2) Property Tax Reform:
One of the many great achievements for our city in the past year was the lowering of our tax rate for the first time in history. The city reserves the right to increase tax revenue by 8% without a vote from the citizen. I believe we should never ask for more money from citizens than is necessary. Let's start working to lower your tax bill, not just a tax rate. If my tax bill goes up, that is not truly lowering taxes. With the tax rate decreases over the past two fiscal years we have still seen a 5% increase in your tax bill.
4) Unify Colleyville
In an effort to shed light on issues in Colleyville, one that was brought up by several people was that of the divisive and "angry tenor" of the politics in the city. By bringing this up I was roundly attacked, called names and essentially a poster child for what the citizens imparted upon me. My approach is one of understanding and discussion. Instead of fighting, I chose to reach out and talk to key people to understand what had them so upset. By doing so many fences were mended and the tenor and tone of the discussion moved from anger to issues. Because I am not required to defend one PAC or the other, I can speak freely to both and find compromise and common ground to help all of Colleyville, not just one side or the other. Open discussion is a critical piece of our democratic republic, and without it we are lost. It then becomes a one sided affair that deepens the divide. By electing me as YOUR city councilman, I will be able to bridge this gap with the same calm demeanor that I diffused the initial attacks. Simply reaching out to people who are upset and learning what we can do to remedy the issue. This is the leadership we need in Colleyville, and this is how we will allow Colleyville to continue to be a beacon of light into the future.
By voting for Mike Sexton, we will Keep Colleyville...Colleyville.
1) Economic Development:
There is a great deal of discussion about repairing roads, updating our utility systems, upgrading parks and drainage, etc. but what is not discussed is how we will pay for these items. Currently there are 5 years worth of Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) accounted for and prioritized based on needs. There is an additional $100 million in CIP items that are identified but not currently funded. These items can be moved here and there but for the most part the five year plan items are considered the top priority to be executed. My contention is that, no matter who is elected, fixing and maintaining our infrastructure and safety protocols will be a given. Unfortunately there are really only two funding mechanisms in place, ad valorem tax (property tax) or sales tax. We have to move away from sole reliance on property tax. As the city is currently zoned, we will be 100% built out in the next 5-10 years, meaning there will be a finite number of tax payers in the future. This also means that the growth of the city will require additional infrastructure, fire and police as well as strain the existing infrastructure. Our future will consist of either high property tax or economic growth. I will promote economic growth but work diligently to maintain our rural feel. Economic growth doesn't mean strip malls and chain restaurants. It means creating opportunity for corporate campuses and business parks that do not compete with our current businesses but provide consumers to purchase our goods and services. We want people to visit and spend money to support our city, not continue to allow the state to arbitrarily hold citizens hostage with exorbitant appraisal values. We control our future and should not be at the whims and wishes of any system outside of our city.
3) Zero Based Budgeting:
I would like to create a mandate that made this a requirement going forward. "Zero Based Budgeting" essentially gives every city department "zero dollars" to fund their department. This means each department has to justify their expenses when requesting money. This ends the typical government practice of being allocated a certain amount of money every year and being required to spend it in order to avoid a budget cut the following year. If a department received $1,000 for widgets last fiscal year, they will not automatically receive $1,000 this fiscal year. If it is necessary, the department simply has to account for why. Some departments will receive more than the previous year, again, it is simply a way to justify how they spend YOUR tax dollars.