Action Annapolis Questionnaire
Toni Pratt (D)  |  Ward 4

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?

Toni Pratt a lifelong Annapolitan is committed to working for all people in her ward.  As a fighter overcoming many adversities; her priorities are improving jobs, housing, and crime. Her involvement in grassroots issues has prepared her for this office.

2. Do you support strengthening the role of the City Manager? Why or why not?

I do not support strengthening because the power of authority would equal and possibly be above the supervisor, the Mayor.

Business

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?

The majority of businesses are geared to tourists; more attention needs to address attracting businesses that are more for the locals and all income levels.

4. How would you focus specifically on businesses owned by African Americans, Hispanics and other minorities?

Similar to the federal 8A program, qualified minority businesses should be able to participate in a set aside program.  A serious minority business development program should be implemented.


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 cost of operating a business in the Market house is what has made it unstable.  A tax credit system should be offered to locals who desire to do business there. The locals made the Market authentic for all my years. 

Housing

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?

  1. Compile a community group who are dedicated to the wellbeing of others.

  2.  With the aid of residents develop a community program for success and have a name the program contest...

  3.  Community group be consistent and visible.

  4.   Identify resident-leaders involve them in personal development as an example.


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?

Currently there are ___ developments that need renovation.  Funding could be sought via private investors (non-real estate) who have a heart for helping the disenfranchised.


8. Some of the housing has been redeveloped through public-private partnerships. Is this a good model, and why or why not?

I feel it’s a good model but am concerned that financial investment in the developments should not be the number one goal.

Privatization

9. What is your position on privatizing of any of the city’s assets, e.g., recreational facilities, Market House, services?

I believe that a very careful and thorough investigation and analysis should be performed to ascertain the financial gain of the city as to whether privatization would be viable.

Crime

10. What will be your approach to reduce and prevent crime?

Provide programs that address those who commit the majority of crimes before they become criminals.


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?

Seek more federal grant programs and charitable foundations.

Budget and Taxes

12. How will you propose financing general budget needs?

The question is vague but the current compilation of local, state, federal government funds would continue to be my proposed system.


13. What is your position on the current mayor’s proposed tax cut of $330,000?

With what appears to be future financial needs of the city, I do not understand the proposed tax cuts.

14. Please rank the following for budget priorities, from highest to lowest priority: Arts, Community Parks and Recreation, Education, Infrastructure, Transparency, Transportation

1. Transparency

2. Education

3. Infrastructure

4. Transportation

5. Community parks and recreation

6. Arts

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 voted in favor because I know what it is to be discriminated against.

Environment

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?

Excessive building especially housing developments, insufficient traffic planning and infrastructure of the downtown area.  Each requires a review of current policies and revisions or new planning.  I recommend a moratorium on housing development over the next four years. 

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?

In favor because replacing the trees are critical to saving the land in that area. Trees provide nutrients for the land and residents.

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?

I believe that what is being undertaking us a robust plan to address the issue.


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 would but I am running for Alderwoman.

Development

 

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?

A thorough non-political review needs to be conducted of the department that is responsible for zoning codes and the possibility of a separate legal entity to takeover conflicts.

Child Care

 

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?

There should be a partnership that includes Rec and Parks participant paying on a sliding fee scale and the City matching funds. Grant funds should be further explored. Parents and family members should be required to participate in fundraising.

Public Art

 

22. How do you think art in public places should be regulated and financed?

It should be handled by a board primarily volunteers; limited paid staff would reduce financial burden.  The Arts currently have the largest nonprofit donating base and they should be tapped.

Ethics

 

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?

I agree with the language of the Ordinance as is. 

Vote Governance

 

24. Do you support the current Mayor-Council form of government or a Council - Manager form, and why?

I support the Mayor-Council form because it directly involves the people who vote for these offices which is the foundation of our democracy.  Currently I believe that the City Manager is a hired position.

Transparency

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


26. Would it be useful if the Mayor were to attend at least one board or commission hearing per month?

Yes


27. Should annual reports for each board and commission be posted on the city website?

Yes 

Diversity

 

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 make a concerted effort to regularly publicize and engage woman and minority groups about the desire to include woman in our political entities.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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