1.

In recent years, the mayor and City Council have used a mix of revenue increases and cuts in expenses to balance the city budget. Do you agree? If not, what would you do differently? While a mix of revenue increases and cuts in expenses have been implemented to balance the city budget, I believe the mix has been disproportionately in favor of revenue increases. Raising revenues through tax and fee increases always seems to be the easy approach. I instead advocate for a comprehensive review of all expenses (granted, a more difficult approach) in an attempt to identify and eliminate wasteful spending from city government. Despite some who may suggest the contrary, there is still waste in local government and I don’t have to look far to find it. For example, during my prior service on the City Council, two members shared a single aide. Now each member has a single Executive Council Assistant (ECA) and most start at the top of the salary range. I have chosen to not hire an ECA, and that decision represents an annual savings to taxpayers of more than $70,000. A return to the “sharing” policy could yield more than $600,000 in savings, and is just one of several areas (in the City Council office alone) where substantial savings could be achieved. Similarly, there are many other opportunities to reduce wasteful spending throughout city government. In closing, because I believe the mix (of revenue increases and cuts in expenses) has in fact been so disproportional, I voted against both of the mayor’s proposed tax hikes. Until a painstaking review of all expenditures is conducted, I cannot in good conscience support a tax increase in the face of the wasteful spending I witness on a regular basis. 2. Do you support the Jacksonville Journey? Explain your answer. I have guardedly supported the Jacksonville Journey but recognize that the programs therein may need continued closer scrutiny to determine whether they are actually making a successful impact or not. This review process becomes increasingly more important as federal dollars, that once helped launch and sustain Jacksonville Journey are now beginning to disappear, in turn requiring local replacement funding (from an already strained budget). The annual report issued last year by the Jacksonville Journey Oversight Committee (at the completion of the program’s second full year of operation) noted several areas of improvement. Those included: secondary school suspensions (which dropped dramatically), the success of the after school Team-Up program (resulting in a remarkable rate of participants being promoted to the next grade level), and progress in the rehabilitation or boarding up of more than 300 nuisance sites in targeted neighborhoods throughout Jacksonville. However, the report also acknowledged the need to refine the measurement process. While crime rates across the board have decreased in Jacksonville, it is difficult to determine how much of the reduction is directly attributable to Jacksonville Journey. Many (including the Sheriff) cite the hiring of additional police officers and a new State Attorney as contributing factors as well. 3. What endorsements have you received? I have received the endorsement of the First Coast Manufacturers Association, the Fraternal Order of Police and the Northeast Florida Builders Association. I was also interviewed by the Associated Builders and Contractors and I am awaiting their decision.

4. How much civic activity do you perform outside work? I perform a considerable amount of civic activity outside of work. In 2000, I was the cofounder of Citizens for Tree Preservation, Inc., the group that led the petition drive (citizens’ initiative) for the overwhelmingly successful Tree Preservation Amendment that appeared on the November 2000 ballot. In 2003, I helped organize the citizens’ initiative to place a litter amendment on the ballot. After working closely with the City Council, they adopted a litter ordinance in 2004 - saving us the need for a citizens’ initiative. In 2005, I began working with various civic leaders, community groups and the Jacksonville Transportation Authority in an attempt to find ways to erect and maintain bus shelters without having to amend the sign code to allow for commercial advertising on the same. Prior to returning to the City Council in 2008, I appeared before the City Council on a variety of zoning issues, which included my opposition to the proposed land use change to accommodate Wal-Mart on Atlantic Boulevard at Bartram Road (which also included an appearance before the Times-Union editorial board) and the Craig Field runway expansion. I also currently serve on the board of directors and devote considerable time to a variety of civic and non profit organizations, including Arlington’s Tree Hill Nature Center, the Friends of the Jacksonville Public Library, and the Jacksonville Humane Society. 5. How do you intend to comply with Florida’s public records and government in the sunshine laws? If you saw an elected official breaking the sunshine law, what would you do? I have and will continue to comply fully with the Sunshine Law, just as I always have during my service in office. In the event I see an elected official breaking the Sunshine Law, I will remind them of the requirements by which we are bound. In the past, I have reported Sunshine violations to the State Attorney. I am a strong and vocal advocate for adhering to the Sunshine Law, ethics and transparency. Although not technically a Sunshine requirement, as Chairman of the City Council’s Land Use and Zoning Committee, I created a new LUZ speaker’s card which requires registered lobbyists to disclose whether they are registered on the matter they are speaking to the committee about, and places anyone completing the card under oath when testifying before the committee. 6. What can you do to help support the clean-up of the St. Johns River? As a citizen, I can conserve water, dispose of my yard waste properly and use low nitrogen fertilizers. As a City Council member, I can continue to work to make sure failing septic tanks are repaired or replaced, river polluters are caught and prosecuted, wetlands are protected, growth and demands from growth are managed properly, and that upstream users pursue similar policies. As Chairman of the Jacksonville Waterways Commission, I participated in last year’s Health of the St Johns River Community Dialogue, which helped lead to Senator John Thrasher’s creation of a St. Johns River Caucus (comprised of 52 members of the Legislature). I also participated as a panelist in the River Summit held here in Jacksonville last September. 7. How can you become engaged in the city’s high murder, infant mortality and suicide rates? Although murder and suicide can result from a variety of factors, economic reasons contribute heavily. It is important that we continue to strive for a top-

tier educational system to provide our students with the proper education and training with which to enter the workplace. But the school system can’t provide that unilaterally. It is essential that parents take more of an active role in their children’s education. It’s a collaborative effort. Once our children are prepared to enter the workplace, we have an economic climate that will offer them employment opportunities. The City Council should be vigilant about creating and preserving such an environment. With proper education and healthy economic climate, citizens can have an excellent opportunity to lead a productive life. With specific regard to infant mortality, prenatal care and education should continue to remain a focus of the Department of Health, a partnership agency between the city and state. 8. Has consolidation been a good or bad deal for Jacksonville? Please explain your answer. Consolidation has been good for Jacksonville. Prior to consolidation, considerable corruption existed at both the county and city levels. Consolidation has greatly reduced that corruption and it has also achieved efficiencies and economies of scale by eliminating the duplication of services. However, various independent authorities and government agencies have slowly sought independence from some of the central services provided by the city. Any decisions to allow those authorities and government agencies to provide “duplicate” services should be subject to periodic audit to ensure that the cost for those services are not more than what those costs would be if the city still provided them. 9. What is the role of a Council member? As mini-mayor? Or as legislator? Clearly, the role of a City Council member is one of a legislator, not as a mini-mayor. I liken the City Council to a board of directors: a group of individuals charged with adopting goals and objectives, approving budgets and establishing policy – all to be executed by the executive director (in the city’s case, the mayor).

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