Name: Aaron Schwarz
Occupation: Contracting Officer
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Position seeking: City Councilman
Why are you running and why should people vote for you? I am running because I live in Highland and have an interest in insuring that the city is ran well. People should vote for me because I have an independent view and am willing to express it. Even when my position may be unpopular, I act in the best interest of the city. My chief concern is ensuring that our tax dollars are being used to make the most impact and the best value proposition that they possibly can. I want to act as the last review and “common sense” check on the city’s strategic decisions and expenditures.
What is the most important issue facing your town? How would you approach it? I don’t think there is a singular issue. The primary goal is to ensure that the city remains financial healthy and a great community to live in. There are several current issues that need to be managed to ensure this goal is reached, including: Ensuring that the city property insurance rates don’t increase in response to the changing FEMA flood maps. Managing the new public safety building (police station) and ensuring it meets our current and long-term needs at a reasonable cost. Leveraging the city’s fiber network to ensure that there is value realized and that HCS is a benefit to the city in years to come just like electric and water departments. Continuing to maintain the roads, refurbish the sanitary sewer and otherwise maintain city infrastructure. And ensuring that the city is not making business difficult to conduct in Highland with unnecessary involvement, policies or “red tape”.
Under what circumstances, if any, would you raise taxes or fees in the municipality? Please explain. Highland’s current financial situation is strong, I don’t think there will be a need to raise taxes. If there were a situation (bad drinking water, flood problems, dangerous infrastructure, etc) that threatened public safety the city may need to act quickly to ensure those issues were mitigated. Highly unlikely that any of these would occur or there would be a need to raise taxes, but public safety is something you can’t put a price tag on.
Crime has been an issue in parts of the metro-east. What is the best way to stop the problem in and around your community? Highland does not have a crime problem. The best way to stop crime problems other communities may be experiencing is through having a great police force and a clean, strong community. I believe that if we manage the city well, we will continue to have a minimal and manageable crime situation.