ELECTION 2019 QUESTIONNAIRES | Danville mayor: Donald Crews

ELECTION 2019 QUESTIONNAIRES | Danville mayor: Donald Crews

1. What prompted you to run for mayor?

"The continued decline of my hometown and the escalating level of violence within our neighborhoods. Also, the inability for our local elected officials to find any new revenue ideas except more taxes and rising fees.

"This type of gouging is not helpful to struggling families and our senior population on a fixed income. As a father of three boys, I have a vested interest in making sure this community is safe and that our children can once again just be kids.

"With the choices for mayor being previous and current elected officials, I think the time is right for a fresh face."

2. What makes you the best candidate in the field?

"The city needs a structured leader that has experience and education in public safety. I have worked on the ground level in both state and local government with a high degree of success.

"Currently, I work for the city in a non-management role. With this position, I get the opportunity to speak with thousands of citizens each year. I see the problems on the streets every day and the issues within our departments because I have an inside view of our operations.

"No other candidate in this election has a better understanding of the problems we face at a ground level than an employee on the street dealing with these problems. With the experience in the positions I've held and the employees that I've represented, I believe I am the best candidate to help turn our city around."

3. What would be priority No. 1 for you if elected?

"Public safety is the number 1 priority for 95 percent of the citizens I've spoken to during this campaign.

"Without a decrease in crime, residents will continue leaving our city. Without a proactive government, businesses will continue to be victims of violent crimes and shut their doors for good.

"We must implement a structured approach to policing and change the dynamics of public safety in the city of Danville."

4. How worrisome an issue is gun violence in Danville, and what more, if anything, can be done to curtail it?

"Our city is coming off one of the highest murder rates ever, with this year on track to equal that number.

"We cannot continue to do the same policing practices we have always done and expect a different result. Simply adding more officers, as the other candidates have proposed, will not take care of our problem. We must invest in higher technology to assist, apprehend and deter crime from a higher degree of accuracy."

5. How dire is the city's financial picture and what would be unique about your plan to improve it?

"The city's financial future is in serious jeopardy. We cannot continue to spend without having additional means of revenue. Furthermore, we cannot continue to tax citizens out of their own homes and watch our population steadily decline.

"My plan involves new revenue from sources other than blanket taxes and fees. We look outside of the box into more technology-based revenue and savings that have so far been ignored in our city."

6. What's your plan for replacing retiring Public Safety Director Larry Thomason — keep the police/fire roles as one title, split them up or try something altogether different? And where would you find the money to fulfill your plan?

"I think the public safety director position should be divided into a police chief and a fire chief. Each division of public safety needs a leader specific to their unique tasks.

"Unfortunately, I don't think at this time we have the available means within our budget to hire both positions. This process will be a lengthy search, which involves rigorous checks and interviews."We simply can't push this process through quickly and expect to get the results our city commands. We need time, stable leadership and input from the departments in order to achieve the outcome our citizens deserve."

7. Finish this sentence: Danville is better off with a mayor/aldermen form of government than a city administrator/aldermen form because ...

"The citizens deserve the right to choose who represents their city with day-to day-operations, not elected officials."

8. On a 1-10 scale, with 10 being best, how would you rate Scott Eisenhauer's tenure as mayor?

"I would give Mr. Eisenhauer's overall tenure an 8. Mr. Eisenhauer loved his city and the citizens within it."

9. How would you be most like — and most unlike — Eisenhauer as the city's leader?

"As I mentioned above, Mr. Eisenhauer had a love for his city and the citizens. I believe my passion and dedication to my hometown would rival that love. His overall charisma was instantly recognizable by all that knew him throughout the thousands of events he attended.

"The downfall for Scott, in my opinion, was surrounding himself with the wrong people. People who had their own agenda and quite possibly not the best interest of the citizens. I am running for mayor to bring back the leadership in our local government of the people, by the people and for the people."

10. What's the thing or two you're proudest of about living in Danville?

"The history in our city is unlike any other. We have some of the most famous actors, musicians, authors and war heroes ever to walk this earth.

"This is a testament to the fact that just because you're from 'Small Town Danville,' there are no limits to your abilities.

"The diversity of our city is unmatched; our city is a melting pot of culture and opportunities for any person, regardless of origin."

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