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  • Why Vote for Mike Fielding?
  • Why Vote for City Council?

Why Vote for Mike?
Independence needs a strong voice who will advocate for you.  It needs a person of integrity with vision and skills who will serve and get results.  Mike Fielding is that person.  He will tirelessly work to:

Protect your tax dollars by avoiding wasteful and unnecessary spending.
Create long-term neighborhood stability by making our community a   destination location for young, home-owning families.
Advocate for strong and effective public safety through increased police and fire protection.
Strengthen businesses by fostering economic development throughout the City.
Mike will protect your tax dollars.

 

Mike will protect your tax dollars.  Mike is passionate about using tax dollars in the most efficient and beneficial ways.  He knows those dollars are limited and earned by hardworking citizens—many of whom are on fixed incomes.  Mike has spent his life thinking about financial issues and how they impact us personally.  He graduated from college with university honors and a bachelor’s degree in economics.  He understands financial trends, market forces, and responsible governmental spending.  As a business attorney, he knows how important it is to properly manage and maximize one’s resources.  He critically analyzes financial commitments and considers the long-term ramifications.  Mike will aggressively employ his skills to ensure that your tax dollars are protected from abuse and misuse.

Mike will promote effective code enforcement.  An important key to the 4th District’s long-term stability directly depends upon our ability to make it a destination location for young, home-owning families.  To do this, the city needs to have an effective code compliance program to guarantee that neighborhoods remain attractive.

Given the city’s limited resources, it is essential that we leverage our tax dollars so they are spent in the most efficient and effective way possible.  In terms of code compliance, this means the city needs to greatly expand its Neighborhood Code Compliance Program (“NCCP”).  According to the city (click here) neighborhoods that have gone through the NCCP have seen a whopping increase from 57% to 98% code compliance.  That is a lot of bang for the buck!

The city also needs to continue its regular code enforcement.  Code compliance must be easy to understand, objective and uniformly applied.  Landlords must be held accountable to properly maintain their properties. 

In addition to the NCCP, the city needs to more aggressively promote the creation of homeowners associations.  This can be done by creating simple, model guidelines which home owners can adopt and easily implement.  Homeowners associations provide the means by which residents can take pride and more of a personal stake in their neighborhood.  Homeowners associations save taxpayer money because the associations can focus on code compliance before the city ever becomes involved.  This allows the city to focus its limited resources on neighborhoods where problems persist.

 Mike will focus on increasing police and fire personnel. Over the years, increases in police and fire personnel have not kept pace with Independence’s population growth.  There is a tremendous need for more manpower to respond to the increasing demands in our city.  We must increase our police force to get more patrols, more crimes being investigated and better backup support.   Let’s send a clear message to criminals to steer clear of the city.

We also need to increase our fire personnel.  In 2010, the fire department responded to 16,718 calls.  Frequently, lives are on the line as nearly 2/3 of all calls are medical.  A delayed response is simply unacceptable when its your emergency. 

Funding for these increases needs to be thoroughly explored.  The city needs to aggressively audit itself to identify funds that can be reallocated to the police and fire departments.  Cost saving measures should be employed to their fullest extent.  In this day and age of corporate downsizing, the city should consider reassigning police and fire management to positions where critical services can be provided to residents.  

Proposed tax increases must be put to a direct vote by the citizens.  In April 2012, the city will have a ballot measure to raise property taxes to fund 42 positions in the police department (34 officers and 8 civilians).  The proposed increase is $.3629 per $100 of assessed valuation which translates to $68.95 per year on a home with an assessed market value of $100,000.  

In the long term, Independence needs to aggressively focus on attracting new residents and shoppers to the city.  If we can get more people living and/or shopping in Independence we will be able to increase general fund revenues without raising taxes.  To get more people here we have to make the city a destination location for younger, home-owning families.  This means we have to aggressively market the city.  We also need to focus on effective code compliance because clean, strong neighborhoods will be more attractive to residents with relatively higher incomes.  

In short, public safety increases is a priority that Mike will address in 2012.

Mike promotes economic development.  The most effective and efficient way to increase jobs is through the growth of existing businesses in Independence.  If 500 businesses each added a single employee the net economic effect would be better than if a large employer came to town and hired 500 workers because the infrastructure cost to the city and taxpayers would be far less.  We must grow our own economic garden!

Jobs come as businesses increase their revenue.  To help increase these revenues Independence must aggressively focus on attracting people who will spend money here.  This includes new residents, shoppers and tourists.  We have must to offer to these groups--affordable homes, a variety of retail stores and singularly unique tourist attractions.

Independence should continue to offer incentives to developers who want to establish businesses here.  However, tax breaks and other economic incentives need to be conditioned on actual performance and not "pie in the sky" projections which later prove to be inaccurate.  There should be no free handouts that are subsidized on the backs of taxpaying citizens. 

Independence must minimize the cost and hassle of businesses and individuals dealing with city government.  Just because a process may be "cheap or easy" for the city official does not mean its best for the community.  The city should ensure that permits and other compliance related issues are streamlined, uniformly applied and easy to understand.

Independence needs to also collaboratively work with the Chamber of Commerce as well as other state and local economic development groups.  It must also continue to actively participate in regional initiatives and goals because job creation in neighboring communities means there will be new residents and shoppers coming to Independence.

Mike is straightforward.  Mike is honest.  He won't beat around the bush.  Whether good or bad, he will tell it to you straight.  He understands that true progress directly depends upon accurate and complete information.  He recognizes that we are all human and that we all make mistakes.  Mike strongly believes that, rather than hiding the problem or pretending it does not exist, it is always better to promptly admit mistakes, make amends and do better going forward. 

 

Why should you vote for a city council member? The actions taken by the Independence City Council directly impact many areas of your life. Consider the following: 

Protect what matters most to you

  • Do you care about how promptly police, fire or medical personnel respond to your emergency call?  
  • Do you want you, your family and your home to be safe from crime?  
  • Is your neighborhood deteriorating or improving?  
  • Do you have proper storm drainage, runoff and sidewalks on your street?  
  • Do you want streets quickly paved in the summer, promptly plowed in the winter and safely maintained throughout the year?  

Fiscal responsibility

  • Have your tax dollars been spent in the way you believe is most effective?
  • Are your tax dollars being spent on items that you believe are most critical for the City? 
  • How will the City’s current actions impact its financial condition in 5 or 10 years?

Control your destiny

  • Does the City’s policies and practices reflect your values and beliefs?
  • Do you know who your elected representatives really are and what they intend to do?
  • Has your elected representative taken the time to genuinely listen to your concerns?
  • Do you care what Independence will be like in 5, 10 or 15 years from now? 

If the answers to these questions are important to you then please take the time to study the candidates and decide who will work most effectively to get the results you want.

Support Mike by displaying a yard sign.  Call 816-332-6920

Paid for by Citizens to Elect Mike Fielding ~ Terri Love, Treasurer

copyright © MikeFielding 2011~ All rights Reserved

 

 

 

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