Charmaine Fioretto for Mayor of Cortland – Candidate Questionnaire

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    Charmaine Fioretto
    Charmaine Fioretto

    Candidate’s Name: Charmaine Fioretto
    Office you are seeking: Mayor of Cortland
    Unit of Government: Town of Cortland
    Candidate’s website address (Facebook, Twitter, etc allowed) Charmaine For Mayor of Cortland in 2017

    Response to the budget crunch (Candidate’s response in BOLD)

    • Unfortunately, taxes and fees must be increased to meet expenditures. Disagree
    • Expenditures must be reduced to meet the revenue. It’s that simple. Agree
    • Expenditures must be reduced to meet the revenue. It’s that simple. Agree
    • Taxes are high enough so let’s raise fees. Disagree
    • This is a time to lean on staff for their recommendations. Strongly Agree
    • It’s time to hire a consultant and get a report that will guide us through these tough times. Uncertain
    • Hold the line on taxes. Use the rainy day fund to cover expenses. Things have got to get better. Uncertain

    Further explanation if necessary: I feel that raising taxes should never be the first priority when it comes to meeting expenditures. I do feel expenditures should be reduced to match revenue. Taxes are high enough but I do not feel raising fees are a good idea either unless it’s absolutely necessary. I think it’s important to include staff on their recommendations; after all, we are all working for the good of the community. As for hiring a consultant during tough times, it would depend on how severe the situation and the cost of a consultant. Holding the line on taxes and using raining day funds would also depend on the situation. Raising taxes shouldn’t be the first route; rainy day funds are a possibility depending on the situation but I feel it’s better to first cut unnecessary expenses and go from there.

    What services would you seek to enhance or expand during your term?
    Expanding our building department. We have started this process with my help but would like to continue the efforts further. We still have some services that are contracted out to companies and I would like to see in the future all services done in-house. With all services in-house this would help reduce fees and time for buildings to be built. I would like to seek more options for cable and the Internet; we currently have very few options. I would also like to enhance and update our parks and open public spaces.

    What services would you cut or reduce to balance the budget?
    It really comes down to looking at the budget and working with the board and staff to discuss what services and positions would have the least effect on the community.

    What makes you uniquely qualified for the position you are seeking?
    My passion, can-do attitude, and an open mind. Also my strong background in customer service. My past work experience has given me 20-plus years of customer service and retail experience, along with management experience. Having strong customer service skills will be a huge benefit when it comes to building relationships with residents, businesses, and home-builders.

    What does open, transparent government mean to you?
    It’s being open, accountable, and honest. I feel it’s providing information to the public of what is going on but also listening and including the public’s thoughts.

    What changes to your community are needed?
    Growth!!! We need businesses! We need builders and developers to start building again. We need to give our residents the local options they have been longing for: stores, restaurants, a place to meet and mingle, and more. I would evaluate our licensing, permitting fees and process, to make our community more appealing to developers and builders. For example, we have very few liquor license options available. I feel creating more available options on types of licenses we offer and having the fees available on-line, would help to open up the doors for pub/restaurants to have more interest in our town. I feel if we can be pro-active instead of reactive we should be. If we can simplify a process to make a project go more smoothly we need to be working on it in advance. I can see a great future for our town but this can only happen with a can-do-attitude. This is a trait I possess. Let’s grow together in more ways than one, grow our relationships with one another and grow our town to be what we all know it can be!

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