2015 City Council Candidate Questionnaire COUNCIL MEMBER JON CAMP

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1 2015 City Council Candidate Questionnaire COUNCIL MEMBER JON CAMP ; 1). As a member of the Lincoln City Council it will be your responsibility to prioritize spending between departments, programs, and services. What is your top priority for Lincoln? Top priority: effective, efficient and economical delivery of public safety services police, medical and fire protection. Close second priority: investment in infrastructure, including the design, construction and maintenance on a scale that gets the most value for the taxpayers dollars. Our roads and streets, sidewalks, water service (water mains), sanitary lines and storm sewers are in need of substantial repair and replacement in addition to extension to new areas these are not glamorous projects, but vital to the growth of Lincoln. 2.) Property owners in the City of Lincoln currently face a tax levy of $2.02-per-$100 of valuation. Of that, approx. 31-cents goes to the city. Is the current levy adequate to support Lincoln s growth? Why? Yes. Concerns about property taxes are voiced to me daily. Retirees are leaving Lincoln for lesser taxed cities and states. Losing these citizens undermines growth less housing demand and fewer City tax revenues from all sources. In addition to property taxes, the City has many other revenue sources that continue to increase with growth and inflation. Other City revenue sources have been expanded in recent years and include (1) the LES Dividend, (2) increased franchise taxes and fees, (3) 37% wheel tax increase, (4) diversion of funds from Enterprise Funds including the Parking, Landfill, and Ambulance Enterprise Funds, (5) user Page 1 of 6

2 fees, (6) increased use of JPAs such the Joint Detention Facility, West Haymarket Arena taxes (2% restaurant sales tax, lodging, car rental), (7) impact fees, (8) revenues through entities like the Public Building Commission and Railroad Transportation Safety District; and (9) inflation proof sales tax revenues. Lincoln s growth can be enhanced with existing revenue sources we need to be more (1) efficient, (2) effective, (3) and economical with current City revenue streams. The challenge is to prioritize needs and distinguish from wants, and then proceed to carefully expend existing resources. For example, our street infrastructure needs to be designed and maintained for Lincoln, Nebraska, not for Scottsdale, Arizona, thereby extending infrastructure life (see further discussion below). The pending 911 radio system and fire station relocation/police substation exemplify a unique situation in which short-term revenues need to be enhanced...but not in a manner that creates a more burdensome property mil levy increase. Fortunately the quarter-cent sales tax for three years offers a solution without incurring $10 million of interest and administrative overhead. In summary the City should first consider finding better ways to manage, reprioritize and stretch the revenue it already has before raising taxes. And no department should be exempt from review. Growth does pay for itself. 3.) Talent attraction and retention will be a key component to Lincoln s success over the next decade as employers look to fill positions in a rapidly expanding workforce. How can the City of Lincoln help attract and retain a vibrant and talented workforce? Job opportunities! I have maintained for years that Lincoln offers a great value in its quality of life. We have everything but mountains and oceans...and one can reach those quickly. Day-to-day life is great in Lincoln. Affordable housing options must be available and can be enhanced with many existing City programs and non-profit organizations, which receive City grants and support. Taxes and fees, as noted above, need to be carefully expended so our citizens are more attracted to Lincoln. Our core infrastructure must be maintained. Limited discretionary City revenues need to be directed to provide quality amenities, not a quantity of amenities that are poorly maintained. Our educational institutions are excellent. However, we need to regroup and focus more on matching students with future job opportunities. My visits with employers have revealed the existence of many vacant positions that lack applicants with the necessary skills. The Career Academy is a recent positive step. Page 2 of 6

3 Entrepreneurial efforts need to continue. City elected officials interact with other governmental bodies like LPS, UNL, the Airport Authority, Nebraska and Federal Agencies these programs and projects, that facilitate Lincoln s quality of life, need to be emphasized. Finally, City leaders must be careful to keep taxes manageable, minimize bureaucratic channels and be welcoming to new development. The key to a vital workforce is remaining nimble in the face of new developments, new trends, and new ways of doing business. 4). The Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development operates as a public/private partnership between the City of Lincoln and the business community. The Partnership has been directly responsible for the growing national attention regarding the positive business climate in Lincoln. How can you improve the public/private partnership process in the future? My decision to seek re-election is premised on my desire to continue to enhance the public/private process. My 16 years of service has included serving as the Council s representative to LPED. Since I was first elected, I have been supportive of the City s funding of LPED; I successfully opposed decreased funding on several occasions. LPED needs elected leaders, like me, who come from the private sector and understand business and will prioritize and focus City resources on (1) primary municipal functions of public safety and infrastructure, and (2) facilitate public/private efforts like LPED. One of my goals is to increase the City s transparency among its elected leaders to ensure the team understands how the public sector can enhance Lincoln s qualities and amenities in a fiscally responsible manner. Communication LPED and the Chamber need to take a bow for encouraging effective communication between the public and private sectors. I look forward to continuing to be the City Council s representative to LPED. 5). Road, water, storm water, and waste water infrastructure are the building blocks for business and residential growth in Lincoln. What is your plan for improving Lincoln s infrastructure? Second to public safety, is the quality of our infrastructure. I will support prioritization and concentration of City resources to ensure Lincoln has a solid infrastructure foundation. My experience in the rejuvenation of Historic Haymarket has given me an appreciation for infrastructure needs. Infrastructure dollars need to be wisely spent on needs first and remaining discretionary funds should be judiciously allocated to reducing taxes and/or wants. One of my guiding principles is employing Common Sense. As referenced above, Lincoln needs to design its infrastructure for Lincoln, Nebraska, not Scottsdale, Arizona. Everywhere one can observe deterioration, damage and disintegration of our streets and medians, curbs, sewer inlets, and Page 3 of 6

4 sidewalks. We need to use Common Sense and design for winter conditions including ease of snow removal, so infrastructure likes streets and curbs are not damaged. See my attached RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE INFRASTRUCTURE, which outlines ideas I have been proposing for design, construction and maintenance of our street and adjacent infrastructure. I will continue my strong advocacy for responsible infrastructure design, construction and on-going maintenance. 6). The Lincoln Chamber of Commerce makes growing Lincoln its #1 priority. Growth means geographical growth, the growth of the tax-base, and growing jobs for the community. How should Lincoln grow? Lincoln, during my 16 years on the City Council has undertaken 4 major projects: (1) Antelope Valley, (2) West Haymarket, (3) Innovation Campus, and (4) Lincoln Air Park West and its new Rail Center. These provide a canvas for growth in commercial and residential projects, and a direct increase in jobs. The next challenge is to paint the growth...a mission to be shared with LPED. Lincoln s growth depends on an adequate transportation network with emphasis on funding for (1) the South Beltway, (2) the East Beltway, and (3) Stevens Creek expansion. 7). Why should Lincoln Chamber of Commerce members support your bid for elected office? Lincoln has been my lifelong home, except for a few stints in Colorado, Washington, DC, and Kansas. I was born, raised, and educated here. My City Council service embodies my passion to give back to the community and ensure that future generations have similar opportunities as those with which I have been blessed. I offer a unique perspective on the City Council because I have been present for the creation, planning and execution of many projects. My firsthand experience with recent major projects, and my lifelong familiarity with decades of Lincoln leaders, provides me the sophistication and experience best suited to assist in ensuring these projects reach their full potential and deliver the return on taxpayers investments Lincolnites expect. My City Council service has included membership on important boards and commissions, including the Public Building Commission (PBC), the District Energy Corporation (DEC), and as a liaison to LPED. My extensive domestic travels to all 50 US States and international journeys to over 60 countries provide a base of knowledge that I will continue to share with the City elected official and staff. My leadership is guided by three principles: (1) common sense, (2) fiscal responsibility, and (3) doing the right thing. Previous CAMPaign mantras have included: (1) Lincoln Vision 20/20, (2) Asking the Questions Lincoln wants answered, and (3) the Voice of Common Sense. Page 4 of 6

5 In seeking another term on City Council, I offer proven leadership in guiding Lincoln smartly and responsibly toward a brighter future. My past efforts and future focus for the City Council have and will reflect the values of the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce growth, quality and opportunity for our City. LCOC Members care about the future of Lincoln and share many of the same principles. I have been blessed to have received broad support from LCOC Members these past 16 years in my City Council service and look forward to continued support of my proven business leadership on the Lincoln City Council. Page 5 of 6

6 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE INFRASTRUCTURE March 1, 2015 COUNCIL MEMBER JON CAMP 1. Design standards a. Recognize Lincoln is NOT Scottsdale, AZ, Sarasota, FL, nor San Diego, CA we have extremes in weather conditions and temperatures i. Design accordingly b. Pavement design and construction i. Concrete base (5-6 inches) with asphalt overlay (3 inches) on arterial streets 1. Creates fewer expansion joints and possible points of moisture entry into pavement 2. Asphalt can be reconditioned periodically at lower expense than concrete replacement ii. Use of colored asphalt to create artistic designs and fewer, if any, brick decorative areas which are prone to moisture entry and future heaving c. Design straight curbs, not nodes, fancy curbs, and slanted storm water inlets d. Expansion joints in sidewalks and elsewhere should be straight, perpendicular, and functional, not angled and artistic e. Eliminate medians except at intersections i. More to maintain (Lincoln hired 2 more employees just to maintain medians in last year s biennial budget) ii. More targets for snow plows f. Plant materials that are best suited for Lincoln s climate and weather g. Design special areas of importance that are susceptible to weather and maintenance damage. 2. Construction a. Ensure proper concrete mixture used b. Allow for proper curing after concrete pours c. Concrete base with asphalt overlay d. Caulk/seal joints immediately 3. Maintenance a. Caulk joints periodically as needed b. Reconsider use of brine application i. Consider effect on increased moisture content in concrete which accelerates the damage during freeze-thaw cycles c. Snow plow techniques maybe rubber edged plow blades are worth the extra cost when the cost of replacement of damaged curbs, inlets, etc. are considered d. Use Parks and Rec trucks for tighter snow removal, such as downtown nodes huge construction trucks just cannot maneuver as easily without damaging curbs, etc. Page 6 of 6

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