So, I asked the candidates for the Richardson City Council, what one specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based goal will you personally champion and seek to have the full city council adopt as a priority for the next two years? Why? (It is great to have several such goals, but for the purposes of this exercise, I asked the candidates to please choose one.)
After the jump, their answers.
- Bob Dubey (Place 1)
I am running without a specific agenda or a specific goal to implement a major change for the city of Richardson. If I was forced to pick a major concern, I would address the infrastructure of the city. The city staff has assessed the streets and created a list of streets that need repairs. I would vote to improve/repair 30% of the worst streets in year one and vote to increase this budget to ensure we make continued progress across the entire city. Our current budget of $3.26 million may need to be adjusted to accomplish our street repair needs. I consider our streets a major concern and ensuring we have the funding in place is critical.
- Mark J. Solomon (Place 2, incumbent)
I will continue to push for an increase in the budget for local neighborhood street maintenance at a rate of at least 10-20% per year.
- Scott Dunn (Place 3)
[Scott Dunn did not respond.]
- Cory Montfort (Place 4)
I believe that all people, regardless of their religious beliefs, sexual orientation, race, gender, socioeconomic status, or political party, are inherently good. I also believe that when one is asked directly to help another individual in crisis, most people would be more than willing to do what they can, and I know this is true for the fine citizens of Richardson.
Because of this philosophy, I have a goal of improving community awareness of the local issues that our citizens can directly contribute to solving by increasing citizen engagement, as measured by town hall attendance and traffic to our digital properties, by 40% over my first term in office.
In an effort to achieve this objective, I will propose a minimum of one virtual town hall per month. This online format would enable residents to join and participate in discussions with the city while a moderator facilities questions for the council to address. Additionally, the city would maintain and promote interactive social media and print campaigns designed to encourage awareness about community needs. This would also increase accountability to the citizens as a more transparent city government becomes available.
Finally, it would be imperative that the city of Richardson make every effort to inform it’s residents of the newly available methods of communication. This could be done using signs, banners, HOA announcements, social media advertisements, websites, print ads and more.
I strongly believe that once an agreement is reached, these methods have the strong potential to start increasing civic engagement and moral within months.
- Mabel Simpson (Place 4, incumbent)
[Mabel Simpson did not respond.]
- Marta Gómez Frey (Place 5, incumbent)
One of my key goals is to promote smart growth in Richardson. That means incorporating collaborative approaches to balance new development opportunities, our redevelopment goals and our continued commitment to infrastructure.
It will be crucial for our city to support:
- DART and the University of Texas at Dallas new developments adjacent to the DART Cotton Belt Rail Line;
- Redevelopment efforts in our Main Street/Central Expressway and Spring Valley corridors; and
- Safe neighborhoods by continuing the repair and/or replacement of aging roadways, by adding dedicated bike lanes, and upgrading screening walls and bridges throughout Richardson.
By May 2018 (before our budget review meetings), Council reviews an inventory or single source compilation of projects annotated by development, redevelopment or infrastructure, to ensure appropriately balanced amounts of time and resources are being applied. This one document will be consistent with our transparency goals as it will make it easier for anyone to follow our balanced approach to development, redevelopment and infrastructure goals.
- Kashif Riaz (Place 5)
[Kashif Riaz did not respond.]
- Steve Mitchell (Place 6, incumbent)
Once our new council is seated, we will meet to formulate collaborative goals and tactics for this next council term. Below are goals/tactics that I would like to see considered/discussed:
*Determine both the potential short and long term impacts of appraisal/revenue caps and a rollback rate reduction on our city budget and local control, if these bills are passed by our state house and senate, then signed by the governor. We need to have a 'plan of action' in the event that this occurs.
*Enhance traffic signalization, through more modern equipment and/or effective timing sequences so that traffic on our major arteries can move more efficiently through and out of our city; this is critical due to the high number of signalized feeder streets that intersect with our major arteries; constant 'starting' and 'stopping' creates gridlock and diminishes air quality.
*Discuss 'friendly' neighborhood revelopment; evaluate the impact of new construction in older neighborhoods in regard to 2nd stories, window placement along with backs/sides of the house, setbacks, and the movement from back entry drives to front entry drives upon reconstruction; solicit community feedback, then determine what, if any, action needs to be taken, based on this feedback.
*Start actual reconstruction of West Spring Valley from US 75 to Coit; the mechanisms have been in place for a number of years, but the project has continued to be delayed; the time is now to begin the project.
*Replace aging, worn street signs with new, more visible ones; ensure that the ones at major intersections all contain the 'block' numbers so that they can be properly identified by our first responders. We have a plan in place, but we need to find a method to hasten their replacement due to the number of failures.
- Jared Weadon (Mayor, Place 7)
I'd like for the city government to achieve true fiscal transparency. There are too many items in city revenue and expenditures which aren't clearly defined in the reports. It makes it hard for the citizens to hold city leadership accountable for their fiscal responsibilities.
- Paul Voelker (Mayor, Place 7, incumbent)
I see the City of Richardson’s goal setting as a process that starts with the mission and visioning for the city. The council sets goals, the current council has set four. These are high level and meant to give direction as an oversight body to the management staff of the city. That staff provides strategies, this year twelve, and tactics for them to deliver on the council’s behalf. As we move through the process the details and specifics are laid out. Staff reports to council on a regular basis on progress of activity relevant to achieving the strategies and tactics used and ties them back to the council’s goals in a specific, measurable way. These goals are set on a yearly basis. In the past councils may have set as many as 170 individual goals and that made it difficult for the management team to prioritize and preform against them effectively.
For the coming year and in support of the current goal of "To have clear, easy to understand processes and policies that make it easy to do business with the City" I will ask for even more transparency and reporting through the full adoption of the Texas Comptroller’s 5 Star Program. Combined with an Information Technology assessment and review to be completed this year, we will be able to give individuals, stakeholders and staff more timely and accurate information that will lead to a higher level of confidence in city government, better decision making capability and a more integrated systems approach. Staff has been able to already begin work on the comptroller’s program and will be able to update council as they make progress with the integration of existing and updated applications and processes.