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Questionnaire: Tom Carney, candidate for Delray Beach mayor

Name: Tom Carney

Age: 69

Website: tomcarneyformayor.com

What distinguishes you most from your opponent(s)?
My background and experience, both on the Commission and off. What the others do not have and what I have is an actual working knowledge of working with the Commission and staff in front of the dais, representing clients with matters in front of various boards and the Commission. Until you actually have to take a project from inception through approval in the city, working with the various departments, staff and boards, you never really understand how the city really works. I do. And I know I can make it easier for our residents to deal with the process. No one else running can say this. In addition, the city will be facing in the next few years projects needing major funding (the new water plant, fire station and police station), and it is anticipated that tax-exempt bonds will be used. I have a background in law and public finance, which gives me the direct experience to review these areas. I’m the only one with 45 years in law, budget oversight, public ?nance, consensus building and problem solving who can provide the mature leadership Delray needs.

List in reverse chronological order, starting with most recent, colleges and universities attended with years of attendance and degrees held.
Masters of Law (Taxation), Georgetown University Law School, Washington, DC. 1980 – 1984
J.D., Boston College Law School, 1976 – 1979. Associate Editor of the Boston College Internal and Comparative Law Journal, 1979.
B.S. (Political Science), Spring Hill College, Mobile, AL

List in reverse chronological order your work history for the past 15 years.
Partner at Carney Stanton, PL (law firm) 1994 – present
Principal at Crystal Title & Escrow Company, Inc. (Title Insurance Company) 1994 – present

Have you ever been a party to a lawsuit, including bankruptcy or foreclosure? If so, provide details and disposition.
I was a defendant in a fender bender lawsuit in 2017, the case was settled.

Have you ever been charged or convicted of a misdemeanor or felony, including an adjudication of guilt withheld? If so, provide charges, dates and terms of sentence.
Yes, I pulled out from 7th Ave. to George Bush Blvd one night and was hit broadside. My airbag deployed, causing cuts and bleeding from the windshield shattering. My brother came to help and was concerned that I might have some glass shards in my face. He encouraged me to walk to our nearby office to wash up and check for glass. It turned out I had a severe concussion, so not thinking clearly, I left for the short walk to go wash up. The police charged me with leaving the scene of an accident, but the charges were later dropped and record expunged.

Do you support creation of a historic district to protect East Atlantic Avenue, and why or why not?
Every time I have someone visiting Delray Beach, I take them down Atlantic Avenue and they are amazed and fall in love with it. Atlantic Ave is the gem of our downtown and the economic driver of our tourism revenue. I am very concerned that some take Atlantic Avenue for granted. As to creation of another historic district, that needs careful study.  I’m in favor of more protection for the character of the Avenue, but I need to see the specifics. The process for city review of renovations and additions cannot be onerous to property owners. I would support strict design guidelines that take a super majority to overturn. This is a common, successful way cities like Palm Beach and Coral Gables protect the integrity of their historic downtowns.

Pension benefits for city public safety workers have increased and public safety costs are roughly half the city budget. Is this appropriate, and would you support additional increases?
Public safety is absolutely paramount to our residents. The new fire contract has changed the shifts from one day on and two days off to one day on and three off, which required the city to hire additional firefighters costing the taxpayers over $20 million over the term of the contract, so no, I would not support additional increases. The police contract added to the “multiplier,” which gave our police a major boost in their pensions. We have to find efficiencies and ensure that what we pay for our valuable public safety workers is sustainable. We cannot find ourselves in a situation, like many cities have, that they are upside down on these contracts, not leaving sufficient funds to run the city.

Do you think the city’s building height limits are too low, too high or just right, and would you pledge to oppose any easing of height restrictions in the future?
I believe the current height limits are appropriate and would oppose any changing of the height limit. It contributes to keeping the village character of our town.

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