have authority on which schools close in HP? Should the City have authority on what the Park District spends?
4. How do you feel about the LARGER multi-story buildings recently allowed by the change in zoning?
5. City of HP is Home Rule that allows them to bypass state restrictions on taxation and legislation. How do you feel about property taxes and fee structure?
6. Is sustainability important to you and how will you promote leadership in HP?
7. Explain your position on the recent legislation on gun restrictions in HP?
8. Concerning a global position on government reform, consolidation, and efficiency. How would you promote it and what suggestions do you have?
9. How many hours are available per week for you to dedicate to being a Councilman?
10. Give me your comments and evaluation of the current City Council over the past 4 years?

I have talked to several candidates and look forward to speaking to the rest so I can make my decision about who to vote for in this election. I hope you will listen, speak up and ask questions. We need to network and understand whom amongst this bunch will lead the city with a framework that will serve us best.