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City Council Candidate Brad Ellis

By Susan Larson

Brad Ellis is running unopposed for the Ward 1 City Council seat in the Tuesday, May 6, 2014, Fredericksburg General Election.

Each candidate was invited to answer the same three questions from Fredericksburg.Today.  Answers from Brad Ellis follow.

1 – What is your educational background?  Degrees earned and from where?

Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry, University of Tennessee; MBA, Naval Postgraduate School, Masters of Science in Cost Estimating & Analysis, Naval Postgraduate School

2 – What is your current occupation?

OCCUPATION/WORK EXPERIENCE: Marine Corps, serving as an enlisted Marine and as an officer; Management Consulting leading a practice are focused on cost estimating, financial analysis and strategic planning.

MILITARY RECORD: 4 years enlisted in USMC, 4 years enlisted in USMC Reserves, 8 years as an officer in USMC

3 – What do you believe are the two or three most important issues currently facing Fredericksburg and how do you propose solving them?  It’s best to keep your response to a maximum of 600 words for online reading.

Understanding the long term budget implications of major capital improvement requirements and the cost of operations and maintenance costs of all projects. We have to get away from developing budgets one year at a time and start planning more strategically five years out such that we have a current year/execution budget, plus a planned budgets four years out to avoid surprises and to understand our long-term budget outlook. Related to this, is the absolute need to conduct budget planning in the context of future revenue and expenditure forecasts so that we can make more informed decisions and plan more judiciously with respect to how best to optimize our resources.
A renewed approach toward economic development and tourism that enables 100% focus on economic development and 100% focus on tourism simultaneously. For too long, we’ve tried to lead these distinct efforts simultaneously with one department. Each requires a different skill set and we need both to remain viable in the future. In addition, we need to fund economic development to an agreed-to sustained level (i.e. 2% of the General Fund budget).
Invest more in our schools such that we can hire enough teachers to achieve a student to teacher ratio of 20:1 or less in all classrooms and construct the requisite classroom space to accommodate the new teachers. This will require significant strategic planning between the City Council and the School Board. The city continues to grow faster than ever and we have to get ahead of the curve and we must be willing to invest in our schools and this ratio is proven to have an enormous positive impact. Furthermore, as our schools improve so do our property values, which also improves revenues.

Editor’s Note:  All answers appear unedited.  Answers from the other candidates are available at Fredericksburg General Election 2014.

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