1. What do you view as the key role, and/or attributes needed for this position? What experience/attributes do you have that qualify you for this position?
The key role and attributes need for the Treasurer position is Proven Leadership. I have served honorable in the U.S. Army and retired after 23 years of service. I have taken on the tough challenges of Alderman, 22nd Ward and have served for 9 years. As an Executive Director for two Community Organizations I had the responsibilities of fundraising and managing hundreds of thousands of dollars to complete housing and economic development projects. This is the wealth of experience that I bring to the Treasurer’s Office.
2. Why do you think you are the best person for this position? What differentiates you from your opponent(s)?
I am the best candidate for this position because I have the most leadership experience managing and training 100s of soldiers in the Army. I am committed, dedicated and focus on accomplishing agreed upon goals and objectives as a team player. As a soldier in the Army, failure was never an option and a “Can Do” attitude is a must. My Masters Degree in Business Administration helps distinguish me as a well balance leader with the right educational, political and community engagement credentials to be the most effective leader.
3. What do you feel are the most pressing issues currently facing this office and what plans do you have to address these issues? (please be specific)
The most current pressing issue facing the office is effective management. I plan to look, listen, and learn for the first 90 days. I will then assemble a team of the brightest financial and management minds to implement policy and strategies that create personnel and office efficiencies to maximize the revenue of the Treasurer’s Office. The increase in revenue will help the City’s general revenue fund.
4. If the St. Louis City Earnings Tax would ever fail to be renewed, what broad-based, stable source of revenue would you recommend to fund quality, public services?
If for any reason the City residents voted to eliminate the City earnings tax, we will be forced to increase sales and property taxes. This increase in sales/property taxes might be very detrimental to the City. In my opinion, City commerce will suffer due to consumers shopping more in a less aggressive taxing district which set the City of St. Louis up for failure.
5. In your opinion, should the office of the Treasurer be in charge of the City of St. Louis Parking and/or the funds generated from the City of St. Louis Parking?
I believe we currently have a system in place that works. The Parking Division has an “A-minus“ credit rating which suggest that the financial operations of the office is judged favorable by outside financial sources. I see no current advantages of removing the Parking functions from the Treasurer’s Office. The Parking Division is a self-funding entity. All revenues that are generated pays for the total operations of the department and any excess revenue up to 40% is distributed back to the City’s general fund. The biggest challenges are personnel inefficiencies and the lack of progressive strategic planning.
6. Describe how you work with, or will work with, others to address your priorities.
I work very well with others. I have a reputation at the Board of Alderman as one who pays attention, ask the tough questions and make decisions that are in the best interest of the City as a whole. I will work with the Board of Alderman, Comptroller and the Mayor’s Office to ensure that the Treasurer’s Office supports a collective vision set forth by city leaders. This means that tax payer’s dollars are circulated back into the local economy. I believe that transparency in government is a must which is something that has been lacking for years in the Treasurer’s Office. I will make sure that more dollars are distributed to the city’s general revenue fund, which will ultimately mean less layoffs and furloughs for city employees as well as City services. I have a history of working as a team with over 23 years in the military.