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Candidate Viewpoint: Newport City Council candidate Dan Flood

Hello, Newport, my name is Dan Flood and I am seeking to become your next City Council member. I learned my sense of hard work, determination and the ability to work together with people of all walks of life from my family and the Navy. I learned that honor, integrity and respect matter and I have always strived to keep these values as the focal point of my actions.

While in the Navy I learned to implement strong leadership in difficult situations while serving onboard four submarines and one aircraft carrier where I ran nuclear reactors and engine rooms. When things on board a submarine start to happen, no one brings up their differences; we put our heads together, put our skills together and do the job.

I continued to develop these leadership skills when I relocated to Newport in 2001, retired from the Navy in 2003 and took a job with Xcel Energy where I continue to work today with large, diverse groups from all sorts of backgrounds, from union employees and technicians to engineers and executives.

Now, when I tell most people that I am running for council, the most common reactions I get are statements of good luck, or the question, "Why would you put yourself through that?" Let me be very clear on this point. I am running because I believe that we can do better than our current council and Newport needs better. This is about bringing my skills in leadership and work ethic to the council chambers to represent all of us, not just friends or special interests.

This election is about a lot, this election is about Newport and its future. That said there are three issues that are very dear to me. The first is taxes.

According to our approved 2012 budget found on the city website, our property tax revenue has risen by 29 percent over the last four years. With no significant increase in local businesses this burden has fallen on us, the homeowners. We have an approximate $600,000 surplus next year. Yes, I say surplus because after the bills are paid for city operations the council plans on taking the rest and banking it. During these tough times when many of us struggle just to make ends meet the council should not be raising your taxes yet again to build their bank accounts. With an account balance of over 45 percent of our annual budget already in the bank this is a perfect opportunity for the city leaders to not raise taxes or consider a small reduction.

The next area that is vital to our city is appearance. As a member of your planning commission I sat and listened to developers tell the cities leaders during a joint meeting that development will not occur until the city is cleaned up. While I do not support a draconian style enforcement policy I do believe that we need to start with our visible properties at all entrances to our city. We have broken down buildings and vacant lots with piles of tires and abandoned trailers. The city needs to start in these areas and work with the owners to revitalize our appearance to others in order to attract potential businesses.

Lastly, but certainly not the least important is leadership, accountability and respect. As your council member I will use my leadership skills that I have learned over the years to put forth a higher standard of accountability and respect for our citizens and businesses. Our council needs to reflect the community we live in and work to forge bonds with everyone in Newport. The divisive attitude that has plagued our city over the last eight years must go and to do that it will take new members who pride themselves on representing everyone equally.

I would ask you to vote for me Dan Flood for City Council on Nov 6.