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Tony Collins

by Yes Weekly Election Coverage

Residential address: Ardoch Drive (map)

Incumbent or challenger? Challenger

Age: 53

Campaign website: electtonycollins.com (link)

Occupation and employer: Co-owner, Collins & Galyon General Contractors

Previous electiveexperience (including election campaigns): Volunteered in a variety of capacities, including working polls andplacing signs, for a range of candidates, including Don Vaughan and Jim Martin

Civic and volunteerexperience (including service on city commissions and boards): Greensboro Zoning Commission, 2001-2007; GreensboroColiseum Commission, 1996-2001; member, Greensboro Regional RealtorAssociation, served as commercial division president in 2005; member, MarketAdvisory Board, RBC Bank; elder, Westminster Presbyterian Church; member,Greensboro Sports Council (past); general chairman, Greater Greensboro Open,1992; former board member, Greensboro Jaycees; past service on boards ofdirectors of YMCA of Greensboro Metro, Alex Spears YMCA and the United ArtsCouncil of Greensboro

Education (highest degreeattained and name of institution): BS/BA,Appalachian State University

Party registration: Republican (nonpartisan contest)

Where were you born? Stokes County (moved to Greensboro as an infant)

Paid consultants workingon your campaign: None at the moment(June 30)

Campaign manager: Jim Galyon

Treasurer: Art Winstead

Do you favor or opposereopening the White Street Landfill for household waste, beyond the smallamount of sewer sludge currently accepted? Briefly explain your position.

I am in favor of reviewingall of the options that give us the best long-term solution. We have notexhausted the other possibilities at this point. Any course of action should beled with a long-term solution. The city council has had this issue in front ofthem since the late 1970s. The new council needs to have the leadership to get thisdiscussion focused on an effective long-term solution. Let’s use this as anopportunity to resolve this now so that the city can focus on issues such asgrowth of industry and job creation.

Where do you stand on the“strong manager” form of city government and why?

I am very much in favor ofthe “strong manager” form of government. The council should set polices for thecity and then manage the manager by making him and his staff accountable forthe goals and objectives that our policies call for.

Should the city ofGreensboro place more or less emphasis on maintaining a healthy water and sewerfund to plan for future growth? Why or why not?

The water and sewer fund isa very valuable asset for the city to have in its economic development arsenal.As we have seen over the past couple of years, there have been significantupgrades completed in some of the city’s critical areas. There have been bondsissued for these projects that the revenue from the utility pays for. The cityhas ongoing water line upgrades in some of our older neighborhoods that arescheduled each year. An example this year has been in the Lindley Park andSunset Hills areas. Greensboro has long operated a very good and efficientwater utility that has given us an AAA bond rating. Let’s not cause that ratingto be reduced, thus causing water rates to have to be raised significantly inthe future because of our bond cost.

The city’s tax base hasremained flat for the past two years in a row, and the foreclosure crisiscontinues unabated. As a member of city council, how would you balance the needto fund services such as police patrol, fire protection and park maintenancethat citizens care about with the reality that the revenue picture remainsbleak?

The city council shouldcontinue to hold the line on any need to increase the tax rate. We mustcontinue to have the city manager seek efficiencies and consolidation ofprograms and staff. The most important responsibility of the council is toensure that we have police and fire protection, and that we create anenvironment that encourages growth of industry and job creation.

Do you believe that citystaff deserves council support to implement a program to spend federal grantmoney to improve the energy efficiency of residences and businesses, or doesthis program warrant additional oversight from council? Briefly explain yourposition.

The energy grant programfits in with the sustainability goal that the city of Greensboro has in place.The staff should be able to manage this program without micro management fromthe council.

How would you assess thevalue and effectiveness of Greensboro’s Rental Unit Certificate of Occupancyprogram, which is now prohibited by state law?

The program had success, butwas set up with parameters that the city staff could meet. The statelegislature has taken this out of the local government’s control. We now needto implement inspection schedules, fines and penalties that will make theprogram effective.

How should the impasse overmanagement and operation of the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market be resolved?

The plan that has beensuggested by the Greensboro Farmer’s Market Inc. seems to be the best plan formoving forward.

What, if anything, should bedone to resolve racial tensions, and to enhance professionalism, integrity andfairness within the Greensboro Police Department?

The city council along withthe city manager has hired a very competent and professional police chief. Weshould allow him to implement his plan of action and give the department thefunding needed to do so.

What would you change aboutGreensboro’s land use patterns if the decision were yours to make? Pleaseanswer the question in terms of places people live, work and shop, in terms ofthe modes of transportation people use to get from point to point and thevitality of neighborhoods and commercial corridors?

Greensboro is heading in theright direction by promoting infill and mixed-use development. TheComprehensive 2025 Plan has given us a good road map. Infill development is notalways the easiest way, but will help solve some of our long-term issues suchas transportation.

What is Greensboro’sgreatest asset? What is Greensboro’s most pressing problem?

Our single greatest asset isour people and their work ethic. Also our geographic location is second to nonefor growth in industry and education that serves the eastern half of thecountry. Our most pressing problem in Greensboro is the lack of leadership.There are very few problems that our community cannot overcome if we have openand positive leadership that builds on the things that we share in common andstops spending energy creating issues that divide us.

Articles about this candidate:

2011 primary election endorsement & voter guide (link)

Wade, Knight make no apologies for landfill decision (link)

Candidate profile: Tony Collins (link)

2nd challenger enters District 4 race for city council (link)

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