As a West Fargo City Commissioner, I will commit to:
Represent the Residents
I know many people that do not feel as though they are represented by the City Commission. As commissioner, I will ensure that all Residents are given their voice, and all input is valued. I've heard commissioners say things that are discouraging to anyone asking questions or offering up suggestions. That needs to stop.
There have been many changes made with very little resident input. There is a culture within city hall that is not open for public input. I want to change this and gather as much input as possible before any decisions are made that have a direct affect on Residents.
Whether it's in the commission chambers or in line at the grocery store, anyone is welcome to bring their ideas to me. I will make sure that they are brought up and utilized as best we can.
Focus on the Needs
Property taxes have grown higher and higher. While some of the increases come from increasing the Police, Fire and Public Works budgets, those are not the only departments getting increases. We need to focus on the needs of the city first, and once we have addressed all needs, if there's money left over, then, we look at the wants, or making sure we don't increase taxes. As long as they're reasonable, I will only vote in favor of increases to Police, Fire and Public Works.
The city needs more businesses to help increase the sales tax to help offset infrastructure spending. I will foster an environment to promote business growth and development. When it comes to incentives, however, each will be evaluated separately and on a case by case basis, but I need to see that there is an ROI on the tax money put up. I will also work to implement a reporting process that tracks progress and would require input from both the business and city staff to track return on the investment of the incentive.
Remove/Reduce the need for Special Assessments
Not many people like Special Assessments. I have worked to make them more fair and equitable, and have investigated ways to remove them. I will continue this work as commissioner. The Special Assessment process needs to be revamped, if not eliminated all together.
I will commit to regular updates on social media on how I've voted, what's going on, and anything else that Residents want to see. We currently do not have a commissioner do this on a regular basis. This needs to change, the commission needs to be held accountable for how they act on the commission.
Communication is especially important when it comes to the way our tax money is being spent. Communication has improved over the last few years, but I am committing to work on improving it more. I will work with the City to improve what is being communicated, especially when it comes to public hearings and the legal terminology that is used. There is a gap between the language used, and understanding what is happening. I will work to develop a "layman's" term communication to help the residents better understand what is going on in their City, even if this is something I will pull together on my website and Facebook.
There are many other issues that are important to Residents which I will address over time. If there are any that you're interested in, let me know and I'll respond and post! email@example.com