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May 11, 2011     Hays Free Press
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May 11, 2011
 

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Page 6A F NEWS Hays Free Press May 11,2011 CANDIDATE QUESTIONNAIRES Sarah Mangham running for Mayor of Buda l.Which two local current or former elected officials (Hays County or any cl school district or other political sub- division therein) do you think most doselyreflect your sensib'dities and/or style in governing Why? John "ube and JeffBarton. Both Mayor ube and Com- missioner Barton understood the MANGHAM need to partici- pate in the community and region beyond attending their required meetings. They did a great job of working within the County and the within the Central Texas region to benefit our community. I look for- ward to bringing that type of le'dtl'iip back to the Mayor's Office in Bud::- 2,.be what your cania  about in 140 characters or less. Offering the choice of a No Nonsense, Professional Mayor that  represent the best interests of the community. "2 3. Size and pe of gov- City of Buda. And ifTunes get tough, we need to use a small portion of that fund balance flit comes to it, be- fore cutting services or staffing levels. 6. Generaliy speaking, what is your plan for improving Buda area streets and roads and which three projects do you think are most pressing The most impor- tant road project for Buda is the expansion of 1626. While it is currently approved, there are people in Hays County that are try- ing to put pressure on the Commissioner's Court to stop that project. A promise to the Citizens - I will be at Com- missioners Court meetings to provide public political sup- port for the County Commis- sions that are supporting the project. Failure to speak out in support for these types of projects that benefits Buda is inexcusable. We need to have a Mayor that will use every available channel to show support for projects that are in the best interest of Buda. enent have been lding Since the access road lsSuhi recent elections on has gone one way between tlie lml, state national : Cabela's Loop and the Home 1_1 tts Depot, it is putting too much bU  t years, add- traffic through our subdivi- ing liolk department and sions. We need a direct route re city staff. Do you feel the dtyis spending tax dollars ly If not. what cuts would you make ', There are some areas of the budget that has grown, ahd n:to. Forinsce, the ent, it was out there ad caate Police Department. There am other aTeas such as Hotel Occupan- cy Fund where this may not have been in the best interest of the City. Also, dollars spent oh the City of Buda Branding -was that really needed at this te? from Goforth Road back to Cabela's loop so that we can reduce traffic through the Sequoya, Ashford Park and BradfieldVillage. Things like this needs a Mayor that will work hard to get:thin traffic off the streets of neighborhoods that were not designed for this type ofthru traffic. Finall it is important to finish the Main Street expan- sion as quickly as possible so that people wi be able to use the underpass-at Main Street and IH-35. See candidate announcements by Becky Selbera and Bobby Lane on page 6C. 4. Mac or PC3. I have always been a PC, but rumor has it I am getting an IPAD2 for Mother's Day and can't wait. 7. What is the most recent book you have read? "The Right Thing" by Cmdr. ScottWaddie (Ret.) with Ken Abraham 5. What is the ideal tax rate for the City of Buda and how would you get there What balance would you like tO see between sales and property tax revenues? Ideal Tax Rate - I think the Maintenance and Operations Rate should not be above about 20 Cents at the highest unless we are providing a lot more services to the Citizen. Interest and Sinking (debt) rate should not grown unless we are going out for debt that is VOTER approved, or is in the interest of providing health and safety to the Citizens (like a drainage project or major road projects). The City of Buda should have a balance of about 60/40 for the Property and Sales Tax Rates. If the rates shift more towards the Sales Tax rate being a larger portion of the annual revenues, then we as a Council need to ensure there is' sufficient funds in the Fund Balance so that bad economic times does not affect the quality of life that our Citizens am use to receiving kom the 8. Buda leaders fluently talk about quality oflife is- sues in the citWhat steps would you take to improve the quality ofllfe for local residents in a fiscally respon- sible manner? The first thing I would to improve the quality of life issues in the City would be to take an active role in advocat- ing for our citizens. As an example, I would work with the County and TxDOT of- ficials to see the expansion of 1626 to its completion. This is an example of steps the Mayor shall take to improve the qual- ity of life for our community without costing the City any funds. Next, I would use my finan- cial expertise to insure that we are getting the best value for our citizens when it comes to investing in our City. There are several areas where we c better allocate our available funds to improve the quality of life for the citizens. A great example, the Buda"branding" project, those dollars could be been spent more wisely. Bobby Lane running for Mayor of Buda l.Which two local cur- rent or former elected of. ficials (Hays County or any city, school district or other political subdivi- sion therein) do you think most closely reflect your sensi- bilities and/or style in governing? Why?. Mark ]ones: He is personable, respon- sible, respectful and truly dedicated to serving the needs of all of his constitu- ents. Ralph Pfluger: He LANI: always had the best interest of the students at the heart of his decision making. Such a solid man, with his roots firmly planted in pub- llc service. He possessed an untiring desire to keep Hays Consolidated School District at the forefront of education for the whole student. 2. Describe what your candidacy is all about in 140 characters or less. My candidacy is about continuing to numu the small town charm of Buda, while encouraging new commercial growth along the 1-35 corridor. I will continue to support ac- tions to strengthen our Buda Police Department, improve- ments to our award-winning wastewater treatment plant, and obtaining an additional source of drinking water. I want to improve our east-west network of roads to free up travel time in an around Buda. I support and encour- age a conservative ap- proach to our budget, maintain a reason- ably low propel tax rate while promoting the quality oflife our citizens have come to expec t and appreciate. My experience in policy-related matters, as well as maintaining an open line of communication with my constituents, and local and state officials, will continue to ensure an atmosphere of open- ness and cooperation through- out all of Buda, Hays County and this r-eSti. ........... 3. Size and soape of govern- merit have been leading issues in recent elections on the local, state and national levels. Buda has grown its budget in recent years, adding a police department and more city staff. Do you feel like the city is spending tax dollars respon- sibly? If not, what cuts would you make? We are spending our tax dollars responsibly and in fact have reduced our bud- get by over $900,000 dollars during the last two budget cycles. We have added key positions to our staff rather than contract out for services. The new positions of the As- sistant City Manager, Admin- istrative Assistant, Planning - Plan Review, and Tourism have enabled us to serve in a timely and accurate manner in responding to our citizens and business partners' needs. During the past year w,e identified new opportunities to strengthen our accounting practices resulting in a much improved annual audit. Our goal is to be to ensure the integrity in accounting and reporting on all transactions while utilizing every tax dollar in an efficient and effective manner. 4. Mac or PC? PC? Just more accustomed to using the PC even with the upgrades in Office systems. 5.What is the ideal tax rate for the city of Buda and how would you get there? What balance would you like to see between sales and property tax revenues? Our current tax rate is one of the lowest rates in the state for a city of our size that provides the services that we do. I think this is an ideal tax rate. Increas- ing our commercial property tax base can relieve the need to burden our homeowners with additional taxes. The ideal tax rate is one that the taxpaying citizens are willing to pay in support of city administration and special capital improve- ment projects. As such, we must listen to our citizens and seek their support for future increases in order to achieve the ideal tax rate. We have found that sales tax revenue can be some- what unpredictable. A sound budgeting policy is to not rely on sales tax revenue to support recurring expenses. It is more suitable for special projects or for short term expenses. AS we grow our commercial base through annexation and new businesses, the property tax base will grow to support vital, recurring activities within the city. Our goal is to maximize the benefits of both sources of revenue. 6. Generally speaking, what is your plan for improving Buda area streets and roads and which three projects do you think are most pressing.. Based on our latest budget discussions this year, we are considering how to complete the east-west flow of traffic on the truck bypass road. Ad- ditionally we will be assess- ing and establishing a plan to restore or overlay a number of our streets in the older neigh- borhoods. We estimated costs of well over $1 million dollars for these projects. In an effort to reduce these costs, the City Council approved a lease- purchase of road equipment, thereby enabling us to com- plete the repairs in-house for a much reduced amount. We will repair what we can within the budget that is available in the coming year. 7. What is the most recent book you have read? "From Good to Great" by Jim Collins. 8. Buda leaders frequently talk about quality of life Issues in the city. What steps would you take to improve the qual- Ity of life for local residents in a fiscally responsible manner? We received matching grant funds from the Hays County this year. These funds will be used to establish a pedestrian trail with amenities in the Bradfield Park area. These funds will also be used to build a skateboard park in Down- town Buda. We are also looking at improvements to City Park and in Stagecoach Park. We are discussing how to improve connectivity in Buda. We have been encouraged by responses to the Comprehensive Plan Survey and how citizens view the need for sidewalks and trails. Improving traffic flows and transportation-related issues is also high on the list of concerns. We are currently studying improvements along Main Street to improve safe traffic flow. We will continue to ensure the public health and safety in our efforts to obtain an additional source of drinking, supporting our Police Department, strengthening our Parks department programs and supporting Public Works projects. We also recognize the need to support our Library as the demand continues to grow for the multitude of services provided there. There is no time to rest on what we have accomplished thus far, we must continue to be mind- ful of our qitizens' needs and respond to those needs within the confines of our budget. Thank you for the opportunity to respond. COLOR SALE: 20% Open 7 Days a Week Costcutters.com - Paul Mitchell Colorl Na Buda Next to HEB 512-295-8295