Kyle's answers on The Palisades & the Code of Ethics...

Richardson Living published a great article where Mark Steger asked the candidates the following two questions. Kyle’s answer is below:

Questions:

What can the City do to protect public money already committed to the Palisades development and to ensure that the development is completed in a form that is in the best interest of the City, undoing any corrupt influence in the past.

More generally, what changes are required to the City’s code of ethics, planning process, and business practices to restore public trust in City government?

Kyle’s answers…

The most important thing we can do as a council is to not allow complacency or have a wait and see mentality. The job now is to ensure the completion of the project. Either it is with the current owners or a new set of developers that buy the remaining portion of the land. We need to make sure all the agreements tied to the 47 million dollars remain in place and the correct infrastructure is completed fully before releasing funds. The scope might have to change. We are heading fast into a contentious 2020 national election that is rife with uncertainty. With that on our horizon getting a corporate anchor will probably be more difficult, but that should not stop us from completing the project.

As a candidate, I can only speculate about the outcome. I have personally already talked to developers and retailers interested in this parcel of land mainly looking for ideas. I have also polled hundreds of residents in the adjacent neighborhood with a lot of great feedback. A few strong concepts came across after talking to everyone that I engaged in the discussion.

  • It’s going to be hard to fill 2.5 million SF of office space.

  • Palisades has to be connected to Galatyn station either over 75, under 75, or a shuttle system (Palisades was marketed as a mass transit friendly location)

  • Alternative anchors would be welcome such as a Trader Joe’s (or similar business), hotel/condo highrise project, or movie theater.

  • Neighbors were more interested in entertainment focused businesses than traditional retailers. The scope of what one council person can do is limited but at minimum, I will continue the conversation and push for completion.

Recently Richardson was awarded a recognition for transparency. We need to strive to be as transparent as possible. All incoming and current council people need to review the code of ethics, find the loopholes, and close them to prevent further messes like Palisades from happening again. Richardson is a great city and had multiple commissions run by volunteer citizens. These meetings are open to the public and should continue to be open.

Once again I strongly believe in the development of our city is that when a project makes it through the planning commission, recommended and is approved by the council, we should not variance the project into something different than the original plan. It’s something that happened with Palisades. Developers should strive to stay with the original plan as closely as possible. Any project that changes more than predetermined percent should have to go through the planning process again.

I strive to be extremely accessible to the citizens of Richardson as we all should. City council service should take 20 to 30 hours a week and we should dedicate that time to our city. During this and all future elections we should look at our candidates and evaluate them by many measures.

One of which is, “do they have the time to serve?” Most people can’t carve out an additional 20 to 30 hours to do this position and that is why traditionally council people are either retired or have their own businesses that can be run by employees.

We can restore trust by always putting the needs of our citizens first. I think Richardson learned an important lesson with Palisades and you can see a shift in focusing on the needs of the surrounding neighbors more now in the current developments being planned. We need to continue this focus.

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Brandon Gadoci
My general thoughts on what I want to bring to the Council...

Richardson is doing great and I would like it to keep going in the right direction. We are one of the handful of cities over 100k in population with an AAA bond rating. Historically our council has been right on the use of tax dollars in our great city. I want to bring more small businesses into our empty retail spots and be the liaison on city council for anyone that wants to start or grow a business in Richardson. When it comes to large developments I want to take a "Neighbors First Approach" to zoning requests. We have to put the surrounding communities needs and wants first.

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Brandon Gadoci
Why me instead of my opposition?

Out of the three Candidates running in Place 4, I'm proud to say the following ...

I am the only homeowner (and therefore know firsthand the effect of rising property taxes).

I am the only brick and mortar business owner in Richardson, whose business is also open to the public. This is important because when elected, I will welcome citizens to visit me anytime to discuss ideas and concerns.

I am the only candidate who has gone through city processes to start a business.

I believe I am also the only person who can give 20 or 30 hours a week to the city without it becoming a financial hardship.

I am the only resident of Collin County, with children in Plano Schools. This is an important distinction because we have about 20 percent of the kids in Richardson attend schools in PISD and Collin County has been routinely under represented on the Richardson city council.

 
Brandon Gadoci
My thoughts on entering Public Service...

It a big responsibility and time commitment. During this process, my family and I have come to realize that there are folks out there who will try and bring down people who run for office. I am a strong person and have no problem being totally transparent.

As for the time commitment. I have come to realize that there seems to be a misconception that council meets on Monday nights and that's about it. However, it is more like a 20 to 30 hour a week commitment to our constituents. Besides all night Mondays, councilpersons head up 2 to 3 commissions or boards with each one meeting 1 to 2 times per month. Then on top of that, there are breakfasts and lunches all over town that request city presence. Plus there are ribbon cuttings, trips to Austin and other cities, school visits, and meeting with constituents. All combined, it is like another full time job. That is why traditionally the city council is made up of business owners, retirees, or execs that can dedicate enough time to the city.

This is an important factor when considering who to back in the 4 contested races.

I am fully prepared to dedicate the required time and have hired additional staff in my business to ensure I can be an active participant in any/ all city business.

 
Brandon Gadoci
What are my goals if I get elected?

1. Get Palisades finished.

2. Rework Richardson City Council's code of ethics so that it has more accountability.

3. Work on thoughtful development with Richardson going up (multi-story/use), instead of just out.

4. Create a small business incubator to help citizens develop ideas for future small businesses

5. Work with new developments to get more Richardson based businesses into their retail space.

 
Brandon Gadoci
Why I Am Running for Public Office?

I have volunteered with various Richardson community programs from childhood to now, and most recently was the foreman of the 2018 Collin County Grand Jury, which a 6-month commitment for those who serve. In my experience most people see jury duty as a burden, however I have always looked at it as an essential part of being an American. Upon selection, I was honored to be chosen as foreman. During that time, I oversaw over 1500 felony cases, monitored debates and questions of the police, witnesses, victims and prosecutors. At the end of each day, I worked with the other 11 jurors to decide the fate of all the accused. It was an honor to be a part of that process. During this experience, I had a huge sense of pride serving my community and wanted to continue doing so after my commitment was complete.

 
Brandon Gadoci
Describe how and where you have served or volunteered within the Richardson Community; and how your role prepared you for service on the city council.

I come from a family of volunteers. My grandfather was the Potentate of the Shriners, my mother was very active in the Richardson Junior League, and my father has served on multiple charity boards including MS Society. As a youth, I started my volunteering at the age of 10 where was responsible for the landscaping at Miss Belle’s House at Owens Farm (A project of RJL). Additionally, every summer through high school I worked with disabled children through a Richardson outreach program. I volunteered for the Plano YMCA throughout the years. In High School, I was Vice President of Key Club (Kiwanis Youth Organization) and continued with Circle K during college.

Additionally, I was the Philanthropy Chair in my Fraternity at Colorado State. As an adult I have mainly helped my wife with the various charities she is involved in (Richardson Junior League for several years and Scottish Rite currently) along with being a leader in both my Children’s PTAs. As a small business owner in Richardson, I have hosted multiple charity and fundraising events at our shop, and most recently I was part of the planning committee for the Beaujolais Bash, a fundraising event for Richardson Symphony Orchestra.

 
Brandon Gadoci
What do you consider the three top issues facing Richardson, and how would you address them as a City Council member. If your ideas have a cost how would you propose to pay for the solutions?
  1. Aging infrastructure is and will continue to be a significant issue in Richardson. The city is on the right track with increasing the budget for street repairs and is completing these projects in a timely matter. It is something that will always remain a top priority for Richardson and should continue to be allocated the resources it needs.

  2. Mobility and transportation remain a concern. We need to work with TXDOT on 75. The fact that the HOV lanes have only one entrance going north and one going South with no exits within Richardson is ridiculous. Plano has essentially abandoned their HOV portion, yet we have it running straight through our city making unusable for Richardson residence. I would like to see a flexible lane strategy that consists of HOV during rush hour and usable for everyone else during off hours or at a minimum remove the barriers to make it accessible to all of Richardson while keeping it an HOV Lane. Sometimes things need just to be looked at with common sense. While we can't directly control what happens on 75, we can make sure our voice is heard. I am encouraged by the addition of a second rail for the Cotton Belt Railway. This project will forever transform the North West Quadrant of Richardson and will be a benefit to all the citizens of our great city.

  3. Due to recent events, I feel that trust in our council is another critical issue we face today. When I become a councilperson, I commit to being extremely accessible and open to hearing directly from my constituents.

I am a frank and fair individual and will welcome anyone’s thoughts to help craft my decisions. Being a new small business owner, I was grateful to the City of Richardson for listening to my needs and wants during the development phase and want to help give a voice to other current and future small businesses as well.

 
Brandon Gadoci
What do you think are the key economic development goals for our city? What plans or actions would you propose to achieve these goals?

Richardson is a landlocked city. We have very little open space left. We have to be more creative than the wide-open cities North of us to continue to compete globally. The current and past council members have done an excellent job at making Richardson attractive to business of medium to substantial in nature. We need to continue to attract businesses and developments that keep the majority of tax burdens off the residents of our city. Right now, citizens property taxes account for 34% of the total revenue for the city. Attracting more businesses to Richardson will help us maintain or lower that burden. My biggest economic development goal is to look at the projects practically and with common sense. I am also not a fan of approving developments and then applying variances down the road so that they are far off from the original vision. We need more Cityline projects and less Palisades. We need to be thoughtful to our surrounding neighbors when deciding on future developments.

In regards to Palisades, once the trial is over in Sherman, we need to start the healing process and move on. I want to make Palisades a project that I focus my attention. I was not a fan of the original development, but I certainly want it to be completed instead of sitting 1/3 done.

 
Brandon Gadoci
Our Texas governor is supporting new legislation that would cap local property tax revenue growth at 2.5%...

Our Texas governor is supporting new legislation that would cap local property tax revenue growth at 2.5%. If enacted how could this impact Richardson today and in the future? Do you support this legislation?

In theory, capping taxes sounds excellent. I am a proponent of lower taxes. However, I am not a fan of the Texas congress dictating Richardson’s business. (They do not like Washington telling them what to do either.) A cap could potentially slow development and infrastructure expenditures. It ties the hands of city councils across Texas. Richardson should be in control of its finances, not Austin. As a taxpayer and citizen of Texas, I do not support this cap. The fact of the matter is that the city portion is a small percentage of our overall property taxes. For Richardson residents in Dallas county, city taxes are 22% of their overall property taxes, and for Collin County residents it is 26%.

 
Brandon Gadoci
As a city council member, how would you propose enhancing the quality of life in richardson?

I think Richardson is on the right path. We need to continue developing our city in a kind and thoughtful manner, ensuring that all new commercial developments include green space and have convenient walkability. I also believe we need to ensure that when we spend our taxpayers' money, it is for the benefit of as many citizens as possible. I understand that we will never be able to please everyone, so my goal is to listen to Richardson residents in efforts to do what’s best for the majority. I feel the main priorities for quality of life is to have walkable pathways, drivable and rideable streets, and a safe place to live. My goal is for the citizens to feel like their voice matters and they feel they are part of Richardson’s future enhancements.

 
Brandon Gadoci
Why are you the BEST qualified candidate for council in your Place?

Why are you the BEST qualified candidate for council in your Place? I have lived in place 4 for the better of 40 years and Place 1 before that. I own a business in Place 4 that serves residents from all over Richardson and surrounding areas. I am not a politician but am a proud citizen that wants to help. I feel that I am a good citizen, a good father and husband, and an excellent servant to my fellow man. I could have opened a business or lived anywhere but Richardson, Texas is the home for my family and my business. I have been through city processes to start a business, and with that knowledge, I can help others do the same. I have 25 years of hospitality leadership experience. That has taught me how to handle conflict with grace, how to work as a team, and how to deal with all types of people, which is crucial because we will have seven unique opinions and views on everything that comes before the council. I am beholden to God, my family, the people I serve, and no one else. Bottom line I care about Richardson and want what’s best for our city.

 
Brandon Gadoci
What made me decide to run for city council?

I have volunteered with various Richardson community programs from childhood to now, and most recently was the foreman of the 2018 Collin County Grand Jury with is a 6-month commitment for those who serve. In my experience most people see jury duty as a burden; however, I have always looked at it as an essential part of being an American. Upon selection, I was honored to be chosen as foreman. As foreman I oversaw over 1500 felony cases, monitoring the debates and questions of the police, witnesses, victims, and prosecutors. At the end of each day, I worked with 11 other jurors to decide the fate of all of the accused. It was an honor to be a part of that process. During this experience, I had a massive sense of pride serving my community and wanted to continue doing so after my commitment was complete.

 
Brandon Gadoci
Lets talk about the time commitment of a Richardson City councilperson.

A lot of people think the council meets on Monday nights and that's about it. However, it is more like a 20 - 30 hour a week commitment to our constituents. In addition to all night Mondays, councilpersons head up 2 to 3 commissions or boards with each one meeting 1 to 2 times per month. It doesn’t stop there. Don’t forget the breakfasts and lunches all over town that request city presence. There are ribbon cuttings, trips to Austin and other cities, school visits, and meeting with constituents. All in all it’s another full time job.

This is why traditionally the city council has been made up of business owners, retirees, or execs that can dedicate enough time to the city.

It is an important factor when considering who to back in the 4 contested races.

I am fully prepared to dedicate the required time. I have hired additional staff to make sure I can be an active participant in city business.

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Brandon Gadoci