City council: David Pritzlaff
Why do you feel you're the most qualified candidate?
I am a candidate that has attended several council meetings and all of the budget meetings and workshops over the last two years, keeping myself well informed about the city's financial status. As such, the council will not have the burden of getting me up to speed on the issues.
What do you like about Farmington? What would you change?
Farmington is a great place to live because of what it offers. Good location, recreation and the opportunities it has to offer people. Business opportunities for people to open businesses of any size, plenty of sports and recreational amenities. Snowmobile trails are accessible for wintertime recreation while surrounding cities have banned them.
I would like to change the way our city spends money. We all have wants but lately city dollars have been spent on wants forgetting the needs. We want a trail system but we cannot afford to maintain it. Therefore we need to stop building additional trails until we have funds to support what we have. I would like to ensure that all city buildings and structures have maintenance funds so that when work needs to be done on the arena, the pool, or a trail we have the money on hand and do not have to bond for the expense simply because council lacked the foresight to save money for a rainy day.
What is the role of city council in attracting development?
The council's role in attracting commercial and residential development is limited. I do believe a positive council and staff working together is key. What council can do is reduce the development fees charged by the city so that Farmington is competitive with surrounding cities. That is not currently the case and it needs to change. The process of selling the city, getting our name out to people who are looking for new business opportunities, we need to get on the map. This is a staff function that is supported by council.
What are the essential services the city of Farmington offers, and would you be willing to make cuts to those services if necessary?
The essential services provided by the city are police, fire and public works. Although other services are offered, we need police to keep us safe, firefighters to protect our property and workers to maintain our streets.
To be fiscally responsible, you have to have everything on the table as a potential cut. Although essential services would not be my first choice to make a reduction these expenses make up the majority of our budget and the cost of these and all other services need to be scrutinized.
Before cutting these services I would first review non-essential expenses. For example I would stop the current practice of renewing legal and engineering contracts without putting them out to bid. I would evaluate the cost effectiveness of municipal liquor sales and solid waste collection.
If you could address just one issue, what would it be, and why?
Taxes and fees. We as a community cannot afford to keep paying increases in city taxes while our homes are decreasing in value. We cannot afford to fee our way into a lower tax levy we need cuts. We need to eliminate the $150,000 street light utility fund and we need to just say no to the proposed $400,000 gas and electric franchise fee. We need to make reductions in the city budget so that we are living within our means, just like we do with our family budget at home.
Some things that we are currently paying for need to be addressed as long range planning issues, something that I am ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work on.