Cortez Sanitation District Questionnaire: Robinson
Name: Tim Robinson
Telephone: (970) 462-6850
1. How do you define freedom of the press?
It is everyone’s right to be able to write an opinion without direction from others or censorship from others.
2. List three action items you’d introduce to guarantee the people’s right to know?
1. Establish a stronger communication path between the district and community by using resources such as Facebook, print media and more. I feel that there is not the transparency that needs to be in place so that the public can really understand what the Sanitation district is and how its overall decisions are made. 2. I feel that we need to provide public tours of the Sanitation system so that the public really understands the complexity of the system. A tour of the facility would explain to our community how the system works and why it is so important to invest in our sanitation district. Actually demonstrations of the weaknesses that we have in the system will educate the public on needs. 3. I would solicit and listen to business feedback in the community. I would introduce a strong business voice so that decisions such as rate changes would be discussed in an open forum with business owners in our community. This could be done by inviting all business members to monthly or quarterly forums where the sanitation district talks about goals, changes, etc that will affect the small businesses in our community. Solicit direct response and use it to improve.
3. Describe the biggest mistake of your professional career. What lessons did you learn?
I would say my biggest mistake in my professional career was when I worked in an industry and for a company that I really enjoyed, but I felt like the grass was greener on the other side so I made a dramatic change without thought. Well as you can guess it did not work out so well. I learned that I need to always research and take some time before making dramatic career changes.
4. Describe the greatest accomplishment of your professional career. Who is your mentor and why?
I would say my greatest accomplishment of my professional career is in my current role as the general manager of CARE. I started five years ago as a sales rep and I have moved up the ladder to now becoming the general manager of the company. I feel a great accomplishment that I have been entrusted with running a very successful business. My mentor is Andy Stanley whom is one of the greatest speakers that I have ever witnessed. Andy combines faith and strong business practices into one. He has a true gift for being able to motivate and instruct you in a very unique way, but at the same time in very simple terms that anyone can understand.
5. If elected, what would be your top priorities?
1. To bridge the gap between the Sanitation District and the Water District. These two have to be a team and work together so that we can share resources and save on cost. I believe it starts with both sides sitting down and being open to communication without bias opinions being portrayed. I am willing to sit down with anyone to talk about problems and how we can repair them in a very non-confrontational manner that benefits both sides. 2. Develop better communication between the public and the sanitation district. There has to be transparency and education to the public so that they understand why things are done or not done. I believe using technology such as Facebook to solicit and educate the community is vital. If we share how the sanitation technology works and even provide educational tours of the facility to the public it may clear up a variety of issues and misunderstandings that are out there. 3. I want to see a direct connection between the sanitation board and local business. I would setup monthly or quarterly open forums with the business community to discuss goals, concerns, etc. I would be the voice of the local business and try to work hard to utilize the ideas and thoughts of local business in all sanitation board decision making.
6. In examining the district’s total budget, which line items would you support for greater funding and which line items would you recommend be cut? Why?
This is a very difficult question to answer without knowing all the facts about the budget. I can give you an overall thought on what I see. I believe that we need to invest more into infrastructure and repairs because the outdated infrastructure is costing us more each year to operate and maintain. That is about all I can honestly respond on in regards to the budget without further gaining more facts on why line items are included and what they represent. Once elected I will then begin my fact based review of the budget and have more direct answers to this question.
7. What are your thoughts on the newly adopted rate structure, and what measures would you propose to ensure customers were billed fairly and accurately?
I will speak on the side of business and say that I believe that we could implement a sliding scale based off of annual usage. For instance a hotel is maybe at 50% occupancy in the winter, so why are they paying the same rate as when they are at 100% occupancy in the summer? Usage should be part of the rate structure for business. From what I see the rate structure really hurt local business and it needs to be addressed with some kind of change.
8. Is working and partnering with outside agencies important? Why or why not?
I believe working with outside agency can be very important. The reason is that in any industry you want partners that you can go to for answers and I feel like many times outside agencies can provide answers or solutions to issues that they may have already experienced. I do however believe that you cannot always determine how Cortez is operated based off of agency research done in other areas. So my answer is that I believe there is a place for outside agency as long as we are careful.
9. List the district’s top three needs, and what steps would you take to address those concerns?
1.Facility/Infrastructure Upgrades- This is a necessity for future growth in Cortez. Without appropriate infrastructure there is no way to even plan for the future of Cortez. I would educate the community about where we are at with facilities and why they are important. I would then use smart strategic budgeting to implement the upgrades. Currently our dated infrastructure is costing us more to operate every year. 2. Strong community working relationship- I believe that this can be accomplished by various means of conversations with our community. We need to use Facebook and the district website to share district thoughts and plans. These would also serve as a way to solicit direct feedback from our community. I would also like to see a monthly newsletter or forum that educates the public on district needs, concerns, while hearing feedback directly from our community that we can use for better planning. Develop an open dialogue and true transparency between the district and community. 3.Funding- We all hate hearing the word funding, but it is a must to develop the district. We have pipes that are still in existence from the 1950’s that need to be addressed before we have a major problem. I believe that funding can be addressed with a well thought out strategic plan that includes budgeting requirements based on a time table. If we set a plan that outlines how we are to establish more funding over a period of time and follow that plan we should be able to make this happen. I don’t believe that we should increase rates by a huge percentage all at once to cover funding needed. This can be strategically planned with small incremental increases as long as we share with the community on exactly what the increase is for and how it helps our community.
10. List your expertise and/or qualifications that set you apart from other candidates.
My expertise is in small business management and budgeting. I bring over 20 years of operating and developing small business. I believe that I bring a smart approach to strategic planning and budgeting that will benefit the growth of the district. All planning should be fact based and that is something that I am very well equipped with implementing. I know the struggle of small business in the community and feel strongly that I can gap some concerns between the two parties.