2018 Candidate As License Collector Questions

City-Hall2This is Part B of the 7th Ward Independent Democrats St. Louis City License Collector Candidate Survey. These are the Candidate views and goals. Candidates were required to respond to both Part A & Part B in order to 1) participate in the June 10th Candidate Forum and 2) be considered for endorsement by 7th Ward Independent Democrats.

Committeewoman’s blog posts about License Collector Election

B1) If you could amend any State law, City Charter provision, or City Ordinance related to the License Collector what would it be and why? (75 words or less)

Mavis “Tessa” Thompson: Increase the penalties for late payments to reduce hours used in collecting and deter late payments.

Dana Kelly-Franks: I would rewrite business classifications to better reflect our 21st century realities.

B2) If you could amend any State law, City Charter provision, or City Ordinance unrelated to the License Collector what would it be and why? (75 words or less)

Mavis “Tessa” Thompson: Reverse so called Right to Work laws, because laws lower wages, as well as lower worker safety and health is endangered. Additionally, workers should have the right to organize and collectively bargain. Increase Minimum Wage to insure all workers have a livable wage.

Dana Kelly-Franks: I would overturn SB43 which made it easier for businesses in Missouri to discriminate based on race, age, sexual orientation, gender and other factors.

B3) Do you support or oppose consolidating the License Collector with the Collector of Revenue and why? (50 words or less)

Mavis “Tessa” Thompson: Oppose.  No one has the right to diminish the voice or power of the people.  Nor does anyone have the right to disenfranchise the voters who cast votes for whom they wish to elect as License Collector and Collector of Revenue.

Dana Kelly-Franks: I support a complete overhaul of the License Collector’s Office. We must do our due diligence, collect community input, and work with local leadership and other experts to build a plan. Then, we take that plan to voters. No matter what, NO job cuts and NO loss of elected representation.

B4) Do you support consolidating any city or county service/office under the License Collector and why? If yes, please specify. (50 words or less)

Mavis “Tessa” Thompson: Support consolidating the Excise Department, and the Taxicab Commission under the License Collector because the functionalities are the same.

Dana Kelly-Franks: I do not support the consolidation of additional services under the License Collector, as this is an outdated office that does not function as effectively or efficiently as other offices located in City Hall.

B5) Do you support or oppose eliminating the St. Louis City License Collector as an elected office, making it appointed, and why? If appointed by whom? (50 words or less)

Mavis “Tessa” Thompson: Oppose.  Same answer as B3.

Dana Kelly-Franks: While I support the potential elimination of the License Collector’s Office, I do NOT support a shift from an elected office to an appointed one. Whomever oversees these functions should be elected.

B6) Do you support or oppose eliminating the St. Louis City Collector of Revenue as an elected office, making it appointed, and why? If appointed by whom? (50 words or less)

Mavis “Tessa” Thompson: Oppose.  Same answer as B3.

Dana Kelly-Franks: No, I do not support the elimination of the St. Louis City Collector of Revenue as an elected office.

B7) Do you support or oppose eliminating the St. Louis City Recorder of Deeds as an appointed office, making it appointed, and why? If appointed, by whom? (50 words or less)

Mavis “Tessa” Thompson: Oppose.  Same answer as B3.

Dana Kelly-Franks: No, I do not support the elimination of the St. Louis City Recorder of Deeds as an elected office.

B8) Do you support or oppose eliminating the St. Louis City Treasurer as an elected office, making it appointed, and why? If appointed by whom? (50 words or less)

Mavis “Tessa” Thompson: Oppose.  Same answer as B3.

Dana Kelly-Franks: No, I do not support the elimination of the St. Louis City Treasurer as an elected office

B9) Do you support or oppose removing parking responsibilities from the St. Louis City Treasurer and why? If yes, who should have the responsibilities? (50 words or less)

Mavis “Tessa” Thompson: Oppose, because the St Louis City Treasurer who has these responsibilities opposes removal.

Dana Kelly-Franks: I trust the St. Louis City Treasurer, Board of Aldermen and Mayor’s Office to work collaboratively on a solution for parking responsibilities, and I understand and appreciate the varying perspectives.

B10) Do you support or oppose eliminating the St. Louis City Sheriff as an appointed office, making it appointed, and why? If appointed, by whom? (50 words or less)

Mavis “Tessa” Thompson: Don’t understand question.

Dana Kelly-Franks: No, I do not support the elimination of the St. Louis City Sheriff as an elected office.

B11) Do you support or oppose eliminating the Assessor as a mayoral appointment, making it an elected office, and why? (50 words or less)

Mavis “Tessa” Thompson: Unable to answer until I have conducted analytical research of this issue to determine the impact on businesses.

Dana Kelly-Franks: The Assessor is an administrative position. It should not be made an elected position. However, there should be a board assigned to appoint the Assessor, instead of a mayoral appointment.

B12) Do you support or oppose unionization of License Collector employees- organizing to bargain collectively for wages and benefits and why? (50 words or less)

Mavis “Tessa” Thompson: Support, if the employees wish to unionize. Same reasons expressed in B2.

Dana Kelly-Franks: I support unionization of License Collector employees and their right to bargain collectively for wages and benefits, because ALL people deserve fair pay and quality of life.

B13) Do you support or oppose requiring License Collector employees to be Civil Service employees and why? (50 words or less)

Mavis “Tessa” Thompson: Unable to answer until I have conducted analytical research of this issue to determine the impact on businesses.

Dana Kelly-Franks: Yes, I support requiring License Collector employees to be civil service employees so that those employees are not at risk of losing their jobs when a new License Collector is elected.

B14) Do you support or oppose eliminating the City’s Residency Rule and why? (50 words or less)

Mavis “Tessa” Thompson: Unable to answer until I have conducted analytical research of this issue to determine the impact on businesses.

Dana Kelly-Franks: I oppose the elimination of the City’s Residency Rule. It is economically essential to our city that we keep our constituent’s property purchases, taxes and grocery purchases in the city.

B15) Currently, Missouri law requires the License Collector to be funded by license fees/taxes collected each year and is permitted to retain a reserve equal to 2 times the amount of the previous year’s spending for operations. Do you support or oppose ending the fee office status of the License Collector and requiring all funds collected by the office, and not mandated by statute/ordinance for local/state funds, be deposited to City General Revenue for appropriation, including to fund operations of the License Collector and why? (100 words or less)

Mavis “Tessa” Thompson: Oppose, because pursuant to all external and internal audits performed, the License Collector Office works efficiently under the current Missouri law.

Dana Kelly-Franks: My first order of business as License Collector will be a systems, processes and revenue audit. I will have the answer for this question within the first 100 days.

B16) Name a current elected official in Missouri that you admire and why. (35 words or less)

Mavis “Tessa” Thompson: Congressman Emmanuel Cleaver, because he has combined his religious and political passions to fulfill his duties.

Dana Kelly-Franks: I admire Tishaura Jones, City of St. Louis Treasurer, for her tenacity and her commitment to innovation and progress.

B17) Do you support or oppose changing St. Louis City from a Strong Mayor-Council form of government to a City Manager-Council form of government? (50 words or less)

Mavis “Tessa” Thompson: I have not conducted analytical research of this issue to determine the impact on businesses.  However, personally I am reluctant to hand over the reins of government to unelected personnel, because of issues of control and accountability.

Dana Kelly-Franks: I oppose changing St Louis City from a Strong Mayor to Manager-Council form of government.

B18) Grade current Mayor Lyda Krewson and explain why: A for great job, B for good job, C for mediocre job, D for bad job, F for failing. (35 words or less)

Mavis “Tessa” Thompson: B, because considering the nature of the job, the associated responsibilities and the length of time she has been in office, I believe that Mayor Krewson has done a good job in doing what she believes is right.

Dana Kelly-Franks: C – She could be more responsive in areas that truly plague our city.

B19) Grade former Mayor Francis Slay in his last term and explain why: A for great job, B for good job, C for mediocre job, D for bad job, F for failed. (35 words or less)

Mavis “Tessa” Thompson: I find this question moot, because grading the performance of former Mayors, be it Slay, Harmon or Bosley, is untimely and not relevant to this election.

Dana Kelly-Franks: C – He could have been more responsive in areas that truly plague our city.

B20) Do you support or oppose placing the issue of ward reduction before the voters of St. Louis City again and why? (50 words or less)

Mavis “Tessa” Thompson: Unable to answer until I have conducted analytical research of this issue to determine the impact on businesses.

Dana Kelly-Franks: I support placing ward reduction before voters because our communities are unsure of this major change. Regardless of the number of wards, we need a PLAN for an equitable legislative system. Strong plans require community engagement and significant strategic planning efforts. A plan should come BEFORE a vote.

B21) Do you support or oppose re-entry of St. Louis City into St. Louis County without approval of the voters of the City and County and why? (50 words or less)

Mavis “Tessa” Thompson: Unable to answer until I have conducted analytical research of this issue to determine the impact on businesses.

Dana Kelly-Franks: No, I do not support re-entry without a vote, because a major decision like this one requires significant public input and a democratic process for decision making.

B22) Complete the following sentence and expand: Rex Sinquefield is… (50 words or less)

Mavis “Tessa” Thompson: … someone I do not know.

Dana Kelly-Franks: Rex Sinquefield is NOT for St. Louis.

B23) Describe your most important professional accomplishment to date. (50 words or less)

Mavis “Tessa” Thompson: Paving the way for others, especially women as the 1st female Circuit Clerk and the 1st African-American female to have held two citywide elected positions.  Also, using my experiences as a nurse, attorney and elected official to improve the quality of life for others, through mentoring and volunteering.

Dana Kelly-Franks: I am most proud of building an affordable financial firm that serves more than 900 clients. We have an amazing team offering the best customer service you can find. We’ve helped hundreds of St. Louisans take control over their personal finances and grow their wealth.

B24) Describe one change that you will bring to the License Collector’s Office over the next four years. (50 words or less)

Mavis “Tessa” Thompson: Start phase 2 of filing for business license online.  We will incorporate feedback from surveys completed by current business owners who file online.

Dana Kelly-Franks: We need to restructure the office, but there are improvements to make immediately. I’ll start by exploring financing mechanisms to implement a technology fund to gain more internal control over IT. If the Recorder of Deeds Office can make improvements, so can the License Collector’s Office. No more “I Can’t!”

B25) Tell us something about yourself or your License Collector goals NOT found on your campaign website/Facebook page, your campaign literature, or in Part A or Part B of our survey. (50 words or less)

Mavis “Tessa” Thompson: So much of my life and goals are already published and I invite you to view my website and literature. Personally, for the past 7 years of his life, I had the blessing of being the primary care giver for my beloved Uncle Jimmie. R-I-P

Dana Kelly-Franks: I’m not a politician. I’m a driven and seasoned professional experienced in making change and committed to my true self. I don’t assert dominance unnecessarily because I’ve learned through sensitivity training and my work with displaced youth and battered women that we make the biggest impact as our authentic selves.

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