News-Leader General Election Questions 2009 Election
Keeping our total sales tax below 7.00%, opening the police and fire academies, and simplifying zoning and building regulations to help small business
I think we need to raise the priority level of our Public Safety, Works, and Health Departments above the Planning and Zoning, Parks and Recreation, and Building Services Departments. I also think we need to balance the percentage of department expenses to total budget to match our city’s priorities.
I would move for a stronger mayor in our current Council/Manager system of government. The Mayor should keep the other council members up to speed on bills to be voted on, and needs to be the main watchdog of the City Manager.
If the mayor is going to help actively change
Springfield, he/she needs to be a full-time paid mayor. I do not expect
to be paid for this position given the current financial stress the city
is under. I do think if the citizens expect each council member to
commit 20 hours plus per week, there should be some compensation paid
for their efforts.
As a citizen, I appreciate the passion Mr. Burris
brings to the position of City Manager. Mr. Burris thought a one percent
sales tax was the fastest and easiest way to fix our underfunded pension
liability. The current Council was on the same page with him and voted
unanimously to take the tax to voters. Mr. Burris and others city
employees used facts as scare tactics to try to ensure the sales tax
passage. If the council couldn’t see it, our highly paid chief executive
should have seen that the city was divided on the issue, and presented
the sales tax as one of many solutions.
I support the Save Our Springfield groups ¼ cent
sunset, ¼ cent pension fund tax plan. This proposal will result in a no
net tax increase to taxpayers. I would also continue to make employer
contribution payments to the pension fund. This includes FY 2009-2010.
The metal detectors in City Hall and the Busch Building should be removed. Non-profit money the city has provided in the past should be greatly reduced or eliminated.
Planning, Zoning, Building, and Sign Regulations. If we simplify and reduce these requirements, the city will save money on compliance costs. Businesses can reduce paperwork costs and amply market their business.
The voters need to keep the council more accountable
in the future. This includes greater scrutiny of candidates, as well as
tax proposals. The council needs to keep the City Manager more
accountable in the future. An increase in financial reporting, and more
communication from council members to citizens at council meetings and
in other settings is needed to bring greater transparency to
Paid for by Donegan for Council - Christopher Donegan, Treasurer