League of Women Voters Candidate Questionnaire 2017
The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization encouraging informed and active participation in government. The League influences public policy through education and advocacy. Each election they put together one of the most comprehensive guides to candidates in local elections.
This year’s topics include the candidate’s opinion on areas including Fenton’s biggest issues, efforts to ensure transparency, and how they make decisions on behalf of the residents of Fenton. All pretty important to our community.
The answers are kept short, making them easy to understand and right to the point. Unfortunately, not all of the candidates took the time to answer, but I would think that might help you decide who is worth your vote.
See all the results here: Vote411
Candidate Name: David McDermott
Education: B.A. Business with a minor in Innovation & Problem Solving
Community Involvement (current): Fenton Education Foundation (Board Member), Fenton Tigers Travel Baseball (Board Member, 11U Coach, 14U Coach), St. John Applefest (Festival Chair), Southern Lakes Parks & Recreation (Board of Commissioners), Fenton Parks & Recreation (Board Member), Fenton Industrial Facility Tax Credit Committee (Member)
Community Involvement (past): Board member for Fenton Planning Commission, Fenton Zoning Board of Appeals, Fenton Little League, United Way of Greater Cleveland, the Cleveland International Program, and Junior Achievement of Western New York. Former youth basketball, youth baseball, and youth softball coach.
Campaign Message: Fenton’s Future Starts Today
Question #1: What are the top THREE issues currently facing your community? If elected, how will you address them?
The biggest issue we face is roads that are in steady decline. The cost of fixing our roads is bigger than we can cut from other areas in the budget. We need to put a fiscally reasonable plan in place that allows us to fix the current problems and prevents us from being right back where we are today a decade from now.
A second issue is infrastructure (water & sewer systems). Older neighborhoods are in bad shape. We can address this at the same time as roads, making updates while roads are being redone, and save residents a massive amount of money.
The big issue we face as a community is increased youth drug use. This is a problem we have to address as a community. I’d like to work with the schools and city to put a parent education program in place that can slow down this epidemic.If elected, If elected, what best practices would you employ in making decisions for the city?
Question #2: If elected, If elected, what best practices would you employ in making decisions for the city?
For every decision, we must consider: (1) impact on residents, (2) cost to the city, and (3) timeline to complete the project
If a decision will impact our residents, we have a duty to get public input before voting. We represent our community, not our own personal interest, and this helps ensure we make well-informed decisions.
Cost and project timeline are very closely aligned. The easiest ways to drive up costs on a project is delays. We need more diligence to ensure all city projects come in on-time and under budget. We can’t allow contractors to come back for more money, driving up the cost. Additionally, we need to stay vigilant that we only spend what’s in our budget.
Question #3: What efforts would you take as an elected leader to ensure transparency in governance?
Monthly work sessions to review pending big issues help give residents an opportunity to have their opinion heard, in a public forum. These sessions also give us the opportunity to discuss future issues that could impact our community (roads, legalized marijuana, state law changes, etc.) but aren’t being voted on at this time. Every meeting is open to the public, and we work to ensure any resident that will be impacted by the outcome of these discussions is present to provide input.
These meetings (and all Council Meetings) are public, but very few attend. We need new (and better) ways to communicate upcoming issues and get resident feedback. Better communication with our community through different channels can help improve community engagement.
Question #4: What qualifications do you possess that will make you an asset on the council?
An effective City Council represents a cross-section of the community it serves. Elected officials should bring varied backgrounds – public service, private industry, and community organizations. I have all three.
I’m a City Councilman serving on multiple boards and commissions (see above). I have 20+ years business experience including building multi-million dollar businesses, rebuilding programs, managing global teams, and leading launch of global projects. I’m also involved with non-profits and charitable foundations in leadership and board roles. I serve on the Fenton Education Foundation and Fenton Tigers Travel Baseball boards. I also run the largest festival in Genesee County, St. John Applefest in Fenton (4 days, 500 volunteers, 30,000 visitors).