Newport City Council candidate Q-and-A: Dan FloodNewport City Council candidate Dan Flood answers questions posed by the Bulletin.
Why are you most qualified to serve as a member of the Newport City Council?
My background comes from 20 years in the navy operating and fixing nuclear power plants on board four submarines and one aircraft carrier, and nine years with Xcel Energy. This unique experience has given me the leadership and ability to evaluate both administrative staff and public works activities. During these years I have learned to work with a very diverse group of people from administrative staff and union members, professional engineers and executives to state and federal agencies. While working with these groups I have learned that everyone’s opinion adds value and that you must weigh them all prior to making any crucial decisions. The ability to involve everyone is critical when planning and executing multi-million dollar projects. I have the leadership skills necessary to involve both the professional city staff and the residents when it comes to moving Newport forward.
What is the biggest issue facing Newport, and how would you propose to address it?
The biggest issue facing Newport can be seen as two separate issues. The first is our never-ending property tax increases. Over the last few years we have seen a continuous increase in our city portion of our property taxes. We rely heavily on residential property taxes and need to attract business development in Newport to spread out our tax base. To grow our businesses we must act to clean up properties along any entrance route into our city and use our economic development fund to aid new businesses in coming to Newport.
With the new transit station being built next year this is the perfect time to move forward to build a stronger city that will attract a wide array of retail and offices to help protect the homeowners from continued property taxes increases. Next year’s projected budget shows a $600,000 surplus that is destined for the city’s bank accounts with no immediate purpose in mind. This is occurring while the council has voted again to raise your property taxes next year.
Regarding recent potential financial oversight issues that were raised, are you satisfied with the city’s finances and the current controls in place? Why or why not?
The current state of affairs regarding control of our city’s finances has become an issue that is polarizing our city. While we have a healthy reserve already on hand our city leaders have neglected our current policies on purchasing and hang their hats on an audit that has repeat findings and only serves to audit the city against its own policies.
We have years of credit card charges with no receipts to show what was purchased or for what reason. Even more disconcerting is that many of these charges violated our cities purchasing policy which can be found on our cities website.
On a daily basis we have neglected this policy and its requirement to use a purchase order system for many standard items so that it can provide traceability. Our council members are supposed to represent us, the citizens, to ensure that our dollars are being spent wisely and in accordance with our own procedures. It is perfectly clear that this is not happening and a complete review of our purchasing policies and requirements of city staff purchasing habits is in order.
Occupation: Maintenance planning and scheduling superintendent, Xcel Energy
Lived in Newport: 11 years
Family: Wife Kimberly; daughter Dana, son Joe.