2016 Addendum–
Not a lot has changed since my last campaign. The city is still reacting instead of proactively trying to attract better and more diverse business opportunities. Incentives are still being provided for almost any business who applies—some business getting incentives who had already decided to invest in the city and just took advantage of the program.

This past year the city embarked on adopting a strategic economic development plan for the city. Preliminary discussions have pointed to the shortfalls noted above along with others. Adopting such a plan and declaring success, as done in the past, cannot be allowed to happen. We must make the investments in people, time and resources to carry it out. One of the significant opportunities to implementing the new economic development plan will be the hiring of a new Economic Development Director this summer.

It is also very important to meet our economic development goals that we do not lose site of the unique asset we have in attracting business which is the historic character and small town charm of Fredericksburg. Quality of life and sense of place are becoming important factors in a business’s decision on where to locate. Also, as this region continues to build out maintaining our historic character will also bring in more funds thorough tourism. In short—Historic Preservation is economic development.

“Even before the recent economic crash it was evident the city needed to diversify its tax base. The retail boom of the ’90s, which provided revenue for new schools, pools, and services, fell victim to regional competition, and as a result, revenues declined. Incentives were seen as an approach to deal with this problem.

Incentives through tax rebates were to be used to recruit businesses that provided higher-end employment or opportunities that would attract new visitors to the city. New businesses downtown would fit the city’s historic character. Better-paying jobs and tourism would not only help the city’s bottom line but also would help support existing businesses. The ultimate beneficiary would be city taxpayers.”

  • Ensure that incentives meet city goals of diversifying the tax base. IN the case of our historic downtown that businesses are compatible with its character.
  • Work actively with the local business/educational community to identify business opportunities and infrastructure issues that need to be addressed and how.
  • Be open to working with our regional neighbors on economic development opportunities

The Issues

Too often we are hearing from those in City Hall that they are doing what is required to inform the public. {more…}

No matter the adversity there are always opportunities. While presenting significant challenges to local governments in providing levels of service expected by residents {more…}

I cannot understand those who justify raising taxes because our tax rate is lower than other localities or those who opposes tax increases on the basis that taxes are too high. {more…}

“Even before the recent economic crash it was evident the city needed to diversify its tax base. {more…}

“As we consider the future development of our communities we must keep three simple truths in the fore front of our deliberations…” {more…}

“You’re going to get a lot of people pushing to open that river up,” Kelly said. “ {more…}

“At the end of the day, what I want to be able to do is say, alright, [GWRC], if you want to take care of transportation, these are the projects you’re going to need, this is how much it’s going to cost, this is how much we’re going to get from the state…{more…}