Election Guide: Roger Boughton for City Council Ward 2

Published 11:46 am Friday, October 29, 2010

Roger Boughton is the challenging candidate for City Council Ward 2

Q. If, as expected, the state reduces financial aid to cities, it might mean less money for Austin. What city programs or services would you recommend cutting to reduce Austin’s overall expenditures?
A. I am sure you are referring to the Intergovernmental Revenues which the city receives approximately $8,074,529 from the state. It is a significant amount of our city budget of $27,224,409. I do not recommend cutting funds devoted to public safety or economic development. That leaves highways and streets and general administration to make up for any loss of revenue. Reducing services and or programs ought to be a careful process as we are talking about people’s lives and their future.

Q. How do you plan to promote job creation and employment growth as a member of the city council?
At the present time we devote $255,692 towards economic development. A combined effort by our own Austin Port Authority and the Development Corporation of Austin make a unique partnership for economic development both for Austin and Mower County. I support their effort and would insist that they continue to work closely together in expanding local businesses. It is through growing local businesses that a community prospers and grows.

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Q. The city council has been faulted for getting too involved in management of some city departments, specifically the police and fire departments. What do you think the council’s role should be in providing oversight of those and other city operations?
A. The Council’s role and responsibility is in holding managers accountable for their particular department and to set policy. The day to day operations of the department is entirely the responsibility of the department head whether it is the police, fire or parks department. Getting involved in the day to day operation of the department undermines the authority of the supervisor and/or manager.  The Council is responsible for hiring the supervisor/department head.  However, we must continue to listen to what our residents want and use good judgment to make decisions in the best interest of the City of Austin.

Q. Austin was recently awarded a $5 million grant for flood mitigation. Other than the projects this grant will fund, do you have any ideas for future flood mitigation projects? If so, what are they?
A. We are reminded of our potential flood problems by recently experiencing another flood. Effort and good planning should be devoted to developing wetlands and other mitigation efforts to slow down the water entering our rivers and streams. Purchasing property in the flood plan should continue along with working closely with our partners by being sensitive and encouraging flood plain zoning.

Q. Why do you believe you are the best choice to represent Austin on the city council?

A. First, I entered into this race when I saw that the representative running for the second ward was unopposed. This is not healthy for government or the community of Austin. The present candidate has been a city council representative for the past 20 out of 28 years. This is not to say he was not a good council person. However, the city needs fresh eyes for both opportunities and challenges that the city faces in the near future. I have been a resident of Austin for the past 34 years. I was appointed to the City Council in 2002 to complete a one year term. I have served on the Library Board, City Charter and Fire Commissions.  I am active in the life of the community with the Red Cross, Austin YMCA and as an AARP Tax Aide Volunteer. I believe that I can make a difference in serving just one four year term if elected.