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Meet Scott Read: 2011 City Council Election Candidate
Answers to Questions Posed by Residents

by editor

The upcoming election is important, since more than half of the five seats, three to be exact, will be elected. Get to know your candidates based upon answers to questions that residents submitted to MountainParkLife.com!

The MountainParkLife.com 2011 City Council Candidates Q&A

Candidate: Scott Read

1. Please provide a brief “bio” including current/past employment and how your past experience has prepared you for a council position.
Service to my community and county, while achieving at the highest-level is a part of my make-up. In High School I graduated with honors and obtained the rank of Eagle Scout. After High School, I served in the U.S. Army and was posted to several high profile positions and was awarded many metals and accommodations.

After the military, I began my professional career in the telecommunications industry; working for multiple companies and earned several promotions to become an engineer at AT&T. While working full-time, I attended college in the evening and graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineer. I was immediately accepted to Kennesaw State University’s Executive MBA Program where I graduated in 2009.

I am honored to be a highly sought after professional working in the finance field for AT&T. I give time and service to several charitable agencies in various positions. I use my talents in a rapidly changing world to evaluate and manage business cases, conduct financial and contractual reviews and manage multi-million dollar budgets. My wife and I have two dogs and two cats. My track record of commitment to faith, family, work and the community has allowed me to garnering support at multiple levels as a trusted and credible decision-maker, making me a well rounded and relevant senior contributor in today’s economic and technology driven times.

2. How long have you been a resident of Mountain Park?My wife and I had the good fortune to move to the City of Mountain Park in 2009.

3. Identify, in order of importance, the top three infrastructure or city services improvements you would like to see completed during your term in office.
1. Enact programs that are citizen and city led that preserve the lakes and green spaces; this includes seeking federal grants for funding. and support volunteer led initiatives.
2. Comprehensive road and ditch maintenance - this affects not only the city aesthetic but also the erosion is detrimental to the environment and city infrastructure
3. City beautification of public buildings and facilities; this is an excellent example of a community coming together to improve the city and make our town more appealing.

4. During the last four years, the number of council members has been reduced from seven to five and some governmental processes, such as dedicated committee meetings, have been combined into joint meetings. What is your position on the current size of council and the process of conducting more or less public committee meetings?
Council and Committee sizes are decisions that were made by the sitting city government for one reason or another; we all had the opportunity to have a voice in the process. If elected, I would not question the choices of the past but look forward towards the future and ask how can we as city council members make a change for the good of the city. If this involves expanding or decreasing the council, committees, or meetings then it should be made on the merits of facts at hand, at that time.

5. When elected, what would you change to make our city government more effective and efficient?
We live in a time in which our financial resources are limited. We should demand more from our government and that means our elected officials must figure out how to do more for less. Thankfully, it is also a time in which our technological resources are more amazing than ever before. If elected, I would look for opportunities to make our government more accessible and available through the implementation of technology by our city administrators and the citizens. With such technology, we can increase efficiency and productivity of our government and at the same time increase the following: continuity, public safety, privacy, security, and protecting the environment.

6. Many senior citizens in the city live on a limited budget and some citizens believe our higher real estate taxes are a top priority in these difficult fiscal times. With a full plate of needed maintenance projects on the agenda and many in the wish list, what expenditures would you approve in the next two years for new or improved projects?
The city council and administrators must remain vigilant with how the city allocates and spends the tax revenue for all citizens, not just seniors. We must not forget that government has an obligation to provide essential services, first. If elected, my priorities would be 1) maintenance projects which come before the city council and that provides for the safety, health and welfare of the citizens; 2) projects that enhance the value of our community from an environmental, fiscal and social perspective.

7. The city “green,” community building and lakeside pavilion, along with our lakes, present unique quality of life amenities enjoyed by few other cities. What is your position on leveraging these amenities as public event facilities – never, sometimes or as often as possible? Please explain the reasoning behind your position.
Indeed, the city “green”, community building and pavilion do make our quality of life in Mountain Park unique! Paramount, however, these public facilities are for the benefit of all the citizens of the Mountain Park. They should be leveraged when their use provides a benefit to the whole community. Whether they should be leveraged for the use of one individual or group would have to be further evaluated based on the needs and circumstances. I would vote in favor of the city’s amenities use, regardless of whether for public or private use, when it would help to raise awareness of the environment, “green” living, used for city activities, they should be leverage as much as possible.

8. The city of Mountain Park has no commercial zoning. Would you favor a commercial district designation and where would you suggest it be located? What commercial activities would you allow or not? Would you require the commercial activities to pay for impacts to city infrastructure?
The City of Mountain Park has seen hard times. With proper fiscal management, however, we will endure these hard times. If elected and assuming commercial zoning came before the city council I would need to evaluate the positions being discussed. Conceptually, I am in favor of commercial zoning for the potential increase in city revenue as it would help ease the tax burden on all of us. That said, I would strongly oppose any commercial activities that would harm (rather than enhance) the ambiance and quality of life of our city. The proposed laws and regulations must be carefully crafted. A full review and full debate must be had, to allow for a understanding of both the short-term and long-term effect on the city. If the laws cannot be written to allow for the right conditions, then we should err on the side of not allowing commercial zoning. If commercial zoning is allowed, the business impact should be accessed fairly and provide for its fair share of impact to infrastructure. Regarding the commercial zoning location, that answer would depend as I’ve heard no debate on the subject.

9. If called to a simple up or down vote, would you be in favor of increased city services or a lower tax millage rate?
On the surface, I would look to lower the millage rate. Understanding, however, that lowering the millage rate might have an effect on the city services. As an elected official I would request the following before voting:
• Outline the city services that would be effected by the low millage rate;
• Identify city projects that would be delayed or cancelled by the decrease;
• Understand what long-term ramifications of reduced or cancelled city services as a result of the decreased millage rate.

10. The city is designated as a wildlife refuge and many of our codes enforce strong environmental and tree protection ordinances. How would you explain your position on support for our unique environment and respect for private property rights?
Our wildlife refuge status and the code enforcement of the environment makes us a very unique city. As a property owners in Mountain Park, we agreed to live by the laws and regulations of our city. As a result, we must do our part to keep our city the example of environmental consciousness for which it has come to be known. As a Boy Scout, we learned to obey the scout law at all times; part of that law is to be obedient. We were taught not to break the law simply because someone finds it unfair or unjust. Instead, I learned to work within the system to change the laws for the better. If a law infringes on the rights of a private property owner, it is our job as citizens and elected officials to review all complaints and evaluate exceptions on their merits and if necessary change the law and ask for enforcement when needed.

About the MountainParkLife.com 2011 Candidates Q&A
At this time, only Scott Mills and Scott Read have submitted answers to questions gathered from residents by MountainParkLife.com. Gladney Cooper has not submitted answers yet to questions sent only 24 hours ago because of difficulties in contacting her last week. Ocoee Penick has not responded to telephone messages inviting her to participate. Cristina Packham does not wish to participate in the MountainParkLife.com Q&A. (Correction added on October 20: The last statement was incorrect and should have conveyed that Cristina Packham emailed that she did not want to participate at that time and wanted to give more thought before responding.)

Candidate answers were not edited in any way and are exactly as submitted. Candidates were advised that they could skip a question if desired.

Of the questions submitted by residents to the MPL editor, these 10 were chosen for covering the broad range of topics. The questions were edited with a similar style and wording to make it easier to understand, consistently, but the core question remained the same.



 

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