Archive for Thursday, March 19, 2009

City Council candidate: Russ Gill

March 19, 2009

Name: Russ Gill

Occupation: Network Administrators

Years lived in Baldwin City: 8

Family: Dawn Hagen and I have four children, Bobby, Nick, Analise, and Ashleigh. My parents Rusty and Sheree Gill also live in town.

Political experience: None

1. What is the biggest economic challenge facing Baldwin City’s budget?

Currently, the 2009 budget shows that the Ad Valorem Property tax need is $200,000 over last year’s. With property valuation decreasing on many properties, it is going to be a very difficult amount to reach.

2. How can the city save money during these tough economic times?

The city could hold off on making any purchases of any new equipment whenever possible.

3. What do you want to accomplish as a city council member, i.e. why are you running for office?

I have enjoyed living in Baldwin for 8 years and want to be more involved in the community. Baldwin has been, and continues to be, a great place to raise a family and during these hard economic times people need to be willing to stand up to help their community and neighbors and that’s what I’m trying to do.

4. Do you favor requiring the Baldwin School District to pay for improvements to Elm Street from 11th Street and extending Elm to Bullpup Drive as part of the project to build a new Baldwin Elementary School Primary Center?

I believe that the city and the school district need to work together to complete this project. I do believe that Elm Street and Bullpup Drive need to be extended to create a safe flow of traffic for getting children to and from school

5. Utility rates in Baldwin City are among the highest around, especially for electricity. Do you see any way to reduce those rates or at least stop their spiral upward?

Currently the city derives a large portion of its revenue from utilities. To alleviate the growing utility rates, the city needs to increase other forms of revenue. One suggestion is to try to grow the tax base by working with the local chamber of commerce to increasing the number of local businesses.

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