As they say, all politics is local. Unfortunately, voters, and media, rarely pay attention to local elections for a variety of reasons. This year, I asked each candidate running for election in Shoreacres if they would like to participate in an “interview” so that citizens would know more about who is running.
Three Four of the six took advantage of the opportunity. The first was Ron Hoskins, who is running for Mayor.
Ron grew up in Germany but spent his summers in Shoreacres and has fond memories of fishing on the pier and the overall atmosphere of the small city. He graduated from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. He also taught introductory computer science classes at the University of Maryland. He has three children and is proud of the fact that they all have advanced degrees. Ron moved to Shoreacres in 2006 after his mother retired and he purchased her home.
Ron worked early in his career for Informix, before they were purchased by IBM. He held various roles at Informix, including trainer, sales, customer relations, construction, consulting, and consulting management. Informix was purchased by IBM and Ron continued in various roles until after Hurricane Ike. He decided to “semi-retire”, leaving IBM and now does various private consulting jobs.
Ron ran for Shoreacres council last year but didn’t campaign a lot. He became interested in politics through volunteer work and by participating in his homeowners association in Atlanta. He is a frequent attendee and participant in Shoreacres City Council meetings and recalls fondly the days when the meetings were fun and not contentious.
Issues for Shoreacres
One of Ron’s issues is the divisiveness in the city. He wants to bring citizens together and return to the old days when council meetings were informative and fun. He points out that most young people today use online tools to research communities before they ever bother to look at them. He wants to update the city website and make the city attractive over the web. One of his goals will be to make Shoreacres a “certified scenic city” and tout this the website.
One of his biggest issues transparency in city government. He pledges to make certain that the city is awarded “gold status” by the Texas Comptroller Leadership Circle. This is one of Comptroller Susan Combs’ efforts to make taxpayers aware of what is happening in government. He estimates that it would take him four months to achieve “gold status” and then he would continue to work for “platinum status”. He wants to establish a “bulletin board” where council members can openly discuss issues and citizens can see why a member votes the way they do. As well, he wants a comprehensive monthly financial report compared to the budget so that council and citizens are not surprised by negative balances.
Ron would not have voted for the deficit budget that his opponent and council passed. He thinks that council has to make hard choices and make cuts to the budget to make it balanced. The current tax rate is already the highest in the area and he does not think that raising taxes is an option, nor is spending out of our reserves. He told me that he will not recommend raising taxes in any scenario because the rate is already high enough.
I asked him to prioritize his issues and this is his list:
- Balance budget without raising taxes and not using reserves
- Open Government to eliminate misinformation and rumors
- Responsive Government – stop reacting and start anticipating issues
- Reunite City – turn it back into the city he knew as a child and stop the bickering and misinformation
I enjoyed talking to Ron and wish him the very best in his efforts. He has many more thoughts than I could capture, I would urge you to contact him directly.
- Email: [email protected]
- Phone: (404) 513-5908
Early Voting starts Monday, 4/28 and ends Tuesday, 5/6 at City Hall. Complete information on the city website by clicking here.