Craig Faith, city council candidate district 2

Lee's Summit JournalApril 2, 2014 

In the midst of budget shortfalls for the city of Lee’s Summit, are there specific programs, positions or other cuts you would be in favor of making?

I have had successful experience in turning around government and corporate budgets that are experiencing “shortfalls.” Although one cannot predict the future, one can prepare for hard times during prosperous times. Fiscal responsibility is about looking at cause and effect. Experience shows me that looking at line items to ensure responsible use of and sustainable growth practices in revenues as well as responsible expense control is the best way to correct “shortfalls” prior to consideration of cutting services and jobs. My common sense approach to representation combined with my experience with government and corporate budgets will bring a much needed fresh perspective to balancing our budget.

Q. Discussions about having an economic development component in city hall have recently surfaced. Do you favor adding additional funding to the EDC and/or funding an additional position?

“Lee’s Summit’s community spirit approach to business represents a collaborative, pro-business atmosphere, which we and community allies have found to be conducive in attracting and retaining jobs and business investment.” – LSEDC Website. This is an admirable direction the EDC wishes to go. However, at other levels, we have not reached the point in the process where a “collaborative, pro-business atmosphere” is portrayed to potential investors. First, we must fix the current “process” that sets up the EDC, and other public-private partnerships, for apparent shortfalls. Without this we cannot responsibly evaluate funding or staffing. As I indicated in the forum, consensus among council will not always be unanimous on “projects.” However, council must form a consensus on the “process” to avoid mixed messages.

What topics would you like to see addressed at future city council retreats?

Development Incentive Policies in comparative cities

Cause and Effect analysis on development incentives

Process Development (Training and Development)

Team Building

Q. Arnold Hall, the arts and the approved outdoor performance space are all topics of discussion right now. What do you think should be done with Arnold Hall and are you in favor of the outdoor space remaining next to that structure?

I support waiting for the Lee’s Summit Arts Council recommendation. Realizing that the city council is not bound by the recommendation, I am confident that the hard work of this Arts Council team will shed light on options. I have been so impressed with the patience and willingness of the Arts Council to stay engaged. Thank you. My initial concern on the location of the outdoor space is shared with other constituents. Is the space large enough? And can the structure be advantageous in supporting the performance space? Questions such as this remain to be answered. I look forward to hearing from the Arts Council as well as other citizens on this matter.

 

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