Monday, October 9, 2017

Meet the Candidate - Susan Pitts

Candidate Questionnaire

Gazette: What sets you apart from other candidates? 
Pitts:  I’m energetic, resourceful and forward thinking. I recognize the importance of keeping our small town charm while promoting responsible growth and as a business owner in Baldwin, I have a deep understanding of the needs of the community.   I’m passionate.  I’ll go to great lengths to stand up for what I believe is the right choice for Baldwin.  I have a very strong sense of responsibility to my community.  Baldwin City has provided me the security and sense of community that comes with small town living.  To give back through public service is something I would take very seriously and consider an honor and privilege.

Gazette: What aspects of your personal history, accomplishments, and personal philosophy make you the best possible choice in this election cycle? 
Pitts:  I have owned a couple of businesses allowing me to gain multiple facets of experience and knowledge that can be applied to the City Council.  In addition I am the assistant to a CEO of a large business requiring me to be resourceful, insightful, organized and essentially a jack of all trades.  I’ve been involved in fundraisers, have headed a local community volunteer organization and stay on top of the important issues surrounding Baldwin.
I believe in providing a voice for Baldwin, even if it’s not always my personal opinion.  I believe in listening to the concerns of the citizens and taking them seriously.  I believe the people of Baldwin should be actively engaged in City Council Meetings and decisions should be transparent.  It’s the people of Baldwin that make it what it is; disregarding their needs is detrimental to the overall good of the town.

GazetteWhat do you see as the most important issue this election? 
Pitts:  Retaining our culture and small town charm are vital but at the same time some commercial and residential growth should be embraced in a fiscally responsible manner.  Keeping government spending  to a minimum is something I know everyone can agree on so we need to find ways to bring more revenue to Baldwin while minimizing our local cost of living.   The cost of electricity in Baldwin is a constant concern of the citizens and certainly brings up our overall cost of living.  Exploring alternatives should be a constant priority.

Gazette: What would you do to ensure the community you hope to represent is a livable community? 
Pitts:  I think Baldwin is already on a great path.  We have several wonderful amenities in our little town, but are still small enough to offer a sanctuary from faster paced communities.  To continue this path we have to grow responsibly, we have to keep an eye on our cost of living (utilities, taxes, etc.) to make Baldwin livable for all income levels and we have to embrace new opportunities to bring new revenue to our town.

GazetteIf money were no obstacle, what is one project you’d like to see the city move forward on? 
Pitts:  The Recreation Center, hands down.  A recreation center is one amenity that would offer substantial value to Baldwin.  It’s the type of amenity that attracts future residents and businesses.  In addition, with everything the rec center would offer it would promote healthier lifestyles for the residents of Baldwin, most importantly the children.  With that said, unfortunately money is an obstacle and realistically the rec center has to be funded in a way that has minimal impact to the citizens.

Gazette: Polls show most voters don't think government works. What would you do to reform the underlying structures and systems that seem to be a major cause of the problem? 
Pitts:  Irresponsible government spending and inefficiencies are a large contributor to the popular opinion that government doesn’t work.  If I had the opportunity to reform systems currently in place I would start with holding them accountable to a budget and to achieving quality results.  If we continue down our current path, without any type of reform, federal spending is projected to soar in the near future.

Gazette: Do you think eliminating obsolete laws, regulations (and bureaucracies) would help reduce wasteful spending in government? And if so, how would you do it? 
Pitts:  Absolutely.  The less convoluted the laws and regulations the easier it is to manage them through law enforcement and the judicial system.  It would be beneficial for the current laws/regulations in place to be regularly reviewed and eliminate those considered unnecessary or outdated.

 Gazette: Do you think state and local civil service rules make it harder to cut wasteful spending and to efficiently manage public agencies? If so, what would you do about it? 
Pitts:  A great deal of wasteful spending is tied to convoluted rules and regulations in government agencies.  Without more specifics on which rules/regulations and which particular agency it’s a very broad question and difficult to answer precisely.  Closely managing budgets and holding agencies accountable is the only way to get an effective grasp on continued wasteful spending of tax payers money.

Gazette: What is your position on the Baldwin City Recreation Center?
Pitts:  As I stated in a previous question, a Recreation Center would be an added amenity of tremendous value to our little town. I’m a huge proponent of growth in Baldwin but it has to be carefully analyzed. I’m not aware of a feasibility study being completed on this. If it is I would love to see the results and if it hasn’t I think it’s something that needs to be done before moving forward. We have to know if the demand is there. If the demand is there, then we need to look at funding. Is there a way to fund this with minimal impact to the citizens? How much per year, be it through sales tax, mil levy increases, etc., would the average Baldwin citizen be willing to pay? These are all things that need to be considered. It has to be the right decision for the town as a whole.

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