*Candidate responses were not modified or altered.
Q1. The resurgence of Black Lives Matter has shined a spotlight on the failure of police departments throughout the country to truly ensure public safety. What would you do to address policing concerns impacting the black and immigrant communities and reimagine public safety in our community?
Q2. In addition to policing, how would you address racial injustice in education, housing, and social services?
Q3. COVID-19 has devastated local budgets. What would you do to address budget shortfalls?
Q4. COVID-19 has further worsened an already severe housing crisis in Nevada. How would you address housing security issues?
A1. As a city councilman for the City of Sparks I have spent hours on drive alongs, in citizen training classes and learning about the heart of our police for our community. Well there is always room for improvement, I stand by our officers in our city and appreciate their hours of sacrifice, training and care they give to the citizens of Sparks. I am aware of the Guinn Center report and will use these recommendations in order to take steps to assure that every citizen who lives in Sparks feels safe and are represented. I am pleased that our District Attorney has created a path for us to be able to communicate more quickly and concisely in the event that we have a place involved shooting. In the next few weeks, I will be hosting a town hall meeting for Ward 5 of Sparks in order to continue to hear from our local citizens and for them to hear from me. My promise is to stay at the table and continue to listen, learn and lead. This is a conversation that directly affects my family and I believe that I am in office at this time to help bring a conversation of value and respect.
A2. I will continue to help any individual that finds themself in a place of need. I truly value the lives of every human being and will do what I can to bring wholeness where there is hurting and a hopeful path for those who find themselves at a loss for next steps. I am personally involved in higher education and continue to create paths of job training and higher wages for those who are willing to find a new path. City taxes give us very little room to speak into social services. That part of our local taxes are given to Washoe County. I will continue to stay involved and help with relational resources and strategic planning for our region.
A3. This is a difficult answer. I will continue to approach each budget planning session with the newest information we have. My budget obligations are to assure safety and infrastructure for the City of Sparks. My best hope is that our legislators will visit our property tax depreciation and help bring stability for our growing cities. I will continue to be strategic in our planning and spending.
A4. I support finding answers for a lower rental cost. I think the best answer is to make sure there is education possibilities and job training seminars to help secure better wages. The market will continue to fluctuate and there is little we can do to prevent that. However, we can come alongside our citizens and help equip them for success. I will continue to utilize as many state and federal grants that help address rental and housing needs. We have also used a portion of our Cares Act money to invest in our rental assistant needs and businesses.
Q1. What are your top 2 priorities for Sparks?
Q2. How would you increase local funding and incentives to develop affordable housing for low and middle-income communities?
Q3. How would you address the displacement of low-income communities and communities of color due to gentrification?
Q4. How would you support the growing number of renters in our community?
Q5. How would you create a welcoming and supportive community for immigrants and their families?
A1. 1) I want to continue to help us lead in a clear and unified manner. This is as a city and a region. This may not seem like a priority compared to infrastructure, construction, budgeting or other city needs but I believe it makes a huge difference in all things we do.
2) Finding a way to fix our property tax situation. This affects everything from schools, to homelessness, to roads and first responder needs. It must be visited and at minimum, a floor placed on the tax structure in place.
A2. 1) I support finances to be in place in order to build affordable housing. I strongly believe having more housing that has stabilized rents will help the whole housing situation. Local funding is difficult as until we fix our property tax we cannot do much but stay afloat as a city. So, all funding that can help this situation comes from state or federal funding.
2) I will continue to work with our state legislators to keep our housing costs low. It seems that at the legislator level we keep making decisions that actually are raising the cost of building and in turn translates to a higher cost for renters or buyers.
A3. 1) I am comfortable with having clear incentives and strong language that honors those who are currently living in those areas. I see my responsibility as a city servant to help those in need and give them tools for them to take steps to health and wholeness. This is a conversation we can continue having as a region.
2) I also believe in education. It would be great to be involved in the communities that are low-income and give them opportunities to grow and learn.
A4. 1) I will continue to communicate and connect. What I mean by this is to help people know their options. If they want to purchase a home- there is help. If they want to learn how to handle their finances- there are resources. For a time, my wife and lived in a rental situation because we were recovering from great loss in the last recession. There are steps people can take if they want to become a home owner.
2) I also like the idea for our seniors to encourage landlords to do longer leases. This gives our senior community better stability and lass fear of the constant change.
A5. This conversation always begins with an agreement on value. We must value our fellow human beings. Once we understand this then the answers are available. I want to help make sure there is a clear road for immigrants to become citizens.
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