Candidates often describe themselves as fiscally conservative. By tagging themselves with this label, they suggest they will be diligent with expenses. I count myself in that category. I also watch carefully for potential waste and implications of fraud. But if one candidate tries to claim they own the label exclusively, don’t be fooled. After all, who would claim that they are anything less than financially prudent?
The deeper question is: who has practiced fiscal conservatism on a level of Lewisville’s operating budget? Look for this experience, not idle rhetoric or ambitious intentions, to see real fiscal intelligence.
I have that experience. I have managed multi-million dollar projects. The scope of our city’s budget is nothing new to me. It was only after I successfully managed intricate budgets and projects that I gained the knowledge and earned the responsibility of handling large ones. As I worked my way though the corporate world, I refined my ability to forecast outcomes and predict pitfalls.
It is one thing to say you will save a dime or a dollar, but quite another to comprehend the long-term implications of financial decisions. That ability comes with years of practice, not just an antcipated change of responsibilities. Lewisville City Hall is not the place to learn these skills, nor is being a councilperson a task for someone without high-level financial management experience. No one succeeds in business at that level who does not clearly understand fiscal conservatism. No business could survive without managers who have mastered this ethic.
Lewisville has a long history of intelligent leadership from City Council and City Staff, and that has meant great value for our taxpayers’ dollar. Despite the recent recession, Lewisville has weathered the situation quite well, including the recent refinance of bond debt which saved our citizens hundreds of thousands dollars in interest payments. New large employers including Citibank and Kellogg’s have chosen Lewisville for major business expansions.
That ability is enhanced by our AAA bond rating created by wise fiscal policies that focus on our primary City services. We have also achieved that by consistently balancing our budget while still providing a high level of City services. We have not had the same budget issues to deal with that Dallas, Plano and other DFW area cities have had to wrestle with. That is the result of managing our money well.
The answer to our future success is continuing to be smart business managers and good financial stewards. That means taking judicious advantage of our AAA bond rating when the timing is right to finance projects that, if postponed, will mean both higher construction costs and possibly higher interest rates. It does not mean letting our infrastructure deteriorate and watching our tax base decline while we try to save up money to fix long-overdue and increasing more costly projects. This is another major difference between me and my opponent, and the product of my understanding of big business finance.
I believe that leading a corporation, and that includes our City of Lewisville, isn’t about not spending money, but rather about spending it wisely. That means using bond financing intelligently, and keeping a manageable debt level in order to maintain our City services and retain property values and neighborhood quality.
Look past the catchphrase of “conservative” and look at real practical experience. Give this very careful thought before you cast your ballot. If anyone tries to tell you there is just one fiscal conservative in this race, take it with a grain of salt. But if someone tells you there is one candidate who has actually practiced that policy on large projects, and understands smart fiscal management, believe them.
I am that one candidate.