October 17, 2013 | Vol. 117 -- No. 26

Collins focuses on budget in AH council run

Jack Collins is looking to continue giving back to the Airway Heights community by serving on Position 2 of the Airway Heights City Council.

Jack Collins

Collins, a volunteer firefighter in the city’s Fire Department for nearly two years, said he wants to help ensure that citizens are covered and represented during the city’s growth and expansion.

“I feel the next way to give back to the community is representing them on the City Council,” he said.

One of the things he’d like to see in the next term, he said, was ensuring current services in the city are covered during its growth.

“Having the city grow and improve as long as it’s not affecting the current citizens or taxing the emergency systems are my biggest platforms,” he said.

Collins said some decisions have simply happened without much information going out to residents.

“It’s become apparent to me that the citizens at the top can just trickle down and affect the people who don’t really know what’s happening,” he said.

A challenge currently in Airway Heights is the budget, according to Collins.

“You can only do so much with a certain amount of the budget,” he said.

Collins said looking at the budget with a fresh perspective could help distinguish between the immediate needs and wants that often arise in a city when compared to its distinctive long-term needs and wants.

When looking at the long-term planning for Airway Heights, and even the year-to-year items, Collins said it all comes from the budget.

“Everything stems from the budget. When people ask why we don’t have better roads, or why we don’t have more police officers, it goes back to the budget,” he said.

Collins said there were a couple of taxes that he’d like to review if elected to the council, although he didn’t specifically mention which taxes those were.

In order to increase revenues in the city, Collins said creating a welcoming environment for businesses to move in to Airway Heights is the best option.

“The biggest thing is continuing to grow within the business sector of the city,” he said.

Specifically, he looked to the numerous vacant areas of land south of Highway 2, between Hayford and the downtown core of Airway Heights.

“We have a very large and potential growth for industrial and building supplies with all of our land south of the highway,” he said.

Also asked about the ongoing project to help families living in Fairchild Air Force Base’s Accident Potential Zone Two, Collins said he was happy to see the city’s approach to the issue, praising Mayor Patrick Rushing.

“He’s done a good job in making sure that people aren’t just kicked out,” he said.

James Eik can be reached at james@cheneyfreepress.com.

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