Action Annapolis Questionnaire
Kenneth Kirby (D) | Ward 6
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?
For past eight years lots of focus has been the area of public housing. There are still quality of life issues there and even more importantly, three of the properties require major redevelopment. Making sure it's done right and to everyone's satisfaction will take some work.
2. Do you support strengthening the role of the City Manager? Why or why not?
I have no problem working with a City Manager now or in the past. If it's the will of the next Council, I'll listen to the argument's pros and cons.
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?
I would like for all entities to be under one umbrella, not factioned according to location.
4. How would you focus specifically on businesses owned by African Americans, Hispanics and other minorities?
My office would be open to all, if specifics were required for some businesses. I certainly would help where I could to make it right.
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?
I reserve comment since there is a current bidding process going on.
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?
Stress adherence to the lease agreement. Stress adequate policing. Implore residents to remember safety would start with themselves. Push for strong resident-management councils.
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?
Public - Private partnerships. I don't believe we will have the luxury of waiting for administration in Washington to change.
8. Some of the housing has been redeveloped through public-private partnerships. Is this a good model, and why or why not?
Various aspects have worked while other areas fall short. I firmly believe that the relocation effort should focus on tenants being a part of the new community, not just relocating and bringing people back when finished. Ongoing meetings should be mandatory. Let tenants feel they are part of the process.
9. What is your position on privatizing of any of the city’s assets, e.g., recreational facilities, Market House, services?
I am not a fan of privatization.
10. What will be your approach to reduce and prevent crime?
I will continue to support our public safety officials with my vote, whether its equipment needed or manpower.
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?
The public wants to be safe at all times. I am confident it will get done in our next budget.
Budget and Taxes
12. How will you propose financing general budget needs?
It's an issue better left to the committees! FAC and Financial Committee brings recommendations to the full council after extensive study.
13. What is your position on the current mayor’s proposed tax cut of $330,000?
I believe that it represents new taxes from new properties which will be on the role this year.
14. Please rank the following for budget priorities, from highest to lowest priority: Arts, Community Parks and Recreation, Education, Infrastructure, Transparency, Transportation
5. 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?
Voted yes. It was the right thing to do.
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?
[Kirby did not respond to this question.]
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?
Voted yes. We determined some time ago to reach an aerial canopy of I believe 40 percent.
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?
Yes, continue the education aspect of making people aware. Hopefully we could still find grant monies from an concerned environment community.
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 will vote yes..
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?
Demand that there be only one set of rules.
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?
It's a need. We should get it done.
22. How do you think art in public places should be regulated and financed?
A system is in place now I think.
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?
Not very familiar with the resignations. I won't make a statement at this time.
24. Do you support the current Mayor-Council form of government or a Council - Manager form, and why?
Refer to question #2.
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?
26. Would it be useful if the Mayor were to attend at least one board or commission hearing per month?
27. Should annual reports for each board and commission be posted on the city website?
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?
Hire the best qualified person.