Mark Aliff is a 4th generation Puebloan, who spent time in the army, then returned to his home town. He has 28 years in the automotive business under his belt and is now the general manager of Vidmar Motors. He says his experience handling the business for a multi million dollar company has prepared him for being on City Council, which needs more fiscally sound budgeting most of all.
Aliff is running for an at-large seat, which by Charter is non-partisan Council, however he says he is very conservative, completely different from what he calls the local political "machine" and Democrat candidates that typically run for office in Pueblo. He ran for Council four years ago and lost, but he thinks he was right then, and still is now, about the City's disfunction, lack of fiscal accountability and the need to re-prioritize the City budget, rather than the Council continuing to create ballot items for more fees and taxes.
Aliff thinks that budgeting by Council needs to be taken more seriously, that it needs to be analyzed year-round and that there needs to be a line by line focus on essential services. He thinks that the budget was "misjudged" by current Council members and management.
Aliff says that people have asked for "years and years" that public safety be the number one priority of the City, but he doesn't support the City's proposed tax for officers (2B - 1/5 Cent for Police Personnel and Operating Needs). He thinks that since Pueblo's taxes are up 8 million dollars the past four years, that there should be money to fund the police force with adequate strength.
He is also against the City's ballot item (2C - Street Repair Enterprise). He thinks funding could be taken from the 2.4 million per year from the Highway Transportation Fund (for roads and personnel) for personnel and projects. He says it's unacceptable to ask citizens for 3.5 million per year in increased fees (2C - Street Repair Enterprise when we are already getting 2.4 million that he thinks could in part go towards local roads).
At a campaign conference he said that it's time for change in Pueblo and he's the guy to make the change happen.
HERE'S MORE ON MARK ALIFF IN HIS OWN WORDS:
His note that the Pueblo Chieftain misreported that he was running for District 2: "I would just like to clarify that I am running for one of the two AT-LARGE seats on Pueblo City Council! The Pueblo Chieftain erroneously reported that I was was running for the Dist. 3 seat! Sorry for the confusion. Hopefully the Chieftain will correct their mistake!"
Here's his note "Friends and Neighbors" on his FB page: "I am excited and humbled to share with you my intent to run for Pueblo City Council. I will seek, with your help, one of the two vacant seats at-large. Four years ago I addressed the problems facing the city which included the need for more Police and infrastructure improvements that included our streets. Four years later these are still the major problems facing our community, along with many others. I will be the conservative voice of council that demands and expects fiscal responsibility with your tax dollars. I do not support any tax increases for these services, and like you, I expect our elected officials to be prudent with the modest gains of revenue that the city has experienced over the last four years. Over the next few weeks I will offer solutions that I will champion when elected that will address the problems we face as a community. As always, thank you for your support and may God continue to bless you and our great community."
Here are some of his stands on local issues - he is against all of the tax questions and the fee for roads:
Against 2C - Street Repair Enterprise: "The "best deal" for funding street repairs is to use the $4 million the city receives yearly from the Highway Users Transportation Fund (HUTF) for what it was intended, fixing our streets. Currently over half of this money, $2 million, is put back into the General Fund against personnel costs. We do not need a street utility we need a consensus on city council that prioritizes funding street repair and public safety over non-essentials and non-profits."
Against 2B - 1/5 Cent For Police Personnel and Operating Needs: "Why do we need a tax increase to insure our public safety? I respect and applaud newly hired Pueblo Police Chief Troy Davenport’s goals for the police department. This is the first time in many years that we have a chief that has shared his goals for the department, and it sounds like Chief Davenport has our safety as his number one priority. However, I do not support raising taxes to achieve these goals. Over the last four years city revenue has grown by over seven million dollars and estimates by the city manager predicts steady increases over the near future. Where is the increased revenue being spent if not on public safety and infrastructure repairs? You deserve a voice on city council that says enough is enough. For twenty years the community has asked city council to address our concerns over public safety and roads, and our concerns have landed on deaf ears. Allow me to be your voice to stop the tax and spend mentality of our city government and we can help Chief Davenport achieve his goals without raising taxes."
Against 2A - Strong Mayor: "The last thing I want is some politician running the whole city, who doesn't know what he's doing who's elected by the machine... and put us in a worse mess we are already in. City Council is disfunctional but it can be straightened out. As least they have the power that the City Manager works for them and if you take that away we lose our voice... It's not what it seems, it's not a good deal"
About Local Energy: He says it's hard to recruit businesses when our electric rates are so high but he says he doesn't know the answers on how to solve the issue, just that local experts need to get together to analyze the situation in perhaps a task force. "Our electricity in Pueblo is outrageous. It keeps going up and up... Black Hills Energy is not a partner in the progress of this city. When elected to City Council I will do everything within my power to rid our city of Black Hills Energy. There has to be an answer to this! What would you in the community like to see happen?"
HERE IS HIS FACEBOOK PAGE AND LINKED IN RESUME:
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