Published 5:44 pm Tuesday, October 19, 2021
The Suffolk News-Herald sent the same slate of questions to Treasurer candidates David Boyd and Ron Williams. You can see the questions and their answers here. Candidates were advised that responses would not be edited, except to truncate answers at the end of the 100-word limit. Q&As with candidates for other elections will run in upcoming editions, so keep an eye on the paper and on suffolknewsherald.com.
Why are you running for Treasurer, and what makes you qualified for the position?
I am running for re-election as Suffolk’s City Treasurer to build on my four decades of experience in this office and the track record that I have in collecting, investing, and managing the taxpayers’ hard-earned money in the most effective and efficient possible manner.
I have a keen understanding of what the people require and expect from their government. This is my fifty-first year of financial management experience, and I want to continue to bring that experience to the people of this community with whom I work, attend church, and serve in many other capacities.
What would be your top three priorities if elected, and why?
My number one priority has always been to collect, invest, and manage the taxpayers’ hard-earned money in the most effective and efficient possible manner. Secondly, I will continue to look for ways to move more services online since we have eliminated all convenience fees for electronic tax and fee payments, which will reduce the need for citizens to wait in line and will reduce the need to hire additional staff – which will save taxpayers money. Finally, I will continue to work with taxpayers to keep them in their homes, cars, and businesses while bringing any past due accounts current.
What are the most critical issues facing the Treasurer’s office, and how would you address them?
Providing fair and impartial customer service to all taxpayers is critical, and I have always strived to deliver this.
It is also critical that the Treasurer’s Office stay on the cutting edge of technological opportunities and offerings. Government works best when it works in an efficient manner, and that has always been one of my highest priorities.
Finally, it is important that my office continue to work with individual taxpayers and businesses who, through no fault of their own, have found themselves in difficult financial situations due to COVID-19.
If elected, what do you hope to accomplish in your next term?
In this next term, I hope to continue to have strong tax collection and investment rates that will allow Suffolk’s public schools and public safety to remain fully funded. Fully funded public education and public safety are needs – not wants. Strong tax collection rates are also a major contributing factor in Suffolk maintaining its AAA bond rating from all three of the major credit agencies. These ratings allow the city to borrow money at incredibly low rates, which saves taxpayers a considerable amount of money.
What is your philosophy in collecting delinquent taxes, especially considering the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on individuals and businesses?
Regarding delinquent collections, my top priority has always been to keep people in their homes, in their cars, and in their businesses. My staff and I work with people every day to put them on payment plans that allow them to bring their taxes current and move beyond their current financial situation. During the pandemic, I have worked to put taxpayers on six-month, interest-free payment plans through PayPal Credit and have established many more in-house payment plans that were mutually beneficial to the taxpayer and to the city.