Updated: Oct 11, 2021
I think what frustrates so many of us about "politics" is the abundance of inaccurate and mis-information that gets spread. I could have chosen to ignore what my challenger is claiming in his flyers and in discussions with people. However, for those of you who know me well, I aim to always have the right information out in the public. This is my chance to set some things straight.
Below are snippets from Mr. Peterson's flyer and my response to them. After reading this, you will have correct information to make an informed decision.
"End catch and release and punish the repetitive criminal". Neither the City, the Mayor (no matter who it is), nor the City Council has any control over this.
"Add new police officers and adapt new data systems...utilizing more Detectives to solve crimes" The City Council approved additional officers this year and there are three more positions included in the budget that I will present on October 19th. As for new data systems? That was already approved as well.
"We need true public engagement" A Public Engagement Commission was recently approved by the council and will be convening in early 2022.
"REVOLVING door of Key Employees" I have already addressed this in another blog post about employee turnover. Mr. Peterson insinuates that people left due to poor management on my part. Not the case at all - pop over to the other Blog post for the detail. https://www.keepmayorcris.com/post/staff-turnover-and-promotions
"We need to have a Land Bridge..." I guess he forgot about the Kramer Parkway Overpass that breaks ground on October 14th. And as for that path from Selkirk to the HUB? He wanted the City to foot the bill when he was in office and the council said no. We now have a path forward (no pun intended) with CVSD, the County, and and the HUB - it is anticipated that CVSD will pay for the installation of the path with the County providing the right of way, and the City doing maintenance
"$2M centralized Pet Park" I am not sure where this is coming from since a dog park (let alone a $2M dog park) has barely been discussed among the council.
"There is an URGENCY to enhance and repair our Streets, Pedestrian Crossings and Signals...The absolute best time to build was 2020...it was squandered" Huh.....guess he forgot that the world was dealing with COVID in 2020. The Harvard Bridge was completed this year, the Kramer overpass ground breaking is on October 14th, and the signal at Legacy Ridge was put out for a second bid when the first came in almost double what it should have. 6 flashing pedestrian crossings were added this year with more on the horizon for 2022 and 2023.
"A complete update to our Pavement Management plan is needed". No need to do a complete update when it is being updated on a continual basis as a matter of routine.
"NO...new City Income Tax"....In my 11 years on council and since January as Mayor, implementing a city income tax has NEVER come up. This should be a vote of the residents and here's why....if the council puts "no city income tax" into an ordinance, any future council could change it back. If it's voted by the residents, it is that much more difficult to overturn.
"NO...to year-to-year rising property assessments". Again, neither the City, Mayor, nor City Council have any influence on property assessments. The Mayor DOES have the ability to put a tax rate increase into the budget to be evaluated and passed by the council. Mr. Peterson put a tax rate increase in every budget he presented during the 8 years he was Mayor and I was on council. The budget I present on October 19th will have a 0% property tax increase built in.
"NO...to $8.4M of new debt for Trailhead modifications". The building at Trailhead is failing. It needs to be replaced, not modified. We need more parking there, more meeting space, and the addition of more spaces at the driving range will increase revenues without tying up more land. The council decided to move forward with an $8.4M project - $2M in cash and the rest financed by bonds. There will NOT be a property tax put in place to pay for this - there are existing revenue sources to pay for it. On the other hand, Mr. Peterson was more than happy to put a $13M bond on the 2016 ballot that would have been paid for by increased property taxes. When that failed, he still pushed for a smaller project in 2011 for $9M that would also have been paid for by increased property taxes.
I hope this information was helpful. As always, feel free to call me at 513-519-8720 or shoot me and email through this website or at email@example.com.