There are nine candidates running to replace deceased Burnsville City Councilmember Charlie Crichton. Each of the nine were e-mailed on Monday June 20th, 2011 and asked to respond to the five questions posed to them by July 1st, 2011. What follows are Bill Coughlin’s word-for-word responses.
The first four questions were penned by Lazy Lightning and the fifth was provided by a reader. They are very similar to the questions asked of the four candidates who ran in the main election in 2010. You can search for the posts related to the 2011 special election here.
Please note: The special election will be held on Tuesday July 26, 2011 and you can find out more information about the election on the City of Burnsville’s website.
LL: What are your top priorities for Burnsville city government?
-I would support a 0% tax increase for 2012 and otherwise hold the line on taxes. Based upon my research, during 2009 and 2010, the council made structural changes that have assisted in creating the opportunity for a 0% tax increase. In part, my research included meeting with two sitting council members, reviewing the 2011 Budget, reviewing council and work shop Minutes, meeting with the Deputy City Manager to discuss published budget information and a review of other relevant information. I also support cutting future costs by encouraging the city of Burnsville to aggressively pursue services sharing arrangements with other governmental entities.
– I would support a business environment that encourages new business development and expansion and creates more jobs in Burnsville.
-I would support a long term plan to fix Burnsville’s aging roads.
LL: Do you feel that Burnsville does enough to involve the citizenry in its decision making processes?
No. I think it would have been reasonable to allow the Burnsville residents a chance to vote on a major issue such as the Performing Arts Center.
LL: Given the economy’s affect on State funding for municipalities, what is your vision to secure Burnsville’s economic standing long-term?
My vision to secure Burnsville’s economic standing long term includes in part, my first two priorities above, that of:
-Holding the line on tax increases and cutting costs by encouraging the city of Burnsville to aggressively pursue services sharing arrangements with other governmental entities.
-Supporting a business environment that encourages new business development and expansion and creates more jobs in Burnsville.
LL: What are your metrics for success of the BPAC?
My metric’s for success of the BPAC includes securing new revenue sources such as naming rights to offset the continuing operating losses. During my campaigning, I have been surprised to meet so many Burnsville residents that have never been to the BPAC. As such, another metric would include convincing residents to visit the BPAC and thereafter attend an event.
LL: This is an election to replace the recently deceased councilmember Charlie Crichton. We have heard how this group of candidates has tried to align with Charlie’s ideals, but in what ways would you be different from Councilmember Crichton?
Like Mr. Crichton, I am fiscally conservative. I may be more open to considering ordinance variances if it would reasonably lead to sound business and job development or expansion.
Bill Coughlin is a 56 year old resident of Burnsville and father of three who has resided within the city for the last 22 years. Mr. Coughlin is a lawyer and has coached both youth baseball and basketball in Burnsville.
What do you think about Bill Coughlin’s responses? Do you believe that a lack of citizen participation really boils down simply to the lack of a vote on the BPAC all those years ago? Will sharing of resources between other cities, more than is already done now, really be able to add to the cuts which would be necessary to remain at a 0% tax increase? Whatever you have to say about Mr. Coughlin’s responses go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.