Action Annapolis Questionnaire
Bumper Moyer (D) | Ward 8
Vision and Priorities
1. Please share your campaign vision and priorities. What strengths will you bring to the job, and what past experience has prepared you for the role of Alderman?Through my campaign I hope to inspire a greater swath of the community to get involved and to bring forth a progressive out of the box approach to many of the issues facing us. Through strength of character, a commitment to humble service, and visionary thinking this can be achieved. Having been an entrepreneur and self-employed almost my entire life I have learned that a willingness to work harder than most and having your eyes on the future is paramount to survival There are no paid holidays, paid sick leave, accrued time off, matching 401 K plans, arbitration panels to solve problems, etc, etc. Thinking two moves ahead is necessary for continued success. Politicians should have the same mind set. The skills developed through a lifetime of entrepreneurial endeavors are exactly what a person should bring to the table when running for office.
2. Do you support strengthening the role of the City Manager? Why or why not?
[Moyer did not answer this question.]
3. Annapolis has vibrant economic opportunities. We also have a history of challenges in sustaining businesses in the City. What are your ideas in attracting and keeping businesses in Annapolis?
Concerning retail, we should be brutally honest in the discussion. Gone are the days were boutique stores can easily thrive. The best solution to this dilemma of the roughly 14 percent vacancy rate currently existing on Main Street is the one offered by mayoral candidate, Gavin Buckley; encourage the transformation of Annapolis into more of a gastronomical hot spot.
4. How would you focus specifically on businesses owned by African Americans, Hispanics and other minorities?
I would suggest that any zoning restrictions in communities that have a high density of people of color be loosened to allow for more creative use.
5. The Market House has a history of instability. What are your plans for a long-term solution to stabilize the Market House for the next generation and make it a hub for city activities?
The Market House has always been hamstrung by its inability to function as a competitive enterprise at night. A long-term solution would allow for alcohol to be served and operating hours extended. The increased economic activity in the evening could subsidize the many days in which business is slow.
6. Residents of HACA (Housing Authority of the City of Annapolis) locations continue to experience a disproportionate amount of crime and inadequate living conditions. What four actions would you recommend to address HACA residents’ immediate safety, security, and quality of life needs?
SHOTSPOTTER technology, community policing, vigilance of the banned list, and effective representation on the Recreation Advisory Board are all items I would advocate for.
7. With federal funding eliminated for renovation and new construction of public housing, where will money come from for redevelopment of our existing public housing?
I would search for and encourage Public Private Partnerships.
8. Some of the housing has been redeveloped through public-private partnerships. Is this a good model, and why or why not?
I believe it is a good model as long as there is effective oversight. With the absence of federal funding where else is the $$$ going to come from? And with a possible rent to own track included in any major overhaul ownership would bring responsibility, pride, and a greater sense of community.
9. What is your position on privatizing of any of the city’s assets, e.g., recreational facilities, Market House, services?
In general I am not in favor of this policy. Selling off assets is normally a quick fix and short sighted. Through better management and a long term vision the city’s finances would be much better off. I would never have voted for the sale of the Golf Course or the old Rec Center.
10. What will be your approach to reduce and prevent crime?
Implementation of SHOTSPOTTER technology, community policing, increased neighborhood watch programs, constant outreach and constant training of civilians by the APD on ways to minimize risk.
11. The budget currently before the City Council anticipates hiring additional police and fire employees. The city would have to provide funding in subsequent budgets to support the additional employees. What is your proposal regarding the source of those funds?
It is a tough question as the city’s bond debt has exploded. If we don’t borrow more (and we shouldn’t), don’t raise taxes (currently I am against the idea) and can’t find grant money or help from the state, then to support the additional police officers and fireman expenditures other departments are going to have to be reduced.
Budget and Taxes
12. How will you propose financing general budget needs?
A use tax directed at tourism. Making sure the fees currently being charged for various services are where they should be, Auditing all departments to make sure they are operating at peak efficiency.
13. What is your position on the current mayor’s proposed tax cut of $330,000?
Not what I would be doing with the bond debt where it is and with the increase in police and fire department staff.
14. Please rank the following for budget priorities, from highest to lowest priority: Arts, Community Parks and Recreation, Education, Infrastructure, Transparency, Transportation
1. Community Parks & Recreation
Equal Protection under the Law
15. In February 2017, the City Council passed Ordinance 0-1-17, Non-discrimination Foreign-Born Residents Equal Protection, acknowledging that all persons are due equal protection under the law. If you had been mayor/alderman at that time, how would you have voted on this ordinance, and why? If you are an incumbent, how did you vote and why?
I would have whole heartily voted for it. Because I believe in exactly what was previously written “ all persons are due equal protection under the law”.
16. What are your environmental initiatives? What will you do to address long term environmental sustainability needs and what is your plan to pay for these initiatives?
I would lead the effort to retrofit all city owned properties that have impervious surfaces. Better control of storm water runoff is something that we can address and fix. I would also look to modern technologies to see if they are scalable or appropriate for Annapolis (see link) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/inventions-that-clean-the-ocean_us_5938be94e4b0b13f2c66ee01
As always, the availability of grant monies should be explored and through our county delegation, getting use tax increase legislation passed at the state level.
17. In March 2017, the City Council adopted the Forest Conservation Reforestation ordinance, known as “No Net Loss,” which requires developers to replace each acre of trees they cut down. If you had been mayor/alderman at that time, how would you have voted on this ordinance, and why?
If I could not have found 4 other Aldermen to vote for an even stronger measure I would have voted for it. An extensive tree canopy adds to our quality of life through erosion reduction, pollutant reduction, and community enhancement.
18. Do you believe that additional storm water treatment initiatives /efforts are required? If so, what would you recommend and how would they be funded?
There are still too many impervious surfaces in Annapolis. Continual emphasis on retrofitting every publicly owned one would be on my agenda if elected. Grant money, grant money, grant money.
19. Would you consider joining with the 246 Mayors in the US in supporting the commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement and work with them to support 21st Century a clean energy economy?
I am at times suspect in thinking that addressing global issues locally through legislation is a good use of time and resources. But, in this case if it would help put pressure on the Federal Government to show some common sense and to assume a leadership role in clean energy initiatives …I would absolutely join!
20. The Eastport development project involves conflicts in the interpretation of the zoning code. How would you resolve this and future conflicts so that the developer and the community can rely on consistency in the approval process?I would rewrite the zoning code so that there are no ambiguities and that the community is involved right away in the process. And making all development adhere to the comprehensive zoning plan is a no brainer.
21. What is your position on requests being made by the Department of Recs and Parks for funding for the before and after-school program?
I am absolutely in favor of funding those requests.
22. How do you think art in public places should be regulated and financed? . There is a financing formula in the city code that 1/10 of 1% of the operating budget be dedicated to art in public places. It is not considered mandatory. I would change that to the more commonly used formula of funding the arts to 1% of the capital budget and make it law.
23. Members of city boards and commissions are required to provide a signed Statement of Compliance with the Provisions of Ethics Ordinance, affirming that they understand the provisions of the city code regarding public ethics and financial disclosure. Several members of the advisory boards and city commissions resigned because they took issue with the wording of the statement. Do you support any changes to make the statement non-controversial, and if so, what changes?
Volunteers provide free time, free talent, and free energy. Volunteerism is instrumental in the quality of our life in Annapolis. If any wording could be interpreted as to muzzle advisory positions that may be at odds with the administration…I would remove that language.
24. Do you support the current Mayor-Council form of government or a Council - Manager form, and why?
I support the Mayor Council form….I am not a fan of non-elected persons(manager)having control of the decisions that affect us.
25. Should boards and commissions have final say on the level of detail needed for their minutes, as long as that level met all legal and code requirements?
Yes …as long as the legal and code requirements insure transparency.
26. Would it be useful if the Mayor were to attend at least one board or commission hearing per month?
Yes …probably. If the history of such events has been that the mayoral has not been properly informed by a summary and reasonable briefing from the board or committee chair than he/she should indeed attend.
27. Should annual reports for each board and commission be posted on the city website?
Yes, I am all for transparency.
28. How would you address the lack of women and minorities on City Boards and Commissions and as department heads? If so, how would you address it?
I would have the department heads represent the racial/gender make up of the city as long as they were qualified. Any panel convened to find the right person/people for these commissions or department heads should have the same demographic as the city as well.