Deanne Clark and Jeff Griffith Debate On District 3 and City Of Lubbock Issues [AUDIO]
EDITOR'S NOTE 2:23p, June 11th:
A typo was corrected in the eighth paragraph of this story. Mr. Griffith stated that fees on Lubbock Power & Light bills are not hidden fees, disagreeing with an assertion made by Ms. Clark. We apologize for the error.
On the Wednesday edition of The Chad Hasty Show, District 3 candidates Deanne Clark and Jeff Griffith had a live debate on some of the big issues affecting both the district and the City of Lubbock.
Both candidates were staunchly opposed to any tax increases, either property tax or sales tax. Griffith said that the city should focus on living within its means, and that there is always wasteful spending that can be cut back. Clark agreed, adding that the city has plenty of money that can be rearranged and redistributed to take care of our core needs. Both candidates were also in favor of using city revenue to help pay the debt, as well as in favor of firing LP&L head Gary Zheng and that LP&L should remain seperated from the City of Lubbock.
There were a few issues the candidates disagreed on, one of those being "vision projects" such as a monorail system or an Outer Loop. While Griffith said he was not in favor of the city putting money into a monorail system, he added he has no problem looking at vision projects.
Griffith: "It's great to have vision for our city. Think about it, the initiatives we've had in the past whether it be the Loop, Lake Alan Henry, [they were] great initiatives that we need. And it's great to see those come to fruition. The light rail monorail project is obviously a dream, it's way out there. Right now we can't even afford to take care of our city transit or bus department. So we've got to really look at the bottom line...it's great to look, but it is not an issues I would fund with city dollars."
Clark, on the other hand, said that right now Lubbock needs to focus on being more frugal and not entertain lots of "vision projects."
Another area that the candidates disagreed on was the hidden fees and taxes on LP&L bills. Clark has been campaigning on this issue for most of her campaign, saying that most of these fees have to do with water, and that they need to be phased out over time.
Clark: "It is on the water, primarily, that the hidden taxes are, the franchise fees and the pilot fees...they are not listed there on our bill at this time on the water side. LP&L has tried to be more transparent, but [the fees] will have to be phased. they cannot do without that 29 million dollars right away. It's going to have to be slow."
Griffith disagreed. He said that, although he dislikes the fees and how they are calculated, those fess are not hidden. Griffith explained that the fess are stated plainly on the bill, and that many cities have similar fees for their power companies, and getting rid of those fees would likely result in a tax increase.
Clark and Griffith also had different ideas on how to tackle the growing city debt. Griffith said that he would propose putting a cap on the city general fund debt that would prevent any more spending unless in the event of an emergency. Clark, on the other hand, suggested the more long-term plan of taking one cent out of every dollar the city takes in and using that to pay the debt off.
Clark and Griffith will have another debate on Monday, June 16th at Maedgen Elementary School starting at 6 PM. Early voting continues this week and ends on June 17th. Election Day is June 21st.
Listen to the complete debate between Deanne Clark and Jeff Griffith here:
You can also listen on your iPhone, iPad and other mobile devices by following the link below:
The Chad Hasty Show airs weekday mornings from 8:30 AM to 11 AM on NewsTalk 790 and online at KFYO.com.