Budget Responsibility needs to be reapplied in Branson City Government. In recent history whenever a new city tax is approved it is done so upon a robust set of promises from legislators pushing the approval, that the citizen’s money will be handled in a fiscally conservative manner. Local businesses having economic freedom will be the engine of the economy and not overzealous government spending. Now there are appropriate areas where our city can come together as a collective and work to boost our economic trajectory, but these need to be done with a coherent plan to avoid some of the mistakes of the past administrations. And furthermore, any spending initiatives need to be carefully considered upon the realities of the debt that the city carries. The taxation base must grow organically through the natural expansion of the economy. Periodically increasing the overall percentage of the city’s tax rates is an artificial way to prop up a city, which can only last for so long. As Alderman I will always vote within a vision of fiscal responsibility.
Economic Growth in Tourism is paramount for Branson’s future. The tremendous growth over the past 3 decades has come with a kind of duty to maintain our infrastructure. The countless hotel rooms and theatres are assets for the city, but it remains a risk that one day those properties could become a burden of blight. In my municipal campaigns I have completed many hours of research on the proper vision of Branson’s future in tourism but the overall theme is growth. And yet, as I’ve said in the past, we must emphasize certain aspects of the tourist industry that fit the mold of who we are. As Alderman I will apply a fully objective standard to the entities I vote to contract the city funds with. This will not be based necessarily on the entities that have controlled the marketing in the past but only on an assurance of confidence in the vision moving forward.
Prioritizing Public Education must be at the forefront of every city council vote. A growing Branson means regular changes for our school district and these must be designed to be centered around our children. Things like Tax Increment Financing can be beneficial to certain sectors of our economy but the number of projects with this type of funding must be controlled so that it doesn’t diminish the taxation base that our schools get to work with. Teachers and other public sector workers like Police and Firefighters around this country are already undervalued as it is and the first thing that is usually eliminated from schools is education in the arts which is particularly important for our area. I have worked on the Planning & Zoning board to ensure our schools exist in a safe environment and a sector of the city that fosters learning and stability. As Alderman I will continue to learn both traditional and innovative ways to enhance the educational experience of our citizens and their parents.
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