Denton Matters City Council Candidate Interviews: Mayor, Keely Briggs

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?

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: Working through this ongoing public health crisis has been the largest challenge in my time of public service. The city and county coordinated very closely in the early stages and saved lives. We did implement a local mask order ahead of our Governor’s mandate. Yes, I was a vote in support of our local mask ordinance. It highlighted the importance of local government controls and the need for our ability to respond in times of emergency. Front line public safety can’t wait for other State or Federal bureaucracies to take action. It reminded us how big and important of a role government at all levels play in public health. It is vital for us to be resourced and ready to respond to all potential crises. We have to be educated, and coordinated. We have to have public institutions and subject matter experts we can trust. And we have to have the means to collect and interpret localized data. We have to have the ability at the local level to do what’s best for our community in real time. Waiting for higher levels of government to offer guidance and action during a crisis costs us time, lives, and impedes optimal outcomes. I believe it’s worth discussing when and If the city should take on more ownership of public health policy within our city instead of deferring to the County.

I also learned during this crisis that as a governing body we need to be more flexible in how we allow businesses to respond and operate.

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?

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?

When it comes to our local businesses, the grants and loans didn’t work out for everyone. If you were able to receive relief funding, it likely does not sustain your business through the duration of this pandemic. We have to be more creative. I would like to see us explore the use of grants and other finance tools for small businesses.

Question 5: What in your history/record qualifies you, above your challengers, for the seat you are seeking election?

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?

I am in favor of continuing with ratepayer rebate programs for energy efficiency investments and solar installations.

Denton Matters is a community of citizens organized to make Denton Tx the best town it can be.