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Kunkle Says As Mayor, He Wouldn't Hike Taxes

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Last week, Ron Natinsky made it official, taking the missus down to City Hall on Valentine's Day to file his petition to run for Dallas mayor. This morning at 10 a.m., David Kunkle will follow in his footsteps, filing his paperwork with the city secretary after gathering enough signatures to get on the May ballot.

The former Dallas Police Chief also issued this morning his first Official Issue Statement -- this one titled "Raising Taxes Versus Cutting Spending." Says Kunkle, his "is a practical, hard headed commitment to looking at everything we do to see how we can do it better, cheaper and faster without reducing the quality of the service or the satisfaction of our customers, the people of Dallas." If nothing else, his statement, with its reference to Six Sigma, is also the first in Dallas mayoral-race history to make me think of a 30 Rock episode. Retreat to move forward after the jump.

THE ISSUE: RAISING TAXES VERSUS CUTTING SPENDING

One of my commitments to the citizens of Dallas is that I will not vote to raise taxes. We are currently overtaxed and underserved and we must reverse that. Across the board budget cuts are simply not working. Even in lean economic times we need to invest in services that improve the livability of our neighborhoods. We must question not just how well are we doing something but are we doing the right things. Too many budget decisions have been based on history, tradition and sacred cows. We must completely re-think the way we tackle the budget at Dallas City Hall.

You'll hear some candidates frame the issue as "Cut services or raise taxes." Like many issues, it's more complicated than that. I am committed to re-thinking and re-inventing government here in Dallas. This is not some theoretical experiment, either. This is a practical, hard headed commitment to looking at everything we do to see how we can do it better, cheaper and faster without reducing the quality of the service or the satisfaction of our customers, the people of Dallas.

These efforts go by many names - process improvement, re-engineering, core process mapping, Lean Six Sigma, Kaizen and others. The most important point is that they are established methods that private and public entities are already using successfully. However, these efforts take strong leadership at the top because change is never easy. And leadership doesn't mean giving orders. It means getting everyone on board, building a team.

Cities around the nation are streamlining paperwork, rethinking services, reducing response times and simplifying virtually every business process. They are also having candid discussions about whether services can be combined or outsourced.

Rather than hand down across the board or program cuts, we will commit ourselves to live within our revenue. Don't ask, "What will you cut?" We will reduce funding for many areas, but we will simultaneously focus on improvements. Again, this is a team effort.

David Kunkle
Candidate for Mayor of Dallas

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