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Candidates respond to questions — Marietta City Council — Second Ward

October 27, 2009
Marietta Times
Marietta City Council — Second 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?
 
Michael M. McCauley
Age: 68.
Occupation: Retired police officer/social studies teacher.
Family: Wife, Jane; sons, Russ and Mike.
Previous offices held/sought: 2nd Ward council representative and council at large representative.

1. Stop the partisan politics. When I was first elected to council in 1995, the best advice I received was from Bob O’Malley, president of council. He expressed that partisan politics on the local level of government was not in the best interest of the community. During my tenure on council, I found this to be sound advice. I do not recall any decision based on political affiliation. From the recent letters to the editor by members of the present council, partisan politics and special interest are the rules of the day.

2. I bring experience in many areas, having worked in the public sector and operating a small property management business on the side. I hold truthfulness in high regard and have a reputation for honesty. While on council, I was willing to take on the difficult issues of controlling the deer population and addressing both green space and parking concerns.

As chairman of the lands, buildings and parks committee, with hard work and citizen support, we completed Phase I of the pedestrian bike trail and the Aquatic Center.

I was on council when we purchased the Armory. I support a restoration (exceeded limit).

3. One of the reasons for the gap is the reduction in the Intergovernmental Fund, monies received from the state which is outside council’s control.

Another reason for the gap is council’s approval of a three-year wage and benefit package for city employees at the start of 2009 fiscal year. Wages and salaries made up 77 percent of the general revenue fund in 2008. This increased to 83 percent in 2009 mainly due to pay increases for employees. This increase was the first part of a three-year agreement which will cost the city an additional 5.02 percent, 4.9 percent and 5.4 (exceeded limit).

4. There has been a steady increase in the amount of legislation each year for the last 15 years that I have been involved with council. I believe this is a necessary part of doing city business.

One must have the time and willingness to attend all committee and council meetings while staying on top of the details for each and every piece of legislation. I learned these qualities as a sergeant in the police department directing felony investigations. You must follow the law and procedure to be successful in court. As a high school social studies teacher with six different (exceeded limit).

5. I was very active in the debate on third-party billing after the fires at Hensler’s Market and Brownie’s Bakery. The need for additional firefighters was apparent, public involvement was high, and I voted for the legislation. We agreed to look at the revenue stream before adding more staff to the department. I was off council when the revenues were collected.

I would hate to think we will be unable to save another historical building in our city due a lack of firefighters responding to the scene.
 
Randy Wilson
Age: 50.
Occupation: Account executive for Ricoh Business, also works part-time at The Gallery.
Family: Divorced, one son Garrett 13 years old
Previous office sought/held: 2nd Ward council representative, one term.

1. The one thing that I would like to change is in how little time we have had to make decisions. I would like the administration to bring forward the legislation to council earlier so we don’t have to rush everything through council. We are provided a schedule by the law director, and we must hold the administration to those dates.

2. I am not a public speaker but a thinker. I like to look at the issues and have time to make an educated decision. I also read each piece of legislation and have found spelling and date issues and had them corrected before we passed the law.

3. We must live within our means. We must look at each department within the city and see if we can make cuts. David Locke, our auditor, keeps us informed on all the balances of all accounts. Some of the places we must keep an eye on our water and sewer rates.

4. Marietta is a weak-mayor, strong-council set-up. I would love to see less legislation, but in order to do that we must change the way the government is set up. We are responsible for everything and maybe could eliminate some by getting the administration to present issues in a timelier manner so we don’t have to correct our mistakes.

5. It would be nice to hire some more firefighters; however, we must continue to watch our spending in order to avoid deficit spending. We are in need of employees in other departments as well. Until, we see an increase in revenue for the city, we must be try to live within our means.
 
 
 

 

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