Tom Warren II - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Tom Warren II

Tom Warren II

Running for: Amarillo City Council Place 3

How he voted in the November 2016 city bond election: No to all seven propositions.

What are your major campaign points and how do you plan to make them happen? 

I think we need to be fiscally responsible and everybody says that. But by being a small business owner and having been a small business owner for a long number of years, I feel like it's important that you work within your budget and you work within your means. The thing about being a small business owner is the fact that you don't have the ability to go back to the taxpayers and ask them to indemnify your bad choices. You have to make it work on your own so as a small business owner you get kind of a different accountability aspect, so I'm really large on accountability. I'm really strong on youth and community engagement. I'd like to see more volunteer programs done. I'd like to see the city look for additional ways for funding, more creative ways for funding through grants and things along that line. Those are things that I'm really looking forward to. I'm really big on the truth. I'm an honest individual. I'm not a salesman, I'm not a politician, I'm just a citizen first trying to do the right thing. I'm extremely fiscally responsible and completely engaged. I try and be really interactive as far as going to city council meetings and things like that. I've attended over 100 events in the last year. Most of those were campaign related, city council meetings, town hall meetings, things like that. So chances are if you go to a meeting that has city policy I'll be there. 

Do you think the city should continue to issue bonds to fund future projects, or just use money allocated in the annual budget?

Most people don't realize that the budget is at saturation. The budget is a lean, mean machine. I mean, they've got it trimmed down, there's not a lot of extra in there. There's not actually enough money in there to go ahead and take care of the things that need to be taken care of. So moving forward I'm understanding that it's just like any business. You don't have the luxury of saying 'well we can't spend any money.' Money is going to have to be spent. You have to do that to maintain services. For those additional things such as quality of life you have to spend money for that. But especially for the services that the city is responsible for providing to the individuals in the town. Money is going to have to be spend. Certificates of obligation, they're a bad thing but they're a good thing. They actually help you get the job done when you don't have the funding for other things. And everything can't go back to the voters on a bond issue. The main things can. But the day to day operations, if there's not money in the budget unfortunately they're going to have to fund that money from some place. But the truth is what you need are individuals that are smart enough, money conscious enough, and have the leadership skills that are important to do the right thing at the right time to know when that money needs to be spent or it doesn't.

Do you think the city should have a role in economic development, or should that task fall solely on the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation?

The city should have a role, but it's main role should be to go ahead and foster an atmosphere where businesses can flourish, and by that I mean you can't give businesses that move in an abatement then toss them in and on the backside make it hard for them to do business and have a difficult time through the licensing and everything else. The permitting issue really need a lot of scrutiny. But as far as the Economic Development Corporation goes, I really do understand [it] is an important thing. I'm not a hater of it. I would like to see a forensic audit on it. That's just best practices. It's 27 years that they've been in business and that's all taxpayer money. It should be evaluated to see if their mission statement needs to change. 

What letter grade would you give to the current city council and why?

I won't grade. I was not there. There are a lot of people that are anxious to grade but the important thing to realize is - and especially since we've been going through this process, not just myself but all the candidates involved - when you get to looking at the things that we have been exposed to that are issues in the city, there's no right answer on most things. So as far as accountability and as far as performance and everything like that, I wasn't there at that time and I can't make that decision. I think though that they probably for the most part did the best job that they could with the information that they had and the circumstances that they were provided with. 

What do you think you would bring to the city council that's not there right now?

I am extremely honest. I'm not saying that that's not there now, but the truth of the matter is I am beholding to no one. I am an extremely honest individual. I am a citizen first. I am a citizen first. I prefer to go ahead and look out for the citizens. I am an individual that is a citizen that has filed to run for a spot. And I will do the best, if elected, to go ahead and make sure the citizens are understood and have a voice.

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