Mauricio Galante, Candidate for District 1

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1. Protection of Taxpayers' Dollars – please respond by February 29, 2024

How much of a priority should be placed on protecting taxpayers' dollars? If we are granting dollars for “economic development” should the company be vetted? Should an “economic development” grant require an actual application? Why or why not?

All companies receiving any economic incentive or public grants should apply and be properly vetted.

 

2. Density – please respond by March 7, 2024

a. How do you feel about changing commercially zoned properties to multi-family zoned properties? Why?

b. What if the area already contains many, many apartments such as southeast Arlington in the Hwy 360 corridor?

c. How do you feel about RMU (Regional Mixed Use) zoning and its potential 100 units/acre? Why?

a. If it makes sense for the mix of development opportunities we have I am in favor. Always relying on market studies and traffic analysis to be approved.

b. The question is if these commercial zoned properties are fulfilling the best and highest use of the land. Why we want to keep empty commercial spaces if we can develop residential units and collect more property taxes for the benefit of all?

c. Regional Mixed Use can benefit the traffic flow and attract new residents to help increase revenues for retailers and also property tax collection. If it’s planned correctly it will leverage the highways as regional corridors to funnel investment and prosperity to underdeveloped sites around the city.

 

3. Citizen Participation – please respond by March 14, 2024

In 2023 the city council voted to require preregistration and reduce speaking time for citizen participation (at the end of the meeting). Do you agree with this move? Is two minutes enough time to describe a situation and make desired comments/solutions/etc.?

I am not familiar with the reasons council had to create preregistration rules and shorten the time for citizens participation to agree or disagree. I support citizens participation in an orderly and respectful manner with sufficient time allocated to get their point across.

 

4. Corporate Welfare – please respond by March 21, 2024

The City Council has given away millions of dollars and/or potential revenues to companies to encourage development. At what point has there been enough “encouragement” and when should the taxpayers-- and lowering tax rates-- become a higher priority than development? Why?

It's important for local governments to strike a balance between fostering economic development and ensuring responsible use of taxpayer funds. Evaluating the effectiveness of incentives and their impact on the community's well-being is crucial. Adjusting priorities to address taxpayer concerns, such as lowering tax rates, should be considered when the benefits of further development are outweighed by the financial strain on taxpayers. This requires ongoing assessment and transparency in decision-making processes to best serve the interests of all stakeholders.

 

5. Communications – please respond by March 28, 2024

If you receive an e-mail from a constituent on an Arlington issue and the constituent logically laid out and well documented the issue, will you respond to the constituent? Why or why not? What actions will you take?

When I receive an email from a constituent I’ll promptly respond and address the issue immediately in order to solve it.

Will also follow up with the person to communicate the progress that has been made.

 

 

6. Issues – please respond by April 4, 2024

Other than public safety what is the most important issue the city council is currently facing? Why? What are your suggestions for addressing this issue?

A significant challenge the City council faces is finding solutions to redevelop outdated housing, retail, and office spaces while ensuring economic prosperity. Some actions can help to address it:

1. Community Engagement and Input: Encourage participation in town hall meetings, surveys, and forums to ensure that the redevelopment plans align with the needs and desires of the community.

2. Strategic Planning: Plans should consider factors such as job creation, a mix of housing options, infrastructure improvements, and sustainable development practices.

3. Public-Private Partnerships: Collaborating with private developers, businesses, and investors can help leverage resources, expertise, and funding to maximize the impact of redevelopment projects.

4. Zoning and Regulatory Policies: Streamlining the permitting process, offering incentives for development in targeted areas, and implementing flexible zoning regulations can help encourage economic growth while maintaining the community's character.

5. Small Business Support: Implement programs and initiatives to support entrepreneurship, provide access to capital, and foster the development of local companies, particularly in underserved neighborhoods.

6. Measuring Success: To ensure accountability and transparency, regularly track and evaluate progress towards goals such as job creation, tax revenue generation, property value appreciation, and community well-being.