BLOOMINGTON — Alton C. Franklin III, 59, of 508 Patterson Drive, a security analyst at State Farm, is a candidate for Bloomington Ward 8 alderman in Tuesday's election.
His biographical information and Q&A were omitted from a candidate chart in Monday's Pantagraph because of a miscommunication. Candidates were asked to limit their responses to 50 words.
Franklin previously was an assistant manager, Marine Corps fire team leader; U.S. Navy damage control supervisor; U.S. Navy work center supervisor, field site engineer, project security team lead, project lead analyst. He has not held elected office.
Q: Should solid waste be an enterprise fund, meaning it should be operated and paid for out of the fees charged? How should the service be funded?
A: Solid waste is a matter of both public health and public safety. I believe the best way to operate it is with our hardworking city crews. The best way to fund it is the way it was funded before, through service fees and a General Fund subsidy.
Q: City Manager David Hales says the Fiscal Year 2016 budget is balanced, but unsustainable. What changes do you see the city making in the short-term to get back on a more solid fiscal footing?
A: Produce an accurate, up-to-date inventory of all city assets. Sell any unnecessary assets. Require all department heads to submit line-item budgets and then reduce all budgets by 2 percent with a business case required for any exceptions. Moving forward, require S.M.A.R.T.E.R. expense planning – Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, Time-framed, Evaluated, and Reviewed.
Q: What long-term financial reforms do you want to see the city pursue?
A: The budget is the single greatest responsibility of the City Council. Council members should invest more time and thought on it, determine what is reasonable and appropriate spending, and provide specific feedback to city staff. Additionally, council members should give much greater consideration to any recurring costs resulting from expenditures.
Q: What revenues should the city pursue to help pay for the city's outstanding general fund liabilities totaling $306 million or about $15 million a year for 20 years?
A: The city has no “revenues,” only taxes and fees. Taxes are high enough. All fees should be reviewed and transitioned to amounts for services and licenses that ensure costs incurred are covered by the fees paid. Proper budgeting and fiscal restraint should result in sufficient surpluses to address our liabilities.