QUESTION: The community continues to struggle to find a way to have an efficient, well-run bus system. Do you support adding a penny to the local sales tax to finance the bus system? If not, what funding source would you suggest?
I support the penny sales tax, only if 100 percent of the tax would go to supporting the bus system. However, I propose combining the city buses with our school bus system. This would increase ridership and add additional routes throughout the city and county. Students from ninth through 12th grades would be required to take public transportation, thereby freeing the K-6 students from early morning travel before sunrise.
BRIAN DEQUINCEY NEWMAN
To reach our potential as a city and a region we must have safe, clean and reliable public transportation and, over the past year, we have taken real steps toward achieving that goal. We have the tools. We have the leadership. All we need is a stable, long-term funding source. I support the penny because it would not only provide that source, but so in a way that is fair and equitable to all.
QUESTION: What do you propose as a means to better ensure public safety and how would you pay for it? Would you support new fees, assessments or a tax increase to make residents feel safer?
I absolutely am opposed to any new fees, assessments or a tax increase of any kind. However, I propose the development of religious, community-based development corporations. Our present neighborhood association and our religious organizations can unite to form these spiritual corporations whose prime objective will be the uplifting of falling humanity. These corporations would bear the responsibility for public safety in our community, thereby, reducing the need for any tax increase.
BRIAN DEQUINCEY NEWMAN
As chairman for the city’s public safety committee and a member of the budget committee, I helped craft a budget that increased public safety funding by over $3.7 million without raising property taxes and I will continue to ensure our first responders have the resources they need to keep us all safe. But we didn’t buy a citywide drop in violent crime or sharp declines in homicides and assaults. That took leadership and community support.