Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Response from Mavis "Tessa" Thompson - Candidate for St. Louis City License Collector

1. What do you view as the key role, and/ or attributes needed for this position? What experience/ attribute do you have that qualif y you for this position?

-Passion for Service
-Inspiring people to assist in fulfilling my vision for change
-Interpreting and implementing ordinances and legislation
-Leading diverse groups in working toward a common goal

-Incumbent License Collector, since 2013
-Served as citywide elected Circuit Clerk of the 22nd Judicial Circuit
-Law Degree from University of Missouri
-President of the National Bar Association
-Certified Diversity Facilitator

2. Why do you think you are the best person for this position? What differentiates you from your opponents?

I am the best person for this position because of my on-the-job experience and because of my attributes and experiences listed in my answer to question #1.

My on-the-job experience differentiates us as well as my attributes and experiences listed in my answer to question #1

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)

Improving technology. Working with City's IT department to implement enhancements to our website, on-line filing procedure and electronic data storage

4. Describe how you work with, or will work with, others to address your priorities.

Have already convened several meetings with the City's IT department to implement enhancements

5. What services could this office offer citizens that it does not now offer?

For the first time in the history of the License Collectors Office a business owner can file for their business license on-line. We implemented the first phase in January 2018 and have convened several meetings with the City's IT department to implement enhancements

6. How can this office improve the economic strength of the city?

We have already implemented several programs which fulfill our #1 priority .....Keeping Businesses in Business! Small businesses particularly improve the economic strength of the city, especially by providing jobs.

We initiated a Comprehensive Business Closure Policy, which affords businessesdue process when not in compliance.

We convene forums related to business topics, i.e. The Impact of the Affordable Health Care Act on Small Business; Home Occupation Business Operations;Safeguarding Small Businesses from Crime, and many others.

We initiated "City Business Open House" series for businesses to showcase and/ or sell their products and services in the City Hall Rotunda. This series provides businesses the opportunity to expand their existing client base.

We increased the efficiency of the office and save business owners time by offering on­ line business license filings.

We were the first office to published informational literature in Braille, Spanish, Bosnian and Vietnamese to accommodate the evolving demographics and multi­ cultural society of our city.

7. Do you believe this office can help address the issues of racial and economic inequality in the city? If yes, how?

YES, by implementing the recommendations of The Forward through Ferguson report of viewing policy decisions through a racial equity lens, and by continuing the programs listed in my answer to question #6.

8. Are there functions of this office that are now obsolete and can be eliminated or combined for efficiency?

YES. We have already eliminated the use of most paper logs and converted to  electronic logs

We also have begun to store required data digitally.

We implemented the use of wireless technology for our field staff to increase efficiency and processing of remote payments

9. Should this office continue to be an elected office? Why or why not?

YES the office should continue to be an elected off ice to maintain representative governance and allow the people to elect the office holder of their choice.

10. How are you working/ would you work to make this office a 21st Century office?

Yes. Please :refer to my answers in questions #3-9.

11. If you could ask your opponent one question, what would it be?

No questions at this time.

12. Who are your 3 largest campaign contributors? Are there donors from whom you will not accept campaign contributions?

Please refer to my public Campaign Finance Report.

Yes, there are donors from whom I will not accept campaign contributions.

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