SERIOUS LEADERSHIP FOR SERIOUS TIMES
The City is facing significant financial challenges due to the recession cause by the COVID-19 pandemic. Facing these challenges will require experience and hard work. Jack has served on Council for 6-1/2 years, through 7 budget processes. He has consistently advocated responsible spending through prioritization of needs and wants. It will be necessary to maintain a focus on providing basic services and maintaining essential services while reducing overall spending and addressing the additional human service needs. This is not the time for gimmicks and on the job training. The City needs an experienced representative.
During a recent candidate forum at the Ford School for Public Policy, one Ward 4 candidate suggested a number of new taxes to address affordable housing, environmental cleanup and transit improvements. Jack understands the burden that tax increases place on residents. This is especially true now that so many are suffering job loss and pay reductions.
At the Ford School forum, another Ward 4 candidate suggested that the City can solve its budget problems by asking the State for help and by increasing revenues for even more development. It is naive to believe that the City can count on substantial financial help from the State. The State has a $3 billion deficit in the current budget year ending in October 2020. It is projecting another $3 billion revenue shortfall in the next budget year. Rather than expecting additional funds from the State, the City expects its State revenue sharing funds and its State road funding to decline substantially. Similarly, the City cannot expect that new development will provide new tax revenue. Recessions typically slow down construction. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the City has already learned of the failure of one development that had been approved by Council.
One of Jack’s opponents has no governmental experience and only registered to vote recently. She has no experience and no voting record. Jack’s other opponent has worked in public relations and social media. Her previous governmental experience consists of having been appointed to the County Board of Commissioners and serving for less than 120 days. During her service on the Board, she did not participate in in budget deliberations.
Jack understands the budgeting process and is experienced in making spending choices based on serving the needs of the community. There is no simple solution. The challenges the City face in the next few years will require difficult choices and the elimination of some spending that is not essential. No gimmicks, no tricks, nothing magical. This is where experience is essential.