1. What do you see as the two greatest strengths of Euclid?
Euclid is a great community. The community that raised me. So, to me, there are many strengths. If I had to say two in particular, i'd say that our geographical location is definitely an unutilized strength. Both our freeway access and our lakefront are crucial drivers of economic success for communities, yet we take minimal advantage of either of them at all.
Secondly, our diversity is a great asset, and strength. It always has been!
2. What do you see as the two greatest weaknesses of Euclid?
In my opinion our voting power in this community is a weakness for sure. But across this nation we have lost it. Politicians meet us, greet us and tag us by making us another line on a data entry report. Then they use the report to keep us roped in to their causes. Not our causes, but the causes that ultimately benefit their agenda, and even greater goal, re-election. We then vote the names we "know", and they continue to take care of the names they know, and regular folks are tired of getting left out the process. The "by the people" portion of the constitution has been hijacked, and in this race we have a shot at winning that back, by sending a strong message with a Vote for Epps, signalling that we all are tired of being left out the process.
3. What can you do as Mayor to help the Board of Education strengthen our schools?
Strong schools are very important. Our schools have always had a reputation of excellence. However, even with the construction of our new schools, we dont see very good ratings. Doubling down on throwing money and new facilities at the problem is the last thing we need to do. Fostering in a new era of transparent leadership, we can work closely with the schools and its treasurer, who in the sun journal some years back stated there is financially, a lot of waste in our schools. I also would advocate for a dress code. One that enforces a tie for our young men of all ages. And you know what, with a full-time grant writer for all departments working in my administration, we will find grant dollars to help lower income families afford it. Im talking about reforms that make sense for everybody in the long run.
4. What plans do you have to strengthen the business environment in Euclid?
One of the very first things, after signing a pre written letter to the schools expressing our adminiatrations intent to pose to the voters of Euclid, a repel of the shared income tax at the next election (2016), will be to arrange a meeting with business leaders from all around Euclid. Coupling them by areas, we will meet and let them tell me personally, the mayor, the individual state of their businesses and what they are experiencing first hand. This is the first step in strengthening the business environment. I am a business broker and talk to business owners in Euclid everyday who all express a discontent with the relationship they have with city hall. This just cant happen. In todays society you have to have a go getter mentality. You have to go out and get new businesses. You have to make sure no other city can walk in any Euclid business, and offer something you have not already offered. This is what needs to be done and this is how you get it done.
5. Are you current on all real estate and city income tax responsibilities?
6. What financial answer do you have to guarantee the future of Shore Cultural Centre ?
We have a great executive director at Shore now, employed by coral. Laura Kidder does a phenomenal job. However, she needs a partner. We have to make sure we are more responsive to her needs. What we can't do is tear down similar buildings we bought with taxpayer dollars (St. Roberts over $600k) and not salvage doors, etc. that could help restore Shore. When I am Mayor, I will hire a full-time grant writer, to be sure that there are no federal dollars we miss out on, in any aspect of our government. Shire will be well provided for. I also will look at the agreement between Euclid and Coral today. Privitization is good sometimes, and sometimes it's not. Under this administration we have just about privitized everything, and in my opinion all of these contracts need to be reevaluated.
7. What are your plans to strengthen the recreation programs?
The very first task of my newly hired, full-time grant writer will be to find Euclid the dollars to break ground on a state of the art, recreation and youth services center. This is a must. We can't keep making cuts in the recreation department and then complaining about our young people blanketing our streets and our library. Government has to effectively play its role in giving our kids something to do. Increasing senior services and recreation programs will be priority in an Epps administration.
8. How will you address the aging facilities such as pools and tennis courts?
Not to repeat myself, but this grant writer (possibly Kristal Grida who has already agreed) will be very busy. In my opinion, with a $70,000.00 benefit package, one should be. We have to preserve and properly upkeep all of our facilities. By my second year in office, most pools, tennis courts, etc. will be up and running and our kids will respect their own property, or lose the privilege, Period!
9. What will be your top two priorities when elected?
In my first year as Mayor, we must end the shared income tax. Under our plan, working families recieve a 3 million dollar tax cut, and the city of Euclid receives a 3 million dollar increase in revenue. With us being 55 million dollars in debt, No candidate can talk about what they are going to do, until identifying how they are going to pay for it. I am the only candidate in this race who has done that.
Secondly, we must increase our safety forces. It is important with increased crime in our community that we send a strong message to misguided young adults, and misbehaved teens, that we will not tolerate anything other than excellence in the city of Euclid. During budget hearings this year, the Mayor not only laid off firefighters, but announced they wouldn't be replacing retiring police officers either. Crime in Euclid the way it is today, regular folks don't understand this. We have to be strong when it comes to our safety forces. However, at the same time, be sure our officers have the training necessary to be effective community police officers in this diverse community. I will bring in folks from across America and the county to give a series of workshops on diversity sensitivity and fairness. We must police effectively, not over police. These are two things we will be sure to do in 2016.
10. How do you plan to pay for them?
I think I have laid out plans to pay for everything I propose and am willing to bet, I am the only candidate offering specifics to that effect. Enough of career politicians shoveling us the same old shit and calling it sugar. Let's vote Epps in this election, and actually get some real things done!