We need to apply professional, data driven management approaches to DuPont

Everyone is concerned about DuPont’s fiscal challenges. At the last election, we  had to decide whether to raise property taxes in order to fund public safety. In addition, the DHRS audit determined that three city employees were misclassified as independent contractors; as a result, DuPont was fined $600,000. DuPont also owes interest payments to finance the Civic Center and needs to replace $700,000 it took from its equipment maintenance fund to pay other expenses.

These are serious problems.  The proposed 2014 budget will further eat into our savings. A lot of rhetoric is being thrown around about how problematic our finances are, but very few practical solutions have been offered.

We need to apply a professional, data driven management approach.

I’ve started two companies and managed software teams. Doing so has taught me how to use resources efficiently to deliver high quality systems for a minimal cost. DuPont’s city council needs my private sector expertise to help get our budget back on track.

Our city is a beautiful, vibrant city with a rich history of financial success. There is no reason we cannot turn around our fiscal problems and become that city again. The city has taken the first step by working to build a forecast for our revenues and expenses. However, we need to make some major changes.

  • Get our priorities straight. Whenever a city is in fiscal trouble, it needs to make radical changes to its budget. The first order of business should be to decide what items are non-negotiables that we fund no matter what. I believe public safety should be a non-negotiable. Our current funding levels for the police and fire departments are exposing our community to unacceptable risk.
  • Determine how much revenue we need to bring in. Spending cuts aren’t enough, especially once we have our priorities in order. There is not money to fully fund our public safety departments and pay our interest on our Civic Center loans. So as painful as it is, we need to increase revenue or cut expenses. Otherwise we can’t stick to our budget.
  • Consider the value we’re getting for our money. DuPont is not investing as well as it could be. We need to consider the return on our investments and how those investments benefit our city. I can help evaluate investments and make sure we’re putting city money in the right place.

This process isn’t easy. It requires commitment, financial expertise and a willingness to look unpleasant financial facts in the face. I’ve done this type of work both in my start ups and as a software team manager; now I want to bring my expertise to city council.

Why I’m Running for City Council

I decided to run for DuPont city council because I believe I can help the town maintain its unique, vibrant qualities in the face of financial strains. Our community has grown exponentially over the course of the last decade, and so far we have done a fantastic job of bringing in new businesses and more families.

As most of you know, however, our financial planning strategies are not currently enough to maintain all the new services and people we have here in DuPont. What worked for this town in the past cannot sustain us at our current size – we have more than 8000 people to look after, and many of our plans were created for fewer than 1000 citizens. The more people that come to call DuPont home, the harder the council needs to work to provide excellent services such as our beautiful parks, and maintain them.

I am a businessman, and I know how to budget properly and make my company successful. Now, I want to take that knowledge and use it for the betterment of my hometown. I want to make sure that my friends, family and neighbors are provided with the best in public safety, the best in public amenities, and the best in terms of our collective financial future.

Right now, our public safety measures are underfunded, as are our maintenance measures for the parks and greenways, which are a classic, beautiful part of DuPont’s identity. If the city continues on its current financial path, it will need to cut more funding to these important measures and possibly default on its debts. Instead of letting my city falter in such a way, I prefer to use my professional skills to make it stronger. I am a proven team leader who will work hard to identify DuPont’s issues and deal with them in the most productive way.

Historically, DuPont has been a center of economic stability. We are blessed with beautiful land, intelligent human resources and the drive to succeed. If we want to put DuPont back on the right track, we need to all be committed to the cause.

I choose to invest in DuPont, and I want the town’s citizens to choose to invest in their home as well.