The need for large improvements to the city infrastructure and the school system creates the need for high taxes. This continual cycle of growth but with higher costs can be mitigated
Need to grow sales taxes base by bringing in new commercial business while also promoting current Hutto Businesses and shop local initiatives. This means we need to provide additional categories of spending opportunities besides fast/casual food: apparel, sporting goods, family friendly activities (bowling, jump house, mini golf, educational centers, etc.), electronics, another grocery store, higher end restaurants, wine tasting room as some examples.
To help the School system Hutto needs to promote and bring in Business Parks and hopefully several large corporations to help create a tax revenue increase that does not at same time create need for new schools. This would allow the debt service rate over time to go down for not just Hutto citizens but all residents in the school district including the ETJ.
The need to secure water for many years was needed but the issue now is how do you fund the upgrades needed to the city water system to have access to that water.
I served on the water impact fee committee and recommended the increase proposed by the audit. Now that the fees have been adopted and I have ensured that they are applied and collected on every P&Z plot I approve on the Planning and Zoning Board has allowed the water rates to come down.
It will take time to capture the impact fees. Until those fees start coming in from new development we need to budget tax revenue coming in from new homes being added to tax rolls to pre-fund the infrastructure needed instead of city tax rates.
As a city transitions from a small rural town with less than 5k residents to a town greater than 30k in population requires a systematic approach to ensure ethical spending of the new tax revenues.
I have seen issues raised from the financial Audit that has created confusion and division in the city. I purpose adopting IRS guidelines for travel budgets. In addition, updating expense forms to use per diem rates and for an input line for why the expense was made. As a member of the EDC, I have worked with that board to also adopt a similar accountability for the Economic Development Corporation.
I have seen questions be raised of dinners or activities occurring that could be excessive or unnecessary. I would state that City Council needs to set an annual budget for marketing and that any activity has a pre and post trip/ event report created for the city stating the anticipated need and the result of the activity. By always staying within budget and having documentation of the need abuse or waste will be eliminated. I have worked on the EDC to set similar rules.
In addition to the issues facing Hutto that are immediate we also need to look to the future because growth is coming and we can determine how it comes about.
In a post Covid-19 world, work from home is going to be more mainstream. As such we need to partner with several high-speed internet providers to allow citizens choice unlike today. This will create competition and help consumers get better pricing and speeds which is needed to make Hutto an ideal destination for a work from home world.
Hutto Old Town is iconic and one of the front porches of Hutto and needs to be updated to have sidewalks, proper drainage, nice paved streets and parking to allow it to continue be a destination for the community to use. I want more events like Hutto Old Tyme Days in that area and we need it to be welcoming and inviting for all. Lastly, to help all current and future business I want to push for a citywide initiative for shopping local by saying "Shop Hippo" as an official slogan.
We must work to implement the mobility plan that has already been created and help pay for it with Traffic Impact Fees from new development. We also need to work with the county to prioritize the loop to reduce traffic from Taylor and points beyond. We need to upgrade CR132 to be a new north\south connector with a bridge over the railroad and US 79. Lastly, get county to improve county roads that affect Hutto and work with the 130 toll authority to get access roads between Gattis Rd to Limmer