Jeremiah Hammer: A Q&A with the McKinney City Council District 3 candidate

Jeremiah Hammer Jeremiah Hammer[/caption]

Jeremiah Hammer is running for the District 3 seat in the upcoming McKinney City Council election. Hammer is running against Gavin Nicholson, Sheila Johnson, Scott Elliott and Margaret Harsh. Current District 3 representative, Travis Ussery, has reached his term limit for the position. Early voting begins April 24 and Election Day is May 6.

Occupation:


I have an extensive background in technology and organizational dynamics. As the president/CEO of Sustainable Ventures, I am able to leverage decades of experience in order to solve complex problems for growing companies, startups, non-profits and individuals; and then provide them with the tools and instructions necessary to reach their full potential.

Why are you running for McKinney City Council?


The citizens of McKinney deserve a representative who they can trust to make the right decisions for our city. I have the vision and passion to navigate us into the future. The people of McKinney deserve a city council member who has a proven track record of involvement in all aspects of our city’s growth; someone who will listen and represent the people’s needs and desires as McKinney continues to evolve.

What issues do you feel the city will face within the next few years?


I was in love with McKinney from the moment I moved here, and from then forward, I immediately dedicated my life’s work to listening to the citizens.  In that time I constantly hear the same concerns over and over again. People are really worried that McKinney is turning into another Garland and they want to know:

  • "How can we afford to live in McKinney with these property taxes?"

  • "Why isn’t the city able to attract commercial development?"

  • “Why don’t we have any public transportation?”

  • "How are we going to preserve the McKinney I fell in love with?"


If elected, how would you address those issues?


It starts by fostering an environment of communication and collaboration between our city and residents, business organizations and schools. From here we can start work on maintaining high property values while offering lower property taxes.

To lower the burden on homeowners, we should be exploring the effective tax rate as well as other mechanisms to keep people from being taxed out of their homes.

We must create the conditions for smart development to occur; broadening our commercial tax base by 15-20 percent. This involves identifying and resolving bottlenecks in our application and permitting process.

We are at a place in time where we can no longer ignore the strain that our growing community places on our resources and infrastructure, and we cannot solve for it by building more houses. If McKinney does not attract commercial and retail now, we will turn into the next Garland, and no one wants that. In order to attract companies, we need to give them the flexibility they need to get cash flowing fast, and their employees need first class amenities—retail, dining, personal services and entertainment near their homes so they can spend more time with their families

Moving people and goods around is vital to a healthy economy, and technology has advanced to a point where we can meet the needs and demands for public transportation with cost effective services that people will actually use, without placing an excessive burden on taxpayers

Part of McKinney's charm is our historic district, Downtown Square, as well as our unique terrain and green spaces. The experience you have when you come into McKinney is like no other, and we need to ensure that we preserve our rich history to share with future generations. Strategically, I have already been working with the city to spurn development along and east of highway 5 towards the airport. As your councilman I will encourage growth in this direction so that we can preserve our square. In the historic district, we need to have a real discussion about adequate lighting and contiguous sidewalks, to ensure our neighborhoods are safe and inviting to everyone.

What qualifications do you possess that make you a prime candidate for the position?


My civic experience, business experience, and personal experience has fully prepared me for this role. Professionally, I have saved companies over $1 billion in efficiency improvement and waste reduction. As a homeowner in McKinney’s historic district, I am working hard to maintain an old home while also dealing with skyrocketing property taxes. Civically I have 7 successful years working with and guiding others to address the toughest challenges life throws at us. Serving in my community isn't something I just talk about, it's something I have lived every single day since moving to our great city, and what I look forward to continuing as your next councilman.