Friday, October 9, 2015

Dunwoody District 1 Candidate responses to the @AJC & @LWVGA voter guide. #gapol

Personal Note: The League of Woman Voters does not fact check the candidates submissions and I would generally post these items without comment, however, I will make an exception because of what looks like a serious accusation made by candidate Springer who has chosen this platform to make an outrageous charge against members of the Dunwoody City Council, including myself.  I know that I have never been offered, nor received kickbacks from anyone for my official actions taken on the City Council and I am confident that the same goes for the other Council members.  After seven years of exemplary service to this community, I take exception to the accusation that I am in any way unethical. Even if this is just political trash talking, words have meanings and I can not allow this idea fester without raising the discrepancy.   If Ms. Springer or anyone in the community has evidence to the contrary, I would like to personally know so that I can assist in taking the appropriate actions. Thanks. John

Below are the responses by the Dunwoody District 1 Candidates to the League of Woman Voters and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution 2015 Voter Guide.

What experience do you bring to the job to set policy for your city and what is your motivation to serve?

Terry Nall As a CPA and senior financial services executive with over 30 years experience in multiple positions of CFO, COO, and President, I bring organizational and analytical skills to the Dunwoody City Council for the issues of the community. These skills, coupled with common sense and a strong belief in the biblical golden rule, have served me well in life. Stepping forward to provide community and church volunteer and leadership services began at an early age through community service mentoring by my father.

Becky Springer My experience in business involves managing people and projects. This basically means working well with others to solve and implement solutions to complex problems. I am adept at delegating, multi-tasking and meeting project deadlines. Being able to research solutions and implement ideas are key components to setting city policies. I love Dunwoody and feel that it is one of the best places to live and raise a family. Our city needs Council members who recognize that they work for their constituents, not themselves. Additionally, these Council members need to be responsive to their citizens and held accountable for decisions made.

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 is 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?

Terry Nall DeKalb County and the City of Dunwoody do not participate in LOST. DeKalb and Dunwoody participate in HOST, which is reserved for capital projects funding. The HOST formula is set by state statute and has allowed Dunwoody to invest significant sums into capital improvements to the city’s infrastructure.

Becky Springer The City in which I am running is The City of Dunwoody. Dunwoody resides in Dekalb County. DeKalb and Rockdale counties levy a HOST and are prohibited from levying a LOST, because doing so would cause them to exceed the 2% statutory cap on local sales taxes that can be levied in a county. HOST is a county sales tax that is primarily used to provide county property tax relief. Up to 20% of the HOST tax proceeds may be used for capital projects.

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?

Terry Nall Dunwoody actively provides caring services to the less fortunate through active involvement and partnership of the Dunwoody Police Department, the city’s church community, the generosity of Dunwoody residents, and non-profit support services to solve these needs. When a new need is uncovered, the community and these partners respond extensively. One recent example is when an apartment complex fire broke out and displaced a dozen residents, Dunwoody Police alerted me of the need beyond the immediate resources of the Red Cross. I engaged the local volunteer resources of Saint Luke’s Presbyterian Church and I Care Atlanta and then coordinated an appeal to our Dunwoody residents. Within a week, all long-term needs of the displaced apartment residents were met.

Becky Springer It is a sad state of affairs that leads to these statistics, however there are many governmental and not-for-profit organizations that contribute their fair share to this philanthropic situation. My community in particular is very giving through the vehicle of the church network and other philanthropic programs, such as Goodwill and the CAC.

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.

Terry Nall Dunwoody is already designated a City of Ethics and adheres to a stringent ethics ordinance for elected officials, staff, and candidates for political office. Dunwoody also has a strict Purchasing Policy that is closely monitored by its Finance Director, a contracted Internal Auditor, and a citizens-based Audit Committee.

Becky Springer The issue with candidates receiving contributions from holders and/or seekers of City contracts isn’t necessarily the problem in Dunwoody, rather the issue is Council members receiving kickbacks from builders/developers prior to a a major project being implemented. Consistently, our City Council passes legislation where projects are implemented without knowledge by its citizens, in an inefficient and unaccountable manner. The method for electing isn’t flawed, the demographics of the individuals who vote is skewed. Sadly, I’m not sure how to incite the vote.

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? 

Terry Nall Six Dunwoody council members are elected by an equal split of three members via district voting and three members via at-large voting with a district residency requirement. Combined with the Mayor on an at-large basis, this system ensures no one district of the city controls a majority voting bloc on the Council. This system works very well for Dunwoody.

Becky Springer I agree, the idea of an at-large candidacy based on that person residing within a certain district is fundamentally confusing. Is it really best for a city to have member from a certain district, running in an “At-Large” position. I’m torn on that issue. In my City, it is a statistical fact that more candidates and voters come from our District #1, however, a city needs to have equal representation, so yes, I guess that’s appropriate.

Cities across the country are embracing aggressive goals to reduce carbon pollution. What do you believe your municipality should do to support cleaner air? 

Terry Nall The Dunwoody area has three MARTA stations and all are located in the Perimeter work areas. Multiple entities and employers operate circulation shuttles in and around the entire Perimeter area and connect to the three MARTA stations.

Becky Springer We are a small city of roughly 47,000 people. Our biggest challenge is that we are positioned between two major highways, and are a cut-through from one freeway to another. As a city, we recognize this and are strategizing to handle this. The best thing I can do as a candidate, is to be open-minded, recognizing that the gridlock is here, and understanding how can we implement solutions to accommodate this growth, while keeping the efficacy and quaintness of our great city.

No comments: