Don Warner, Candidate for District 8
1. Term Limits – please respond by March 14, 2019
Last November, voters approved term limits for the Arlington City Council. What is your opinion of these term limits?
I fully support term limits as passed by an overwhelming majority of the voters in Arlington.
2. Transportation – please respond by March 21, 2019
Please describe, including price maximums to taxpayers, your thoughts on public transportation.
Mass transportation does not pay for itself, therefore, transportation must be considered in areas of need for improved access to essential services, where sufficient rider ship is available. I believe that my plan allows Arlington to meet that need. I would like to see the city look into several options I have developed to better assist our underserved community. I have reviewed the completed transportation advisory committee study but can not identify the focus on the underserved community. I don’t believe there is a need at this time in Arlington for an Arlington Transit System; like DART or Trinity Metro, with all the facilities, personnel and infrastructure. I have mapped out an initial concept using existing regional resources without all the cost of infrastructure, to provide a reasonable initial solution to transportation for the community. I call it the Central City Transportation System (CCTS). This concept would open access to education, wellness and jobs, by connecting the city center to hospitals, Tarrant College SW, UTA, and the entertainment district. I would strongly suggest that this concept be explored as a pilot program as part a of comprehensive transportation information study, leading to a transportation revitalization plan for all modes of transportation, including bicycles, traffic flow The results of the plan could be prioritized, funded and phased in over time to meet the cities growth patterns. Cost may differ dependant on mode, however, $1-2 dollars should be affordable to those it is designed to serve on the CCTS. Initial cost of this service should be contained within current tax base, and government grants.
3. Communications – please respond by March 28, 2019
If a constituent e-mails you a question or comment on an issue where you disagree and asks you for a response, will you respond to the constituent? Why or why not?
Of course that's only common courtesy. Some questions may take longer for a response depending on the nature or the information needed since some items may require research in order to provide factual information.
4. Taxes (Part I) – please respond by April 4, 2019
Currently, Arlington has 1/4-cent of sales tax that could be used, but is not used. What, if anything, do you see yourself approving to place in front of the voters, for uses for the 1/4-cent of sales tax? Why?
There's never enough money to fix all streets and storm water problems in a timely manner. However, one of my top priorities will be to provide support to the underserved community that has not necessarily benefited from the current growth and development of big business. My transportation initiative is designed to provide needed access to affordable housing, education, and wellness to the underserved community. There are several regional resources available for funding, in addition a new source recently opened by the city. The 1/4-cent sales tax should be reserved for programs directly assisting the underserved community such as affordable housing. The CCTS would be feasible only if rider ship supports it.
5. Taxes (Part II) – please respond by April 11, 2019
Currently, Arlington is experiencing almost double-digit property tax evaluation increases. What do you feel is the appropriate tax rate that should be levied upon the citizens: 1) a rate a little below the rollback rate, 2) the effective tax rate, 3) the same tax rate (even if above the rollback rate), or 4) something else? Why?
The city should always strive to have a budget supported by a tax rate of less than the rollback rate and closer to the effective tax rate. But continue to maintain cost effective services, and provide room for positive initiatives that would improve infrastructure and the environment. The fire and police along with streets and storm water should be among the top priorities. Salaries and cost to health care continue to increase, where salaries constitute almost half of the general fund budget.
6. Issue – please respond by April 18, 2019
What is the most important issue the city council is facing? Why?
Meeting the needs of the local community that haven't been able to benefit from the rapid growth and left with the impression they are being overlooked. may add more later.