Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Election FAQ for Randy Scott

How do you feel about the Over-65 Homestead?
I am for this because at 65 years old, many people are retired and on fixed incomes. Seniors utilize less and their burden on the community is typically less than younger people. Most cannot afford for the government to be draining their retirement accounts. In fact, many volunteer their skills and services to the community, reducing tax burdens for themselves and others. Younger people must focus on their careers and family. They do not have the time to do volunteer work as senior people do.

What is your opinion on the water taxis?
We have water taxis now but probably have too many. I believe this operation should be a private enterprise, not a government one. Our public image carries passenger boat images all over the world. Perhaps we need to dry dock some of them, change operating hours, cut the cost of operations, and certainly be forthright on what their purpose is. Private enterprise would find ways to make money with them. We have them for advertising and for short excursions by visitors and residents. They are not a transportation vehicle and not part of our mobility plan. It is very simple – keep some in operation, keep advertising their availability, keep operating them. They have a role for doing business in The Woodlands. Let’s optimize the use of what we have and minimize or eliminate the burden on residents.

You say that you support the current expanded policing plan. Can you be a little clearer in your vision?
The new plan will bring deputies closer to each neighborhood. I envision “beat cops” to be a successful practice. Yes, I am cautiously optimistic, but it does not mean that I am status quo. We will get to know our beat cops if we choose to do so. Since there remains a staff turnover of sheriff deputies, we must be able to replace them without undue stress on our residents. We need to check and measure if our vision is working. Therefore, we need to develop metrics such as the number of contacts with “beat cops” or by simple feedback from their customers (residents and businesses). My view is that we need to right-size the policing operation to fit the problem, not necessarily be staffed to respond to worse case scenarios. The local “policing city” is really the combination of Shenandoah, Oak Ridge and The Woodlands. I-45 is also part of that combination. Any comparisons to other municipalities must be in this context, looking at the areas policing staff levels, not just The Woodlands. All the police agencies act together for our safety and law enforcement. Additionally to crime response and police visibility, we need to enforce the speed limits within The Woodlands better to reduce risk to drivers who are not comfortable driving at high speed on main thoroughfares. When we have six lanes on Woodlands Parkway, we need more than ever to better enforce the speed limit for the safety of our residents. Residents should not have to complain about reckless driving that is not enforced. I might also add, there is considerable merit to starting a process to develop our own police department. In my view that is part of the consideration of what we are to be in the future as we move forward towards our final governance model.

How are you aligned politically?
I am a conservative. Conservatism is reflected in my desire to trim the budget and do the right things for the Township with as little of your money as I can. Your money is real! It isn’t anything to be taken lightly. Private enterprise typically provides more efficient operations than public enterprises. However, we must also consider our growth and that growth continues to require master planning to achieve the vision of The Woodlands. Residents must play a part in determining the use of our neighborhood streets and amenities to abate unwanted growth consequences.   

What village do you live in?
Indian Springs on the border with Panther Creek. I love my little home in the forest!

How long have you lived here?
12 years.

Why do you think you can do the job better than your opponents?
I am glad you asked it that way. My opponents are nice people, but they lack the skills and background that I bring to the table. My project management background provides you with a person having skills in managing budgets, setting the project scope and work frame correctly, asking pertinent questions, researching ideas, questioning solutions, understanding rejected alternatives, contracting issues and following up with success measures. My community background gives you deep and broad experience in this community. I also have deep information technology experience which enables me to vision time saving automated processes. I will commit 8 hours a day or more if necessary to this voluntary position, scheduling my time around my mandatory presence and involvement, without asking for prestige or honor. I do it for you, not my ego or substance. I am retired so I know what it is like to be on fixed income. I am a people’s person, eager to discuss issues with any ethnic or cultural group of any color. Therefore my friends say, "you are the real candidate". 

Are you open to ideas and complaints?
I have never failed to answer an email arriving in my inbox and often take action on it. That will not change. There will always be a REAL person here. I will answer the phone as well. Yes, I am open and encourage dialogue. I have been told several times that I am an excellent listener. When I wrote this I was working on four issues - three in Indian Springs and one in Grogan's Mill. 

Do you have a family here in The Woodlands?
 Yes, I am a bit different than many people, but the same as most. I have a wife and two children here in The Woodlands. My two lovely children and wife are Venezuelan, a vestige of working in Venezuela for Chevron. Therefore I speak Spanish as a second language. I also have four grown children in this part of Texas and four grandchildren with two additional on their way. I am blessed with family and love The Woodlands.

How would you reduce taxes?
This is not an easy subject for a sound byte. I will write a more detailed response on the Commentary before the election. All is not well with the current system of budgeting and taxation. Additional processes need to be put into place to stop over-budgeting. I have several taxation alternatives to show you which could provide more fairness than the current model. The current tax model is not fair to all residents. I want to see an analysis by the government staff. Then we will go from there. My philosophy is to tax based on REAL requirements, not spend what is available from taxation and not over justify any proposal. Windfall revenue is not meant for the government.  

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