A DOJLife.com Exclusive: Five Questions for the Candidates to Explain their Positions

A DOJLife.com Exclusive: Five Questions for the Candidates to Explain their Positions 1

Candidates responses are listed in alphabetical order. We asked each candidate the same five questions. We greatly appreciate the candidates for sharing their answers. We thank Malkie Ozeri and Aaron Ceder for bringing this interview/questionnaire to fruition.

Jaynie Schultz: Candidate for City Council, District 11

A DOJLife.com Exclusive: Five Questions for the Candidates to Explain their Positions 2
  1. The term “Defund the Police” has taken on so many meanings. Do you favor, taking money away from the Dallas Police Department?

No

  1. What can be done to fix the homeless issue we are now facing?

This is a growing problem and a top issue for me.  It is a complicated issue and there are no quick fix solutions.  It will take a wholistic approach that includes partnering with nonprofits, job growth, housing solutions and for some counseling. People who qualify should have permanent, supportive housing.  The new St. Jude project in D11 is an excellent example of this and a model for  public private partnerships to address social challenges.  We must work together with compassion and efficiency to be the kind of city we should be. That is what our tradition asks of us, to “do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your G-d”.

  1. With a rise of anti-Semitic attacks in cities like New York and Los Angeles, what can be done to make sure that Jews feel safe in Dallas?

We must fight for our sense of safety, not simply sit back and rely entirely on others to protect us.  We can do several things toward that end.  One of the first things we can do is make sure our police are reporting hate crimes as such.  Many departments are reluctant to do so.  Our police department has been a stalwart defender of our institutions and I am confident they will continue to do so.  Another thing we can do is make sure many Jews are active in our broader community to reduce opportunities to peg us as “the other”.  We develop allies throughout the community that way.  The most important thing we can do is not allow ourselves to be polarized with sinat chinam (baseless hatred).  When we separate from one another for political or observance reasons, our enemies have openings from which they can attack us.  Finally, our community security initiative is a great way to stay informed and protected.

  1. What taxes can be cut and since the city would take in less revenue due to loss of tax revenue, what areas in the city budget would you look to cut?

Property taxes are made up of several units of local government, the largest being for the school district (D11 includes both DISD and RISD).  Also included are city, county, hospital district and community college taxes. While most units of local government have kept tax rates the same or even lowered them, skyrocketing property appraisal (set by the Dallas County Appraisal District) has driven property taxes higher.  Council members vote on the City’s tax rate and must be fiscally responsible in the budgeting process.  My plan is to grow the commercial property tax base so we can lower the tax burden on homeowners.  If we can create more opportunities for businesses to come to Dallas, we can reduce homeowners property tax.

  1. Do you support section 8 housing in District 11 and if so where would you place it?

I support having housing that everyone in our city can afford.  Not everyone can afford housing that is currently available, which is why the pressure within the eruv for housing is so intense.  I have never brought forward any development not supported by the neighborhood which is why the project on 635 failed.  I was working with Rabbis Feigenbaum and Rackovsky to bring beautiful new 3-4 bedroom apartments for Jewish families.  It was not subsidized in any way, but the neighborhood actively opposed the potential traffic influx so the project was dropped.  Anyone who has studied urban economics understands that mixed-income neighborhoods are more resilient and thus stronger economically.  We must have many types of housing in our district.  I would not “place” any housing anywhere unless it is a benefit to the entire neighborhood, not just that project.  My six+ years of leadership and over 100 zoning cases prove the point that I am a neighborhood supporter, not a divider.

Early voting:

  • Monday May 24 – Thursday May 27: 8 am – 5 pm
  • Friday May 28: 7 am – 7 pm
  • Saturday May 29: 8 am – 5 pm
  • Sunday May 30: 1 pm – 6 pm
  • Monday May 31: Memorial Day (No Voting)
  • Tuesday June 1: 7 am – 7 pm
  • Election Day: Saturday June 5 from 7 am – 7pm

Barry Wernick: Candidate for City Council, District 11

A DOJLife.com Exclusive: Five Questions for the Candidates to Explain their Positions 3
  1. The term “Defund the Police” has taken on so many meanings. Do you favor, taking money away from the Dallas Police Department?

Absolutely not. Since our city council voted 11-3 to defund thepolice last year, as of April we have already run through all of our overtime budget, our property crime rate has almost doubled making our rate here worse than Chicago, and our murder rate has jumped over 33% over last year when we had the worst crime rate in more than 15 years. My number one priority since Day 1 has been public safety. The police trust me on the issue of public safety. That is why the Dallas Police Association endorsed me and not my opponent. We need more police and we need better training.

  1. What can be done to fix the homeless issue we are now facing?

This is another  issue that has been on my platform and list of top priorities since Day 1. We need to stop spending $12 million per year of our money on so-called “solutions.” It has cost us $36 million over the last 3 years and our homelessness has gone up over 50%. We need to stop spending our money on things we don’t know how to “solve” just to pretend to look good so we can get re-elected. We need to leave it to the experts who know what they are doing and have a track record of being successful at doing it. That is why I consult with and am the only candidate endorsed by a homelessness expert and philanthropist, New York Times Best-selling author (“Same Kind of Different as Me”) Ron Hall.  I will continue to consult with Ron Hall, organizations of faith, non-profits, medical facilities/hospitals and others with a track record of success.

  1. With a rise of anti-Semitic attacks in cities like New York and Los Angeles, what can be done to make sure that Jews feel safe in Dallas?

אם אין אני לי מי לי

I will continue to be vocal in standing strong with Klal Yisrael. I will never apologize for being Jewish, which would only provide more fodder for more anti-Semitic attacks. One’s stance on Israel is extremely telling of one’s moral clarity. We need leaders with solid values who are willing to stand up for what is right, especially while our own People are under attack by terrorists in Israel and homegrown anti-Semites. And that means, we need to reject endorsements from those who side with those who want to destroy us. We should never provide cover for them because we agree on local issues. Some issues…international issues are our causes even on the local level. I would never sell out my People, the people of District 11, or the city of Dallas for a few extra dollars or a few extra votes. Let our enemies know: Kol Haolam Kulo Gesher Tzar M’od. V’ha’ikar Lo L’fached Klal.

  1. What taxes can be cut and since the city would take in less revenue due to loss of tax revenue, what areas in the city budget would you look to cut?

I would cut property taxes and would look at cutting wasteful spending in our budget. There are many areas in the more than 600 pages of a budget with has ballooned from $2 billion 10 years ago to $4 billion today. We’ve doubled the budget in only ten years and yet we have around 1000 less police officers today. Thus, there are many areas where we could cut spending such as: $12 million per year on an office of homeless “solutions” (outlined above); eliminating a human resources department in every department by streamlining them into one human resource department; stop paying for some great programs like senior rides which should be paid by DART which we already give over $300 million per year and senior dental which should be paid for by the county; stop focusing on practices and spending our money on such things as hiring  12 new staff members to head diversity oversight; stop paying $875,000 per year on a citizens police oversight review board led by leftist organizations with an agenda to push public sentiment against our police; numerous pet programs that never even get to fruition; and more.

  1. Do you support section 8 housing in District 11 and if so where would you place it?

There is currently a number of section 8 housing properties in District 11. However, what I would like to see are newer properties where developers provide a portion of their units for affordable housing in our community for observant Jews can live in walking distance to our shuls. These properties have to be built by experienced developers who know how to provide a quality product. As councilman, I would work with developers to provide incentives to build these communities.

Early voting:

  • Monday May 24 – Thursday May 27: 8 am – 5 pm
  • Friday May 28: 7 am – 7 pm
  • Saturday May 29: 8 am – 5 pm
  • Sunday May 30: 1 pm – 6 pm
  • Monday May 31: Memorial Day (No Voting)
  • Tuesday June 1: 7 am – 7 pm
  • Election Day: Saturday June 5 from 7 am – 7pm
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