Election Q&A: Hesser, Triggs contend for Georgetown City Council’s District 3 seat

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Incumbent John Hesser and challenger Mike Triggs will be on District 3 voters’ ballots during the May 4 election for Georgetown City Council. Early voting runs April 22-30.

A version of this Q&A appears on Page 13 of the April 2019 issue of Community Impact Newspaper’s Georgetown edition. Candidates’ answers are their own and were only edited for length or minor style changes.

The candidates

John Hesser (incumbent)
Experience: none provided
Top priorities: none provided

Mike Triggs
Experience: 38 years working in the financial industry, 27 years as a senior manager in the troubled assets division, solving problems
Top priorities: to bring a more open, transparent and professional approach to the council and my constituents

Why are you running for this position?

Hesser: Unfinished business.

Triggs: I am running for City Council because I feel it is time for a change in how things are looked at. I also feel the tenure of the council needs to change to a more cooperative body.

What project or policy initiative needs to take priority on City Council?

Hesser: At this time, selling out of the long position at [Georgetown Utility Systems] is our highest priority project. My policy priority is to finish the work on the financial reporting to improve transparency.

Triggs: I feel the whole [Georgetown Utility Systems] situation needs a more professional approach. I think the town Square and Old Town need to be preserved as they are Georgetown’s main attractions. I am pro-development, but it must be properly planned, and the development must pay for itself.

How do you think you stand out as a candidate?

Hesser: My work experience, my financial background and my time on council. My work background trained me on how to launch new companies and to turn around failing companies, and gave me understanding of financial reporting as a tool to identify financial and operating problems. Being on council for two terms has taught me how to get things done in the government environment.

Triggs: I have an extensive financial background and can bring proper fiscal approach to the present problems.

What has City Council done well, and what could it do better?

Hesser: I believe communication between council members is the weakest area. This is partially due to the Open Meeting Act. Candid and transparent communication is critical to good problem-solving. Sometimes we do it well, and sometimes we do not.

Triggs: I think the council has done well in bringing new innovation to Georgetown. But on the same hand they have not properly controlled these new changes and have gotten us into some poorly conceived contracts.

What else should voters know about you?

Hesser: I believe that once the GUS situation is resolved, staff will have had a great learning experience, and there will be positive payback to the city.

Triggs: I have spent the last 27 years of my career handling troubled assets at two large banks. It gives me a unique perspective with a different approach in solving problems. I feel my skill set could have an added benefit in this particular period of time in Georgetown.

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  1. Neither candidate is in my district. but neither addressed specific problems. Was this an actual sit-down interview, or a list of general written questions? I could not make an informed decision based on this information. Why not ask specific question on current issues and their positions on issues before the council.? What are their positions on growth, the UPC, road development, HARC, tax legislation, and so on. Dig a little deeper. (In full disclosure, I used to be a bureau chief for a military newspaper (European Stars and Stripes), and an article like this would have been returned to me with some lengthy lectures by my city editor.

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