University Heights mayoral candidate Michael Dylan Brennan today received the endorsement of University Heights City Councilman John Rach:
3. Taxes - Out of 279 RITA municipalities, University Heights remains the highest income tax rate. To compete with our neighboring communities, we should be at a level playing field and offer a similar tax rate. An increase to the credit offered to our residents by .25% would put nearly $500,000 back into the pockets of hardworking families. In addition, the tax credit should be reviewed on a yearly basis so that we can consider whether we continue, increase, or rescind the credit.
2. Home Values - While some neighborhoods have seen a steady increase in home value, many neighborhoods have not. Instead, we've seen an increase in rental properties with absentee landlords. To stabilize the property values, we need to correct the problems causing our stagnation. This includes going after absent landlords and incentivizing strong owners. We should consider a first-time home buyer program to attract new families as well as leveraging the Heritage Home Program to offer low interest home repair loans to those in need.
1. Safety As a Top Priority - We need to shift our focus to neighborhood policing, with patrols on bike and foot that demographically represent their neighborhood. Our leadership in the Fire Department is in desperate need of a change to regain the trust of the department. Also, programs that were offered to our residents that were recently cut (i.e. CPR training, child safety seat installation, and smoke detector exchanges) should be reconsidered.
The City of University Heights needs a vision to adapt, grow, and compete with our neighboring communities. There is a great need for economic development as well as new housing to attract and retain families to our City. We should be serious about turning over vacant and foreclosed properties by offering tax incentives/abatement.
To attract and retain families in our city, three major concerns need addressed:
In order to achieve these goals, we need new leadership at the top. Michael Dylan Brennan has shown that he is ready to tackle the tough issues impacting our city. His proposed platform aligns well with our goals and this is why I am endorsing Michael for his candidacy as Mayor of University Heights.
Mr. Rach is the fourth member of University Heights City Council to endorse Mr. Brennan for mayor, joining Councilmembers Mark Wiseman, Michele Weiss. and Pamela Cameron.