University Heights City Council Candidate Danny Grand
Education: B.S., Talmudic Law and Liberal Arts
Current occupation: Legal Professional
Qualifications: Having worked with city administrations, agencies, and municipalities across the country remediating violating conditions, developing paths forward for community development and having worked for a political party as a youth, I've gained real world experience into the inner workings of local government in a way unlike most. I possess a legal background, a desire for achieving success. I am an author, a musician, a motivational speaker, and am a successful entrepreneur. Working diligently, independently, or working well collaboratively enables me to handle the tasks placed on my path. Being a councilperson means doing the People's business, that's exactly what I am going to do.
What do you consider to be an effective working relationship between the Mayor and the members of Council, and what do you consider to be an effective working relationship among members of Council?
Firstly, I wish to thank you for these excellent questions, I feel they are spot on and very important to have answered by our future council members. Co-operative is the word that most vividly comes to mind. The acknowledgement that we're all working to advance the ideals of the City, and by that, the People’s business. The Mayor and Council MUST maintain great communication, be able to collaborate effectively, have the tough conversations, and do so as good sports, that way we can thrive. As council members we need to get all the ideas on the table, and honestly admit which the best ones are, then run with them wholeheartedly. Our constituents want us not to be ‘politicians,’ but to be good hearted Americans that will serve them well.
What should be the priorities for the city’s budget?
In short, Strong Security, Great Amenities, Thriving Schools, inter alia. However, overspending is a big no-no, that’s for certain. We need to allocate appropriate amounts of resources for essentials needed to facilitate the city’s proper functioning. We need to be more creative and find ways to cut costs and keep the same output, also infrastructure. I think we need to be great negotiators. With every new administration its goal should be to take the baton and do an even better job than the previous one did. I think we must find ways to give more to the community as far as services go, and to find ways to lower the taxes in University Heights. All these things are possible, and to those who say it isn’t, well then, it’s time to improvise.
What opportunities do you see for regional collaboration between University Heights and other local governments to provide services or facilities?
Any collaborating we can do to cause a win for UH residents, I’m all for it. I would really like to hear from the voters and take action steps to help achieve their desires. Group efforts on police, fire, and ambulance is important. Also, more needs to be done to make our school district a greater success. There’s the conversation point about regionalism, I'm not sure if I am a fan, but, if it means making our city better, then it’s worth reviewing. Outsourcing is a great way to improve on ‘cost of service’ line items; building, dispatch, accounting, many other things can be ‘shared’ with U.H. in collaborative terms to create efficiencies. I think an appointment for a regional collaborator of sorts shouldn’t be out of the question either.
What, if any, specific actions would you recommend the city take to maintain the quality of its housing?
I think we should work on an incremental property tax rate, instead of a flat tax rate. The reason our property values don’t go up too much is because the tax burden would make it unbearable, so with a tax rate that increases incrementally when improvements are made, will, over time, lend itself to more equity in our homes, more property value, higher comps of sale, incentivize people to improve their homes, while still achieving at least the same amount of revenues collected by the City. I think abatements for new construction are a great incentive; we should work more options in for people, and we should find more ways to have people invest in their homes, to invest in U.H., so the 'City of beautiful homes' can continue on that way.
What role should environmental considerations play in the city’s policies and actions?
Well, clearly, we have to take care of the world around us, and also the people within our city, but we also have to get the job done. I think environmental considerations need to be brought into the discussion and when sensible, implemented. One of the main focuses of any candidate should be heeding the pulse of the people; if it is important to the voters then we should see how to approach it from that perspective. I encourage all members of our city to engage and reach out to me about all of these things – and thank you again for these wonderful questions.