Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Culpeper Council Meeting Review for September 9th 2014

Here is a brief look into some of the more high profile votes taken last night.

The Culture of Debt
I will always vote against government borrowing, also known as bonding. It is my belief that government should live with-in it's means and only pay for projects as the money is available. Saddling our residents with debt most often results in higher taxes and bigger government. The practice of spending money before you actually have the money is systemic problem in government culture. I don't operate my household in such a manner and nor should the government. 

The council voted 8-1 to adopt a reimbursement resolution for more than $3 million in future borrowing for new town vehicles ($344,400); computer items ($85K) and a water fund project ($2.6 million). Passed 8-1 I voted no.

Tax Money Thrown in the Trashcan
I believe it's reckless not to allow competitive bidding for government contracts. Our trashcans are only purchased from one vendor without competitive bidding. This means there is no opportunity to bring down the cost of our cans. The Council voted 5-4 to purchase 560 new trash carts at a cost of $28,449. 
I voted no. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Culpeper Council Meeting Review for August 12th 2014

Here is a brief look into some of the more high profile votes taken tonight.

-Public Comments
On July 1st, I presented a addendum to council to add public comment time to the town code governing council committee meetings. In committee the addendum was met with resistance by two committee members. The addendum was then sent to the council as a whole with no recommendation.

Tonight the council passed my addendum with an amendment by a vote of 7 to 2. The two councilors who voted against public comment were Pranas Rimeikis and Bobby Ryan. This addendum is a statement to the people of Culpeper that the majority of council values your opinion and we want you to be a part of the process.

- Car Wash Expansion
The owners of a car wash on Sperryville Pike wanted to increase capacity by utilizing more of the property they had available. However the residents living around the car wash signed a petition to have the expansion stopped due to loud noises, traffic, excessive lights, and major parking issues. The problem revolves around the town government's lack of planning for the area back in the Mid 2000's . The awkwardly placed car wash and strip mall was planted in a residential area and does not provide residents with noise, light, traffic buffers. As a result their property values have been severely reduced. I did not want to add to the problem by adding more traffic to the neighborhood. While both sides presented very persuasive arguments, I voted against the proposal because the neighborhood asked to me to vote against it. The proposal passed 5-3 with one council member abstaining.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Choosing a New Town Councilman

As we move towards replacing Mayor-elect Mike Olinger on town council, my hope is that council will move in an open and transparent manner. We need to make the position available for all residents to apply for the appointment to town council. It is important for us to be accountable to the people.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Thank you.

Thank you for your vote. I am honored to be a member of the next Culpeper Town Council.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Here's why I am asking for your vote on May 6th

Public Involvement and Accountability
As your town councilman, my sole responsibility is to represent your needs to the town government. Too many times "the people" are left out of major decisions that effect their pocketbooks and way of life. My desire is to give your voice a seat at the table. This starts with increasing community involvement in major decisions by creating a citizen committee to advise the council on the hiring of department heads; opening up council committee meetings to allow the public to speak; involving the public in the creation of a mission statement for the town. Your opinions must be honored in all decisions. 

Economic Development

We need to bring light industrial, tech and medical service jobs to Culpeper. These jobs will improve our economic engine so more people can live, work and play in Culpeper instead of commuting to D.C. We have seen an increase in retail businesses opening in Culpeper and while these businesses are important they only provide a minimal income for our people. My commitment is to actively promote our town to bring jobs to our area. 

Senior Citizens

Pew Research estimates that baby boomers are retiring at a rate of 10,000 per day. These numbers are staggering, yet they point us to a very real economic opportunity in Culpeper. Our town's history runs deep in the fabric of the nation and we should be leveraging our community as not only a tourism hub for seniors, but also a great place to retire. Think of all the industries that cater to senior citizens from charter buses, health services, senior housing, recreation and more.

Even though our primary efforts on economic development should be on light industrial, tech and small business, there is a large segment of the economy devoted to senior living. It is incumbent upon us to factor our senior citizens into our communities economic development plan.

Public Safety
Our town's police department has received a lot of negative press in the last couple of years. This negative attention does not represent the vast majority of our law enforcement officers, but rather a couple of incidents that should have been handled much differently. With a surge in heroin in our community we need a law enforcement department that is focused on doing their jobs and leadership that is committed to proper training and management. Town council should not interfere with the chain of command or inject politics into the department. We owe it to our residents to make sure the highest priority of our town is public safety. 

We have a lot of work to do to make our town an even better place to live. I ask for your vote on May 6th.