Lana Wolff, District 5
1. Public Transportation - please respond by 03/16/2017
Please describe, including price maximums, your thoughts on public transportation.
The traditional approach to transportation is unable to keep pace with the rapid changes in population, technology, economic competition, and community needs. This calls for a new paradigm of mobility and innovation. Collaboration and visioning are critical to our community to develop 21st century solutions. More advances will be made in the next five years than in the past 50.
Last September, the city council named 30 citizens and stakeholders to the Transportation Advisory Committee. This ad hoc committee will gather information, analyze data, and develop a strategic multimodal approach to frame future options for City Council to consider. Public-Private Partnerships will be needed to enable shared financial risk.
2. Communications (Part I) - please respond by 03/23/2017
If a constituent e-mails you a question or comment, asking for a response, on an issue where you disagree, will you respond to the constituent?
3. Communications (Part II) - please respond by 03/30/2017
a) Based on open records request W035834-030817 there were no formal town hall meetings by the council members on the $500,000,000 Rangers bond issue voted upon last November. Should council members hold town hall meetings to inform the residents of the facts of a $500 million issue? why or why not?
b) On the ballot this May is also a $45 million bond issue (less than 10% of the Rangers issue) for a $38 million active senior center and a civil service issue for the fire department. Should council members hold town hall meetings to inform the residents of the facts on these issues? why or why not?
Texas Election Code determines the rules on election issues is very broad. City resources, facilities, equipment and staff cannot be used relative to an election proposition. Regarding the Rangers facility issue I had the opportunity to answer citizens questions one-on-one at their regular neighborhood and usual meeting times. In essence, the neighborhood organization meeting is a town hall meeting that focuses issues of concern and community topics the residents want to address. The organized PAC that supported the Ranger’s YES effort was privately funded and run by hired political consultants.
Likewise, I will not hold a town hall on the Senior Center. I look forward to attending my regular neighborhood meetings and will answer facts if asked. I am unaware of an organized PAC undertaking the issue on either side.
4. Speed vs. Accurate - please respond by 04/06/2017
Last fall during the Rangers' bond issue, I had several season ticket holders (four) tell me the current ballpark has plumbing issues, hinting that inspections were not done correctly.
Should the inspections at the new $900 million ballpark be done by city inspectors told to make sure of the accuracy, or by a 3rd party hired by the Rangers to promote speed, or something else? why?
Third Party inspections did not exist when the current ballpark was built. There is a very extensive process to register Third Party Inspector Firms. I have no issue with third party inspections. Ultimately, City’s Building Official must approve the work.
5. Taxes (Part I) - please respond by 04/13/2017
Currently, Arlington has 1/4-cent of sales tax that could be, but is not used.
What, if anything, do you see yourself approving, using that portion of the sales tax? why?
City voters must approve a dedicated tax at a regular election subject to eligible uses allowed by the State of Texas. Most likely uses include Public Transportation and Economic Development Corporation funding.
6. Taxes (Part II) - please respond by 04/20/2017
The City of Arlington operates like a municipal corporation. The City’s financial cycle began in January between City Management and City Council. In July, the Tarrant Appraisal District will certified the property tax roll. Proposed budget goes to City Council in August and town hall meetings are conducted with residents.
The budget and tax rate are adopted by City Council in September.
We operate a balanced operating budget, maintain cash reserves, pay down debt, and maintains a credit-worthiness as one of our strongest assets. We are fortunate Arlington is experiencing a positive economic impact in property values.
We reduced the tax rate last year and hopefully we can this time around also.