Questions from League of Women Voters of Dallas (Vote411.org)
BUDGET: How will you balance the city’s budget with the loss of sales tax revenue and potentially property values due to COVID? Will you support cuts in services or raising the tax rate? Please, be specific.
One of Sachse’s strategic goals is financial stewardship. As such, we balance our budget every budget cycle and are intentional in not overextending our citizens resources. We have not seen the loss of sales tax revenue or the decline of property values to this point, because of the strategic focus on development over the last 6 years. The Council has voted to stay at the current tax rate which is below the “no new revenue” tax rate calculated by the appraisal district. Because of our fiscal management, there is no need to cut any city services.
DEALING WITH THE PANDEMIC: How can your city support residents during the pandemic and through recovery? Discuss jobs, housing and other specific impacts the pandemic may have on your city?
The city has made funds available to local businesses through our EDC which has directly assisted 8 local businesses. Through the CARES Act funds received from Dallas and Collin counties, the city has allocated funds to 5 Loaves Food Pantry to help with facilities that will enable 5 Loaves to provide even more assistance to people in our community affected by COVID. With CARES funds, we are making changes to city facilities to make them safer for staff and citizens to visit and participate in activities. CARES Funds is also allocated for equipment to protect first responders and the citizens needing their help.
AFFORDABLE HOUSING: With the high cost of housing, pressure increases for affordable housing options for families and city workers. It is becoming unaffordable for some to live in their own neighborhoods. Do you support additional apartment construction in the city? What changes, if any, would you support?
The City approved multi-family in two areas that are under development and a senior living facility nearing completion. A wide range of homes and multi-family will be constructed in these areas that will provide affordable opportunities for families. A large multi-family complex began leasing across the road from Sachse in Garland in the last two years. I believe Sachse has the right proportion of multi-family and single residential housing and has a good range of affordable options.
PUBLIC SAFETY: How would you rate the city's performance in the area of public safety? Would you recommend changes? If so, how would you pay for them? How would you prioritize these upgrades compared to other city needs?
I rate our public safety performance as excellent. Our Public Safety leaders strive to foster trust with citizens and seek opportunities that make a positive difference in our community. The Police Departments Cops and Campers has been a successful program for our schools. I support our Fire Chiefs efforts to achieve an ISO(Insurance Services Office) rating of 1 as this will benefit our citizens through enhanced services and insurance rate reduction. Upgrades to vehicles or equipment are budgeted annually through a vehicle and equipment replacement fund (VERF) so the City is prepared for timely replacement and growth.
CHALLENGE/OPPORTUNITY: What is the city's greatest challenge and opportunity in the next several years?
The city’s challenge and opportunity over the next several years are retail development and roads. The city is moving to take advantage of opportunities with the PGBT corridor and 5th street retail development. In parallel we prioritize working with our current businesses as it is vital we retain these businesses in Sachse. Road maintenance and construction are expensive, especially in north Texas, as this is a rapidly growing area. We strive to address roads that need maintenance while working with the county and state for funding for strategic expansion of roads in areas vital to our growth and future.