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Candidates respond to questions — Marietta City Council — 4th Ward

October 26, 2009
Marietta Times
Marietta City Council — 4th Ward
1. What’s one thing you would change about the way the current council does business?
2. What would you bring to the table as a member of council?
3. According to the city auditor’s annual financial forecast, if current trends continue, by the end of 2010 Marietta’s general fund cash balance is expected to go into the red by more than $444,000, and a year later the balance could see a gap of $2.3 million. What could be done to alleviate that situation?
4. As of Oct. 1, the current council had considered more than 300 ordinances and 137 resolutions. Is this too much legislation or just a necessary part of doing city business?
5. More than $400,000 in revenue is generated annually through third party billing for city fire and rescue runs. Currently that money goes into the general fund and a portion to help support the city’s two outlying fire stations on Harmar Hill and Glendale Road. Should some of those funds also be used to hire more firefighters?
Glen McCabe Jr.
Age: 50.
Occupation: Owner, Custom Carpentry Plus.
Family: Wife, Jan.
Previous offices held/sought: Ran for 3rd Ward in 2007.
1. To be elected 4th Ward city council in order to find effective and efficient solutions to concerning matters.

2. A positive, optimistic view and to work hard every day to make the people proud of the city we live in.

3. Despite my opponent’s repeated objections, council has taken steps to consolidate departments and hire cost-effective seasonal help and to solve the municipal court issue at a reasonable cost. I want to be elected to ensure we can move rapidly to solve our city’s financial concerns.

4. Working with the mayor and resolving issues that arise every day is just a necessary part of conducting business.

5. Council has worked to give firefighters the tools they need to do their jobs. I would need to look into the financial aspects to see if there are any financial looming concerns to deal with in our staffing needs before I could make a decision.
Tom Vukovic
Age: 60.
Occupation: Retired Washington County Career Center/Marietta High School teacher after 35 years.
Family: Wife, Anna; son, Mark, daughter-in-law, Val, and three granddaughters; son Joe, daughter-in-law, Amanda, and one granddaughter.
Previous offices held/sought: 4th Ward councilman since 1998.

1. The Marietta City Comprehensive Plan produced by the City’s Development Advisory Board has been lost in the transition from the last council to this council. That board, made up of people who do planning for a living, has not met in over a year. The plan has not been revised since 2003. The first recommendation of the performance audit, for which we paid $36,000, was for the city to develop a strategic plan, vision and mission statements, measurable objectives and action plans. Being a detail-oriented person, I want to see council, with leadership from the administration, develop and follow a (exceeded limit).

2. I bring 11 years of experience as the 4th Ward councilman and the institutional memory that comes with doing the job for an extended period of time. One administration official told me that before he brings a proposal to council, he tells his staff that it must pass the “Vukovic” test because he knows that I will publicly interrogate him about his proposals. Experienced as the finance, water and sewer, streets and special utilities committee chair, I’ve made lots of contacts on behalf of my constituents over the years to make their lives better and help them solve problems in (exceeded limit).

3. As a result of the Maximus study, which I ushered through the last term of council, the administration is using an accounting technique called “cost allocation” to shore up the general fund. I’ve voted to:

- Offer tax incentives to new businesses opening in the city.
- Expand the tax credits for property improvements.
- Improve the city’s infrastructure with local and federal tax dollars.
- Annex land contiguous to the city if the owner gets city water.

If our revenues don’t grow, our choices, ultimately, are to cut services, seek tax increases or find other, creative ways to attract new income tax payers.

4. I believe the number is not important as long as the people’s business gets done. As a councilman, my job is to weigh in on all proposals in committee, determine the impact on the 4th Ward and the entire city, and then decide if legislation is appropriate. I have an outstanding attendance record, and I attend nearly all committee meetings in order to have a handle on issues. I do my homework: Read a lot, listen, investigate, seek input and participate in the debate of all proposals facing council.

5. When Tom Dempsey became fire chief, he told me that the fire department, for the first time in history, was becoming a revenue generator, rather than a drain on the general fund. My constituents have asked me to support additional firefighters and police officers, and I agree with them wholeheartedly. Reluctantly, however, after reviewing the financial forecast and seeing significant budget deficits in the near future, it seems unfair to vote to hire staff we can’t sustain long-term. When the five-year financial forecast shows enough growth to support hiring additional safety service personnel, without causing a budget shortfall as a (exceeded limit).


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