The Richmond Register

November 5, 2012

Jaynes enters his first race for city commission

City Commission

Register staff report

RICHMOND — Don Jaynes, a certified public accountant who previously was a community member of the city’s former finance advisory committee, is in his first race for city commission.

He provided written responses to questions posed by the Richmond Register.

Should funding should be restored to the Parks and Recreation Department which saw the biggest reduction in the 2012-13 budget?

“We need to raise the parks budget, if for no other reason than to compensate (employees) for wages lost and to purchase new equipment, or at least good used equipment.”

Is the number of firefighters, 52, which is two below budgeted strength, adequate?

“This is not a commissioner’s or mayor’s call. The city manager and the fire chief should determine if we are understaffed.”

How to fix the city's storm-water problems, and pay for it.

“I believe our entire system is undersized. We need to take a long, hard look at this, but not too long. I have walked the streets and have been disappointed the city has never brought our older streets up to par. I believe the only way to finance this project is with bonds. The golf course will be paid off soon, and money used for that bond payment could go toward this project. Our citizens already have too many fees and taxes. Sidewalks and curbs should be a part of this upgrade.

Rezoning corner of Barnes Mill Road and Lancaster Avenue for a student housing complex?

“Assuming we have a competent planning and zoning board, the city commission should concur with its findings, unless there are compelling reasons not to.”

Funding, promoting the Human Rights Commission.

“The Human Rights Commission should be given necessary funding. Equal rights should be applied to all people!”

Should Richmond ban discrimination based on sexual orientation?

“I don’t believe these folks should be discriminated against. Ours laws and court already provide protection for all people. I am a Bible-believing Baptist, and I don’t agree with their lifestyle, but I am not going to judge them. Some of my good friends are gay, and I care about them.”

Are minorities adequately represented and treated fairly in the city workforce?

Based on personal experience, but not statistics, “I don’t believe there is fair representation of minorities, and I will discuss this with the city manager.”

How to promote, redevelop downtown?

“Downtown business owners should start their own association and promote activities that would draw people downtown. Remember, businesses outside of downtown also would like funds for promotions.”

Allowing drinks to be served after 9 p.m. on Sundays.

“There is nothing magical or spiritual about 9 p.m. Our city allows drink sale on Sunday and other cities around us allow such after 9 p.m. Change this.

Critique of the past two years.

“The citizens must realize the budget was balanced before the incumbents took office. If you go back to the January 2011 finance committee meeting, you will see the previous commission projected a surplus of approximately $500,000 for the year ending June 2011. That commission made the cuts, such as doing away with a separate 911 service that cost the city $700,000 a year. With the finance committee’s help, the city manager and finance director brought the budget into balance.

Goals if elected.

“The biggest problem we have is not finances. It’s a government that isn’t operating according to law. Back in the early 1970s, we voted to change to the city manager form of government. With this system, the city manager is chief financial officer and calls the day-to-day shots. The commissioners and mayor are primarily legislators, charged with setting policy and long-range planning.

“The city manager system works best with an experienced, educated city manager who consults with and values the opinions of department heads. The city manager, hired by the commission, prepares a budget for the commissioners’ approval, then works to stay within it.

The mayor and commission should allow the city manager system to function as it’s designed. If I’m elected, that is the type government we’ll have.”