After watching the interview with Jones and his challenger that the Gargoyle Leader did the other day, it was pretty clear to me who is the most qualified to be the next At-Large city councilor; Michael Jones.
Michael Jones touched on how our city council ‘doesn’t listen to citizens’ during the public input. He used the Event Center vote meeting as an example. He was disappointed that Knudson was indignant about the criticism that the public ‘does not trust them.’ He says the councilors need to ask more questions of these citizens. “We need to know why these people don’t trust city government, we need to ask those questions.”
As for the Events Center, Michael takes the Staggers/Huether approach and says it can be paid for without raising taxes. He also touches on something else; He doesn’t think the 3rd penny would go away after 3 years, he said, citizens are concerned it would just ‘morph into something else’ and he also questioned the ’50 million dollar impact’ on the city. He asks, “Will that impact lower taxes for the common citizen?” His challenger, who sat on two task forces still seems to think the 3rd penny is the best way.
Jones supports snowgates and says they are worth trying out. He also says we need to focus on fixing streets more then building new streets. “Not all new development is good development.” He believes we need to get our infrastructure up to par before we develop more.
“When I look at Quality of Life issues, I’m a low cost high return kinda guys.” He believes that the city should let the private sector pay for more of the quality of life projects, and have them be more involved. He thinks we need an indoor public pool, but felt the last one that was proposed was poorly planned.
Jones thinks the city council needs to be more involved with the decision making process, and needs to be better checks and balances. His challenger kind of thinks councilors should just follow the mayor’s lead and thinks citizens need to ‘listen more’ to city government’. No surprise here, he has often had the elitist attitude that ‘he knows best, just trust him.’ We have had enough elitists sitting on the council, thanks, but no thanks.
Jones thinks that a full-time press secretary would be a good idea to better inform the public.
Jones thinks there needs to be better traffic flow downtown and parking.
He says that code enforcement needs to more customer service oriented and less confrontational. He also believes the city dump should be less expensive for private property owners. He also thinks the city should work with citizens to solve problems.
One thing I noticed the most in the interview was Jones’ demeaner. He seems to be a good listener and has a very citizen friendly attitude. His challenger, as a monopoly business owner in Sioux Falls, has a ‘government knows best’ attitude, and a less friendly customer service friendly attitude.
Jones is the best choice, hands down.