Mark Gee Questionnaire Responses
Each candidate was asked to answer seven questions about East Greenwich and their candidacy for Town Council.
1. My wife wants me out of her hair at the end of the day! I'm kidding, of course, although honestly, I could never put in the hours of study, review, meetings, etc. to serve on the Council without the help, support and encouragement of Dana, my wife. I have always been driven to serve—whether it is for customers, community, less fortunate, citizens, taxpayers.
2. The steady march of property taxes—onward and upward—usually at a rate greater than that of taxpayer income. Unchecked government growth and debt—almost $9 billion at the state level alone. Unfunded actuarial accrued liabilities for EG's pensions and the sleeping giant—OPEB, short for “other post-employment benefits,” including healthcare, life insurance, and other deferred compensation provided after retirement. Our latest fire district financial statements show unfunded actuarial accrued liabilities of approximately $25 million—and the town's UAAL will be equally daunting. Better than many other communities, but still unacceptable. We've got to acknowledge this liability and exercise leadership to reverse course. We have a philosophical dilemma, as well, as to what kind of government we want and what we feel we can afford. The resolution to this question will also determine the survival and/or sustainability of our economy.
3. I believe good leadership and management make the town and fire district operate well. As both a fire commissioner and town councilor, it makes sense to me to reduce the barriers between town departments. I think we've got to keep an open mind about change in this question and others. The impediments to change include fear (of the unknown), power, territory and egos. Responsible people will do the right thing.
4. I ask our citizens and taxpayers to speak out to me and other councilors about these questions. We'll have better government if and when we demand it.
5. We've already developed a cooperative, respectful relationship. Let's continue the emphasis on the positive, and ensure that our young people understand the benefits of the type of education NEIT offers.
6. People seem to get involved in government matters when there is a problem. (Although, that doesn't seem to be true when so many General Assembly seats go uncontested at election time.) If we offered choices on issues, would we get greater participation? Or would people say, “We elected you to make those decisions, just DO IT!” Most residents are generally happy with the way EG operates, and share a common vision of what the town should be. If you have a question or problem, contact the town council and we'll help resolve it. When the need arises, I have no doubt that people will respond in force.
7. I have never asked someone to vote for me—just to vote. Voters will cast their vote(s) for the candidate(s) they feel comfortable with—the candidate(s) who will represent responsibly their interests—effectively and honestly. I have striven and will strive to do that, for the common good.