City council candidate: Jason Mock
Name: Jason Mock
Date of birth: 12/22/1986
Family: Parents and Siblings in Baldwin City
Current employment: Associate Field Investigator for USIS
Past employment history: Management (Cash 2 Go, Melange Apron)
Education: B.A. Political Science from Baker University
Number of years lived in community: 15
Previous public offices held: None
Community involvement: Volunteer for Baldwin Debate Tournament
What made you decide to run for office?
There was a demonstrated need for interested individuals to step forward to serve the community, and I decided to be one of those individuals.
What special qualifications would you bring to this office?
I believe I would bring a capacity to the council to look at the big picture, while being able to analyze the details without getting bogged down. In addition my educational background brings to the table a policy analysis ability that could be beneficial to the decision making process of the council.
How do you plan to familiarize yourself with the issues that come before the board?
I have been attending council meetings since filing, and speaking with constituents to familiarize myself with what the people believe to be the issues.
What leadership qualities do you possess?
I believe a leadership trait that I possess that is critical to a position such as being a member of the city council is recognizing that while it is a leadership role, being the people's representative on any governing body is one of service. You can not be any sort of leader without understanding you are working for your constituents. The city council and city leaders, develop policies and plans, based on what will best serve the community.
How do you plan stay in touch with constituents if you are elected?
I can be easily contacted via email and phone, and that contact information will be readily available if elected.
Describe what you see as the main role of a city council member?
The main role of a city council member is to vote on city matters, weighing constituent input and the best available information related to the issue at hand. These decisions need to be in the best interest of the city as a whole, without putting on undue burden on any one segment of the population.
What is city government's best attribute and why?
I believe that the best attribute of any city government, and Baldwin City is no different, is the responsiveness of government at that level. You can write a US Senator and may never get a response, let alone have your voice sift a policy decision. Where as in a small town like Baldwin, when the people voice their concerns, change can happen. A recent example being the modification of the new city ordinance affecting speed limits around Rainbow Preschool. Rainbow parents and staff voiced concerns, and that ordinance was modify.
What are the three most important issues facing the city and how would you confront them?
Economic development/ job creation, responsible growth, and quality of life.
With regards to economic development and job creation we need to be proactive in soliciting potential job creators to locate to Baldwin City. If Baldwin get gain small businesses that employee 10 to 30 people at a decent wage, that would help all of Baldwin through increasing the tax base, and help the people who go those good jobs at home.
Responsible growth goes hand in hand with economic development. While I am in favor of development and job creation, I do believe that we have to be careful as we grow. We need to make sure as we grow we maintain and improve our infrastructure to support that growth, but not at the undue expense of current residents.
Quality of life is a constant issue in a small town. As a community we approved a quarter cent quality of life sales tax. We need to find realistic projects that we can use that revenue to fund, and that generate the most good for the people of Baldwin.
Under what circumstances would you favor increasing property taxes or sales taxes?
Raising taxes is not something that any member of any representative body wants to do. I think that raising taxes should be a matter of last resort. In order to support raising taxes to pay for anything that is not a critical city service, or critical infrastructure, I would not vote for that increase, without extensive input from the public.
How would you increase the city's tax base?
There are only two ways to increase the tax base. You can have more homes or more business. I am in favor of more business. As the number of businesses and the amount of industry grows in Baldwin, that will over time shift the tax burden from the residential property to commercial and industrial. As a city we need to determine the types of business and industry we would like to see in our community. We then need to develop a plan to court new potential businesses or industry, whether we use tax abatements or other incentives.
What can the City do to increase economic development?
We need to actively seek development. As a community we can sit and wait for development to come to town, or as I've stated we can decide what we want in our community, find it, and then develop a plan to get it here.
Are you satisfied with the job being performed by the city's professional staff?
Our city professional staff does a great job keeping the city running given the small size of the staff, and the resources they have.