Today, February 18, 2015, as part of our Municipal Candidate Series we interview Frank Chapman who is vying for Seat C on the Boca Raton City Council. So far, we have profiled Delray Beach City Commission candidates Mitch Katz and Josh Smith, Jr. (see below under “Suggested Links”) and will continue articles of candidates for Delray Beach, Boca Raton and Lake Worth every day as part of the series.
In this series we are bringing you interviews of municipal candidates up for election in southern Palm Beach County on March 10, 2015. We are profiling all the candidates in the order in which we received their answers or conducted the interview. We will include each opponents’ interviews in the “Suggested Links” section below. The exact same ten questions are posed to each candidate so you, the voter, can gauge each candidate on an equal playing field, so to speak. Chapman is facing Jeremy Rodgers and Jamie Sauer in the March 10, 2015 election. Additionally, we will feature future articles about the elections in a less structured format.
Here is the result of the Frank Chapman interview. Mr. Chapman’s answers are verbatim.
How long have you lived in Boca Raton? Where did you come from?
I moved from Chagrin Falls, Ohio when I was 14. I attended Boca High and graduated in 1986.
If elected, what would be your top two objectives? And why? What is your vision of Boca Raton over the next 10 years?
Without any question, traffic and high rise development are the two biggest issues facing our city. For the short term, we need to address these interlocking issues responsibly while we have a serious community discussion about putting together a 20-year plan for Boca: Where our city will be, how we will maintain or improve on delivery of city services as we grow, and create a roadmap to guarantee we maintain proper staffing levels, continue diligent acquisition of assets to improve services, and ensure proper compensation to the staff.
Do you favor a business owner’s right to allow “vaping” at their business or should city government step in to ban it?
On first thought, there may be certain situations where a ban may be appropriate, for example within day cares, movie theaters, or other enclosed spaces, but I would have to learn more about the issue before I took a position on this.
What are the best things about Boca Raton?
Families are the best thing about Boca Raton. Since I was a kid the schools have been a fantastic place to make friends, bond, and attain success. From growing old together these families become the fabric of the community. It is my personal goal to make certain that through proper communications and a change of city hall culture we foster the programs that make this family community stronger.
Do you feel development in Boca Raton is on the right track or the wrong track?
Development is definitely on the wrong track. Part of this is because we take a piecemeal approach to development, looking at projects one at a time. I will refer you back to question #2 for more detail, but this is why I believe we need a comprehensive visioning process for our community, with public input.
Are you in favor of red light cameras in the city?
I am not in favor of red light cameras. Luckily they have been shut off in our city and I for one hope they are never turned on again.
What is your opinion on corporate welfare (giving of tax credits and/or taxpayer money to attract businesses to Boca Raton)?
We have to take a very careful approach to using taxpayer incentives, which must include some sort of measurement to ensure we are getting the returns we were promised. I would favor using the process outlined in Article VII Section 3(c) of our state constitution, which allows for community and economic development ad valorem tax exemptions to new businesses and expansions of existing businesses that meet certain criteria, including new jobs guarantees. The most important part of this process is that it requires a voter referendum and approval.
If the opportunity presented itself to replace property taxes with a consumption tax (i.e. the FairTax), is that something you would support?
I think this idea deserves another look, especially with the school portion of the tax where there is already a state FEFP revenue sharing formula. The problem with it for municipal purposes is: how do you fairly divide the money?
Nebraska recently banned smoking cigars in cigar bars. Would you favor something similar happening here in Boca Raton?
The authority to regulate smoking is preempted to the state under s. 386.209, F.S.
There has been much consternation regarding “home rule” between cities, counties and the Florida legislature. For instance, many Florida municipalities and counties were not in compliance with Florida Statute concerning firearms and had to change their policies accordingly. Do you have an opinion about this situation and if so, what is it?
I am not sure if you are asking how I feel about home rule in general, or specifically the firearm statute. The “home rule” portion of the Florida Constitution that voters approved allows most local governments to enact ordinances not inconsistent with general law. I definitely support Boca Raton and Palm Beach County maintaining this authority.