Candidate for Sandy Springs City Council, District 3
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1) What are three issues affecting your district that you would tackle as a councilmember?
Sandy Springs is a terrific place to live, raise children and retire. As a councilmember serving specifically District 3, but trying to positively impact all of Sandy Springs, I will focus on 1) security, 2) community and 3) listening to constituents:
I believe the first responsibility of any government is to maintain the safety of its residents. Sandy Springs has strong Police and Fire Departments that I want to ensure remain strong and even more importantly appreciated. Further, these first responders need to be provided with the resources necessary to maintain our security.
I want to preserve the essence of our community. The neighborhoods, the tree canopy, and continuing to improve the walkability of our community need to constantly be addressed.
Ensure constituent voices are heard. In a representative democracy, the elected officials need to listen to the voices of the constituents. I am committed to listening and making myself available to all Sandy Springs residents.
2) How would you encourage more housing diversity and affordability in Sandy Springs, especially for city workers and others who can’t afford to live where they work?
I believe in the free market, which leads to capital flowing into investments where positive returns are expected. The City Council and local government function best when allowing the market to work while not hindering or creating barriers for a market to operate. The housing market is no different. Over the past few years, many apartment complexes have been completed within Sandy Springs – specifically on Roswell Road – which points to the market’s desire to invest in Sandy Springs.
3) How would you encourage redevelopment in Sandy Springs, such as in the city’s North End, while balancing issues of displacement for lower-income residents?
As it relates to the North End of the city, redevelopment will inevitably occur as investors continue to look for opportunities. Such redevelopment will benefit all who live in the area. Again, the City Council and local government can assist in such opportunities but should allow the free market to function.
4) How would you work to improve equity and diversity in Sandy Springs?
Having served the Hispanic community across 29 states for the past 24 years in my role with Diaz Foods, I believe inclusion starts simply with treating everyone equally. Respecting and accepting different cultures leads to a more inclusive community. City agencies such as Create City Springs should focus on including various perspectives for issues ranging from music to communication methods. Sandy Springs is a diverse city in terms of race and religious background. Since 2010, the Hispanic population has grown significantly to almost 15 percent of Sandy Springs, while the African American population continues to grow to about 19 percent of the community. At the same time, Sandy Springs has a flourishing Jewish community as evidenced by the many temples, as well as the City’s matriarch Eva Galambos.
5) If city finances were to decline, would you consider a tax hike or would you rather cut city services and programs?
Currently, Sandy Springs is in a strong financial position. As a chief financial officer, I believe and practice fiscal conservatism by focusing on maintaining reserves for the inevitable rainy day. By managing in a fiscally responsible manner, the City of Sandy Springs can maintain adequate reserves to ensure programs are not impacted immediately were tax revenue to decline.