Focus Daily News: What elected official seat do you sit in?
Tamara Bounds: Councilmember Place 2.
FDN: How long have you sat in this seat?
TB: For one year.
FDN: What is your main goal as a city council member during this term?
TB: To hear the citizen’s voices as to what they want and are willing to spend their tax dollars on. Cities are forever, so we need to make sure the city stays sustainable and remains transparent.
FDN: What made you decide to get into politics?
TB: I started out as an HOA President. This means looking out for the welfare of the residents and their property. In order to accomplish that, I had to get involved with the city and learn how to talk to council, collaborate and work on goals that would accomplish meeting those needs. I soon became a member of the Construction Codes Committee and then a Planning and Zoning Commissioner. It became clear to me this was my calling and I moved to working at the council level to continue this service to the citizens and my city.
FDN: What have been some of the surprises?
TB: No community or council surprises. I have worked in this community at leadership level for nearly a decade. So I have seen the good the bad the ugly. However, I was humbled and surprised when City staff and City Manager nominated this current City Council for City Council of the year. I believe that all councils should work together as a team and proud that we have done so to inspire our City staff in this manner.
FDN: What have been your challenges?
TB: As with anything, it is to find the balance between the citizens wants and need with the needs of a city to be sustainable. This means educating the citizens that cities are truly forever and this means long-term planning, making those hard decisions that are meaningful and we can all get on the bus to accomplish.
FDN: Where do you see the city going in the next few years and who will you contribute to that?
- Continue with the efforts for revitalization and economic growth of our Historic Downtown as identified through community surveys and our revitalization committee such as;
- Promote New development through City sponsored Grants; TIRZ; PIDS; MEDC Funds;
- Downtown website with business, events and parking information: Communications; Marketing; HOT funds; City Sponsored Grants;
- Brainstormed the needs to reopen existing businesses in Downtown through our Revitalization committee, partnerships, TIRZ, Grants, and other Incentives.
- Communications with Transparency, continuing being an open book for the citizens to have more access into our operations. Our projects, our book of business. Just not as reported by a council member or the mayor but a transparency open to the people that will live on past any council members tenure. We broadened our communication , presence at community events and added more accessibility to updates and reports on our website:
- Bi weekly “Field Report” that keeps the council/mayor informed about happening between meetings;
- Quarterly updates on all active developments;
- More public outreach and transparency: this is accomplished by keeping community informed; encourage communication between citizens and local government; emphasize friendly and courteous service; improve the quality and image of public service. Open and honest dialogue from council and local government official to promote more trust within the community;
- Improve the public information process by adding the most requested information or that which is regularly sought after onto the website for review.
- Council ,City staff , our commissions and boards to continue being Fiduciary responsible by looking at hard at the costs from purchasing land, to development costs and infrastructure needs.
- City staff and councilmember’s/Mayor and our committees/commissions to be part of a team that promotes the city nationwide to entice businesses and developers to come to Mansfield in order to help provide for jobs, lower taxes and sustain our local economy.
- Council and City staff continue to find ways to leverage our excellent credit ratings to refinance or borrow money at a lowest rate as possible.
- Provide a Hometown world-class experience thru funding events, trail system expansion, seeking to rebuild our recreation center and library, procurement of land by utilizing resources such as our tourist ,cultural arts and historical committees, Bonds; TIRZ, Grants, County Participation; HOT funds;
- Council, City Staff, our MEDC , and collaboration with MISD to continue to expand the corporate limits of the City boundaries- through the ETJ in efforts to not only protect our City’s boundaries, but by adding long-term fiscal integrity to MISD and to our City.
- Council and City staff to work on completion of New Public Safety Facility for Mansfield Police Force as well as obtaining needed Air and water truck for our City’s Fire Department.
- Code enforcement and related City staff to implement and develop our new Inspection program that includes, Apt inspection program and control of our own Health Dept inspections.
- Continue our Community Leadership presence by partnering with our community, MISD, State officials and surrounding municipalities. Some of our new programs are : Muni-versity and Emerging leaders.