Denton Matters City Council Candidate Interviews: D1, George Ferrie
Question 1: When asked about advancing inclusion and protecting civil rights, a common answer recently given by candidates is a pledge to “meet with local leaders.” What specific plans do you have to meet the needs of our diverse community? What have you done prior to this election to advance these causes?
Response: I will pass a comprehensive Non-Discrimination Ordinance (NDO) that legally protects the LGBTQIA+ Community from being denied housing and public accommodations. I currently serve on two Boards dedicated to providing resources and advocating for the LGBTQIA+ Community in North Texas. I also want to see a Police Oversight Committee that has teeth, that the community approves, and that brings important conversations to the forefront. After attending many protests here in Denton, I had the honor of working with organizations like Denton for Diversity. Creating Denton’s “8 Can’t Wait” Demands to bring to the City Council to address over policing and under funding human services.
Question 2: Did you support the city’s mask ordinance? Yes or No. What in your opinion would be your responsibility, as a city official, in protecting Denton’s citizens from COVID19 or similar threats?
Response: Yes. I would follow what the CDC was putting out, and I would ensure that I advocate for science-based assessments before making decisions to reopen certain parts of the city. I would work with local, small businesses to develop an initiative where we all work together to ensure the necessary precautions are being taken to stop the spread of COVID. We are responsible for the health and safety of our constituents. Period.
Question 3: Council Members pitch ideas for initiatives to have city staff
research. At your first work session, after this election, what will be your first pitch to help the citizens of Denton?
Response: If the NDO has been pushed back again (it has been pushed back 3 times already), I will of course push this through to a discussion and vote. If it has, then I will bring safe and affordable housing solutions and questions to city staff. We live in a City that has predominantly renters, myself included. We also have a City where due to the rises costs of homes, and the lower average wages, we have 36% of people being cost burdened or severely cost burdened by their living expense, even when that housing is labeled as “affordable.” We need to explore and approve different types of housing that will allow all dentonites to find housing that they can afford. We also need to invest in how we handle property owners and ensuring they are providing safe housing. Working with Community Improvement Services, and educating citizens on their rights as renters and the services that they offer to residents, free of charge,
Question 4: Our city will be facing a budget crisis due to reduced tax revenue. What, specifically, will you do to bring home recovery funds to assist Denton residents and businesses who are struggling with Covid-19 related economic challenges?
Response: On top of continuing to apply for grants and relief funds, we need to start planning for how we assist local small business owners. Getting them back on their feet and helping create new businesses is key to getting through this tough economic crisis.
Question 5: What in your history/record qualifies you, above your challengers, for the seat you are seeking election?
Response: I have never strayed away from my values. I do what I say. I show up when called. I work hard for the many communities I have the honor of serving in this wonderful City. I threw my name in this race, because I was disappointed in the platform of the person running for the seat. When I say I will fight for EVERY Dentonite, I mean it. You will not see me take PAC money, and be beholden to special interest groups. I want to see a more diverse City Council after this election. I want to bring my many different perspectives onto the City Council. I represent a large group of Dentonites that deserve strong representation, by someone who will fight for them each and every day.
Question 6: The DEC Net projected Income is in the Red year over year and citizens have been informed that our energy rates will go up as a result. What are your plans to help resident ratepayers keep costs lower? Do you have any ideas or plans in place to assist with this?
Response: I think it is important to develop new systems and invest in current programming to decrease our dependence on energy here in Denton. Committing to creating more open green spaces to help lower greenhouse gas emissions. Continuing to educate and incentivize solar paneling for commercial and residential properties, as well as installing throughout city buildings, we can reduce our energy usage.