Candidate profile: Nancy Moss

Name: Nancy Moss

Age: 70

Immediate family members: Single

Town: Collinsville

Office seeking: Collinsville City Councilwoman

Occupation: Church Administrator and Director of the State Park Food Pantry

Previous and current elected offices and terms served: Collinsville City Council, three terms, 2005 to 2017

Why are you running? I am running for re-election because in the past two years our city council has been riddled with scandals and lawsuits. I will continue to stand against corruption and work for the best interests of our citizens to restore integrity and transparency to our city government, so the people of Collinsville can fully trust their leadership again, and our city’s good reputation is restored. I will continue to work to make city government honest, open, and to put residents first.

What is the most important issue facing the Collinsville City Council? How would you approach it? Aside from the issue of integrity, it is runaway spending and tax increases. The majority of the current council has raised taxes twice in the last two years. They raised the utility tax from 1 1/2 percent to 4 percent, created a new TIF and business district, and added an additional 1 percent sales tax in that district. I argued against and voted against these increases, which unfortunately passed with a three to two vote. I will continue to fight any more tax increases and work to cut spending and taxes to reasonable and necessary levels. In the past two years, I believe our taxpayers’ needs and, in some cases, the hardships of paying these increased taxes, have been ignored. It is time to once again put taxpayers before taxation!

If you were writing a job description for the position you’re seeking, what would it say? In Collinsville’s council-manager form of government, the five-member city council is the governing body of the city, elected by the public, and the city manager is hired by the council to carry out the policies it establishes. The city manager is the chief administrative officer of the city, carrying out the policies of the city council in the operation of all departments.

The city council members provide legislative direction for the city. The city council sets policy, approves the budget, sets the tax rates and essentially determines the overall direction of the city. City council members should be true public servants: trustworthy, honest, and understanding of residents’ concerns and needs. They are accountable to the residents to ensure that the city operates in a fiscally responsible, ethical and transparent manner; that the city provides excellent services at the lowest possible cost; and that the residents are safe, secure and not burdened with excessive taxation or regulation that would limit their ability to prosper and grow.

How would you keep costs down or reduce costs in your municipality? For several years prior to the last election in 2015, the city had trimmed expenditures, raised reserves and worked diligently to achieve a strong and sustainable financial position, while maintaining services and public safety and a climate for responsible growth. Raising taxes was not even on the horizon. But since the last election, council viewpoints have changed dramatically. As a result, the size of our government has grown, spending has increased in everything from expense account dinners to TIF payments, salaries and much more. I will continue to oppose the excessive spending, propose cost-saving measures, make sure that our citizens are fully informed, and insist on fiscal responsibility.

Why should people vote for you? I support having excellent police and fire protection; continuously maintaining and improving infrastructure — streets, water, wastewater, and promoting a great business and residential climate. I believe that many of the recent goals and plans made for the city would be unaffordable, unsustainable, overreaching and even intrusive on our citizens.

I believe that Collinsville’s greatest days can be ahead of us, but in order to achieve this success we must get back to the basics: honestly, integrity and common sense. We must refocus on what we should and shouldn’t be doing and spending, dedicate ourselves to the knowledge that every penny we spend belongs to the taxpayers, and always put taxpayers before taxation. As your councilman I will never forget that, and will work diligently until it happens.