Answers to Their Questions – Denton League of Women Voters

For the sake of transparency and for the record I am providing my answers to the Denton League of Women Voters Candidate Information Form to be referenced in the upcoming DLWV Voter’s Guide.

DENTON LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS

CANDIDATE INFORMATION FORM

NAME:  Keely G. Briggs

CANDIDATE FOR DENTON CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT #: 2

1) What are your qualifications for the office you seek? (50 words) 

I am a citizen and I represent this city’s most valuable asset – people.  As a recognized top volunteer and current PTA/PTSA president within the DISD I understand how to effectively engage people, build coalitions of stakeholders, develop creative partnerships, and most importantly how to get more done with less.

2) In view of increasing concerns about open government, what specific measures would you take to ensure that the public can easily access information about governmental decisions and actions? (100 words)

Closed door sessions should be the exception, not the rule and I would closely follow the guidelines of the Texas Open Meetings Act.  To increase citizen engagement I would look for opportunities to launch citizen tasks forces.  To facilitate citizen input I would work to expand and raise awareness of monthly District 2 Town Hall Meetings.  Finally, through my blog and social media channels I would publish information and viewpoints regarding current city issues and agenda items under council consideration.

3) If city expenditures must be reduced, do you prefer a system of priorities, across-the-board cuts, or other? (100 words)

If and when expenditures have to be reduced the city should prioritize how and where monies are spent rather than pursue an across the board cut.  Some budgets would need to be greatly reduced or eliminated altogether.  Some budgets would need to be held steady – especially with regard to programs that our most vulnerable citizens depend on, public safety, and budgets tied to the support and maintenance of critical infrastructure.

4) What is your opinion on the Texas state legislature response to the recent passage of Denton’s ban on hydraulic fracturing? In particular, there is currently a proposed bill (SB 720) that states, “a political subdivision may not adopt or enforce an order, ordinance, or similar measure that prohibits or has the effect of prohibiting hydraulic fracturing.” (100 words)

I am an unapologetic supporter of Denton’s ban on hydraulic fracturing within its city limits.  In my mind the practice of hydraulic fracturing, in an urban setting, presents localized health and safety risk.  As a home rule city Denton has every right to fulfill its obligation to protect the health and safety of its citizens with local ordinances like our hydraulic fracturing ban.  The State of Texas is overstepping its bounds and we must fight to maintain the local control that is our right as a Texas home rule city.

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