I have dedicated my 30 years career as a CPA and trusted financial advisor to offering common sense, thoughtful advice to city governments, small businesses, charities, and individuals.
I am particularly proud of the work I have done in my career to protect seniors from predatory financial scams and unfair taxation.
In addition, I have served as an advocate for clients who perform charitable work throughout our community and the world. Examples are: my work as a founding trustee for Restore Sight, a charity that sponsors eye care and surgical missions annually to Central America (www.restoresight.net), He Cares Ministry, which operates an orphanage in Ethiopia, and Changing Hearts Farm, an animal rights organization.
ECONOMIC PROSPERITY FOR ROCKY RIVER’S FUTURE
Ideally, well-regulated and prosperous city business districts will generate enough tax revenue to ease the tax burden on residents. However, the 2018 Rocky River city financial reports show that our city is trending in the wrong direction. In 2018 our city’s business tax revenues decreased 33% from $1.5 million to slightly over $ 1 million.
Vacancies in our office buildings and storefronts continue to increase, and the increase of low-paying fast food businesses have not only failed to help the situation, they have caused significant traffic problems in our business district..
As your City Council representative, I hope to restore the recently discontinued city position of Director of Economic and Community Development, and I will work closely with this new person to bring more high paying, professional businesses and workers to Rocky River. Our business tax base will grow, and will strengthen our city’s financial health, which will fund investment in our city’s streets, bridges, buildings and sewers.
A thriving business district will mean that Rocky River will be able to end its overtaxing of homeowners through property taxes, especially retired homeowners, who have been hurt by the recent 20-25% increases in their property tax bill due to real estate market fluctuations. My proposed Rocky River Homestead Credit will provide tax instant relief to seniors and will begin to change direction of Rocky River’s economy to being funded more by resident businesses and less from resident individuals.
Promise Broken: Voters approved a 1/2% income tax increase (33%) in 2015 but the money has gone upspent; even the new police station will be funded by bonds and not the $10 million in additional revenues collected from 2015-2017.
Also, the predatory collections of our city’s finance department, with the help of RITA, has caused people to be bullied into paying their city income tax bill twice in many occasions to avoid a lawsuit. Notice the increase in penalty collections in 2017 to from $74,289 to $386,985. This is a function of the illegal “Administrative subpoena” mailings by RITA which threatened lawsuits against residents, even though RITA had no evidence that they owed any taxes.
WHERE DO YOUR PROPERTY TAXES GO?
A CLEAN ENVIRONMENT FOR ROCKY RIVER
As an endorsed candidate of the Sierra Club, I am committed personally to acting more environmentally responsible in my own life, through less consumption of plastics, more recycling, and increased consumption of green products.
I also believe that as a lakefront community, Ohioans are looking for Rocky River to speak out in support of efforts to keep Lake Erie clean. For example, the current algae bloom crisis on the Lake Erie could affect our drinking water, and is being caused by the actions of farmers in coastal communities. Our voice of disapproval for these polluting practices must be heard, through Rocky River Council’s public statements and communications with state lawmakers and the Ohio and US EPA.
The extreme weather events caused by global climate change are already affecting the stability of our city’s coastline. I support the idea moving to a Clean Energy Economy, the Sierra Club’s “Ready for 100%” campaign, the general principles of the Lake Erie Bill of Rights, and the Icebreaker Wind Farm clean energy project scheduled to begin in 2020.
On the subject of the environment, Rocky River cannot isolate itself. We must have more dialogue with neighboring communities to create regional and state policies to protect our green spaces, water supply, and coastline.
LIFTING UP ALL RESIDENTS
As your city council representative I will do everything possible to promote programs which help Rocky River residents in need, such as those battling substance addiction in the ongoing Opioid Crisis; those who are victims of social injustice or discrimination against minorities or immigrants, and those facing economic or elder care challenges.
I am guided by my Christian beliefs and the “Golden Rule”, and appreciate how many of my fellow residents are doing charitable work and good deeds every day, to help others. Rocky River city government under my leadership will be a source of acts of kindness and generosity at all times, will be transparent, and will respect the rights of all law abiding persons, regardless of gender, race, religion, orientation , economic status, or handicap.
“Until the philosophy which holds one race superior, and another inferior, is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned, until there and no longer first class and second class citizens of any nation, until the color of a man’s skin is of no more significance as the color of his eyes, until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race, until that day, the dream of lasting peace and world citizenship and the rule of international morality will remain but a fleeting illusion, to be pursued but never attained.”
Haile Selasse, President of Ethiopia, 1963 Address to the United Nations
VOTE FOR ROBERT E McRAE IN WARD 3 on NOVEMBER 5, 2019
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