Meet the Candidates: Stan Snyder

By on 10 February, 2011 in Government, Kate and Stephen, Legal Issues with 0 Comments

On March 8th, much of Midtown will go to the polls to elect a new representative for District 7 of the Montgomery City Council. Now that Martha Roby has gone off to Washington to represent Montgomery in Congress, eight candidates have qualified for the special election to replace her. Roby has declined to endorse anyone in the race, saying that residents of District 7 are smart enough to make a good decision about who will be represent them on the council. Midtown Montgomery Living will be interviewing candidates throughout the month and posting results as we get them. Candidates submit their answers to MML in writing and the only edits we make are for grammar or punctuation. Next up is Stan Snyder.

What do you do for a living?

I am an attorney and real estate investor. I work as the legal representation for our small business, Action Property Management, L.L.C. d/b/a Montgomery Homes.

What is your educational background?

I earned an undergraduate degree in Business Administration Management and a minor in English from the University of Florida. I earned a JD from Jones School of Law in Montgomery, Alabama.

Are you married? Any children?

I am married to Heather Snyder and we have two little boys, Lucas, who is two and a half, and Carson, who will be one this month.

How long have you lived in Montgomery?

I moved to Montgomery to attend Jones in 2006.

Does your campaign have a website?

www.votesnyder.com

Why are you running for city council?

I was inspired in the past election cycle by what seemed like everyday citizens who were taking a very active role in the current political discourse. I felt compelled to get involved in my community and offer my unique skill set of business and legal education and business experience in service to help improve the city.

How many council meetings have you attended?

A few last year and all of them this year.

Who do you think is the most effective current council member, and why?

Glen Pruitt because he really loves this city and wants to see it continue to prosper. Glen is very active in the community. It seems like any meeting that I attend, Glen is there. Glen is a great asset to the citizens of this community because he is always helping people, and not just those that live in his district — but any citizen in Montgomery that seeks his assistance.

What did you think of Martha Roby’s time as D7 rep on the council? Did she do a good job?

I was always impressed with any dealings I had with Martha. She did a wonderful job and, if elected, I hope that I meet and surpass the standard that she set as a representative for district 7.

What distinguishes you from your fellow candidates?

To my knowledge, I am the only candidate with a legal education. Therefore, my approach to issues may differ in that I will likely begin my analysis with the council’s legal authority and purpose. Also, I am not originally from Montgomery, so I believe that I offer a fresh perspective of the city.

The City Council seems like a ‘full-time part-time job.’ How do you plan to make time in your schedule?

My regular work schedule is very flexible because I mostly work from home. If I am needed in the middle of the day for a city council related matter, I have the freedom in my current schedule to tend to that matter and finish my other work in the evenings. I do not anticipate any schedule conflicts.

What are the major issues that you see confronting District 7?

Neighborhood crime has been the most common area of concern among the people I have spoken with while knocking on doors and while attending neighborhood association meetings.

What do you intend to do to solve those issues?

I know enough to know that I do not have all the answers to the issues that the City of Montgomery faces. I believe the best way to address any issue is to collaborate with the experts in the respective fields and provide them with the resources needed to address the issues we face as a city. However, I believe continuing to strengthen our local economy is one general means of addressing many issues. A robust local economy would have a positive impact on reducing crime in our neighborhoods because people are less likely to take the risk associated with committing a crime if they have an alternative means of income that does not carry the inherent risk of committing a crime. That being said, one specific action that I intend to take as a representative of District 7 is to work with our neighborhood watch programs and our neighborhood associations to utilize current social networks like Facebook and Twitter to create a network of citizens that can alert each other if a crime is witnessed or discovered in a neighborhood.

What is your position on residential recycling?

The city of Montgomery should be in the business of recycling. Presently the city has recycling drop-off locations available throughout the city where citizens can bring their recyclable waste. Please click on the following link to view all drop off locations:  http://www.montgomeryal.gov/index.aspx?page=245

The City did have curbside pickup for recyclables, but the former facility did not have the capacity needed to handle the tonnage that was generated during curbside pickup. As a result, the city was only recycling about 5 percent of all the waste that was collected. The total amount of waste that is recycled has actually increased since the city has gone to a drop-off system.

The City should continue to seek out creative low cost solutions to meet its recycling needs. One potential solution the City should continue to explore is building a plasma gasification plant. Plasma gasification is a process where all types of trash, not just recyclables, are fed into a plasma converter, and then the converter uses a plasma arc to reduce the trash into its molecular components. The byproducts created from the process can then be converted into fuel and asphalt. The converters also produce excess electricity that can be sold to power companies in the area. More information about this process can be found at the following link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plasma_arc_waste_disposal

What should the City Council do about urban blight?

The City Council should encourage enforcement of current building codes. Enforcing our current building codes will force property owners of decaying buildings to remedy code violations or face penalties. Also, urban blight is another area where I see a robust local economy as a facilitator to a preferred free market solution to this problem. Currently, we see dilapidated buildings as an eyesore, a safety hazard, and places that host criminal activity. But to an entrepreneur, these properties are potential business opportunities. This solution would result in a remedy of the urban blight without forcing the city to spend the money to demolish the buildings.

Is SmartCode good for Cloverdale?

I think SmartCode will have a positive impact on the Cloverdale area. I attended the meeting when the re-zoning was passed, and it was favored by both the business leaders in the area, as well as the neighborhood associations in the area. At Jones, I studied under Chad Emerson, the current planning and development department assistant director, a proponent of SmartCode, and in his class we looked at cities and towns that have experienced long tenures of prosperity. One thing that these cities had in common is a walkable neighborhood style that requires a mix of land uses such as residential, office space, and retail space. One of the most attractive elements of SmartCode is that it should facilitate the freedom for the market or the land owner to determine the use of the land rather than a zoning ordinance.

In a world where higher taxes seems to be totally off the table as an option for raising revenue, what ideas do you have for filling the hole in the city’s budget? If you think programs and services can/should be cut, please be specific about which ones and how much.

As a general ideology, I believe that higher taxes do not result in long term increased revenue. Higher taxes tend to be anti-growth because they are an added expense to would-be small businesses and an added burden to Montgomery’s existing and potential citizens. Entrepreneurs often have a choice of where to start their new businesses and making Montgomery an attractive choice for new businesses by keeping taxes low will increase revenue as more businesses are established in the city.  Current and potential citizens have the choice to live and work in Montgomery, as opposed to one of the surrounding cities such as Prattville, Millbrook, Wetumpka, or even Auburn. Raising taxes only makes Montgomery a less attractive alternative than the other cities, thus reducing our citizenry and the city’s tax base.

What is something people should know about you but don’t?

I have passed both the Alabama bar exam and the Florida bar exam and I have a license to practice in both states. Although I believe it is unlikely, I would like to have a minor league hockey team based in Montgomery, because I love live hockey.

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