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story.lead_photo.caption TERRY ROBERTS

1. What are your top priority or priorities specific to your ward, and how do you plan to address them?

My top priorities are to continue providing excellent public safety, attracting good jobs and improving our streets. The top priority of any local government should be to keep its citizens safe. I understand the challenges that face our police and fire departments and what help is needed to increase the ability to serve our community. Good jobs help keep our economy going. We have to work at the local, regional, state and national levels to attract top employers to Texarkana, Arkansas. I have driven every street in Ward One and some are in almost impassable condition. I plan on providing a list to the City Manager and Public Works Director to address this issue by the severity of the condition of the street. I would also like to see a list on the city's website of all completed, ongoing and future road work projects

2. How can the city promote economic development and new job creation?

When discussing economic development, no single strategy works in every situation. There is much we can do to improve the systems and structures supporting jobs and the economy. We can create destinations that people want to live in, work in and socialize in. In addition we need to manage the land wisely and attract people with well-designed streets, parks and trails while cultivating small businesses. We have to be disciplined about our investments. Forming a strategy board with citizens of this community from every sector will bring new ideas for a better economic development plan that should be revisited/revised every three to five years. Also, City Directors need training from the Arkansas Municipal League and the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. This training will allow the board to lead Texarkana, Arkansas towards better government, increased economic development and growth.

3. What is the next large-scale project the city should tackle, and how do you propose funding it?

City operating revenues have had to diversify to maintain the base that is necessary to meet the service demands of citizens. Road construction and repair are a primary concern in my opinion. The development of city projects requires an involved comprehensive approach to funding sources. Refinancing existing bonds at today's record low interest rates would be an option for funding.

4. What are your thoughts concerning the city's civic culture, that is, issues such as political polarization, social and economic justice, and policing reform?

When looking to the future we should not be content with just today, ignoring problems and being fearful in the face of new ideas and projects. The future belongs to those who can blend visions, be reasonable and have the strength to stand by a commitment to make a difference in this world. I believe we live in a great city, let's work together to make it an even better place to work, worship, play and call home.

5. What are your priorities concerning urban planning, land use and/or housing as city development expands?

We need to tear down houses that are past the point of rehabilitation. If the houses can be repaired then we have a unique opportunity to establish public-private partnerships via the Federal Government's Opportunity Zones Program. We can revitalize our city and neighborhoods by providing training programs and jobs which would also help increase affordable housing in Texarkana

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