* Occupation: Preconstruction Director for Skanska USA Building
* Education: Bachelor of science in construction management, New Jersey Institute of Technology
* Family: Jennifer, wife of 13 years, and daughters Madison, 11, and Samantha, 9
* Website: http://www.facebook.com/#!/BobKovacsForHollySpringsCityCouncil
* What do you think is the one most important issue facing the city and how do you plan to address it through your role on the City Council?
Our most important issue is being able to provide the services and amenities that our residents need and deserve, while reducing the tax burden on them. This requires that we do two things — ensure that we are spending our taxpayers’ hard earned tax dollars wisely, and bring new commercial development to the city to offset the tax burden on the residents.
* What makes you the most qualified person for the position that you are seeking?
In my daily position as a preconstruction director, I develop costs for construction projects, which often start out over budget. It’s my job to understand the goals of the owner, dig into details of the project, and develop creative solutions to reduce costs while giving the owner what he wants. This same process can be applied to the city. As a city councilman, I will work to understand the needs of the citizens, evaluate all options available, and deliver the desired services in the most cost-effective way possible. It’s too easy to sit back and say “well, that’s the way we’ve always done it” instead of looking for new solutions, and I’ve never been one to take the easy way out. Over the past five years, I’ve served on the Historic Preservation Commission and the Downtown Development Authority, and I serve on the Planning and Zoning Commission. In these positions, I’ve developed an understanding of where the city has been and where it needs to go, and I’m ready to take on the responsibility of leading us forward.
* Do you support the type of development, including the Walmart set to open within Holly Springs in the next two years, that the city is moving toward? Why or why not?
I support a well-balanced mix of development, which includes large and small commercial projects, as well as residential development. The majority of the recent development in the city has been residential, which typically requires a greater level of service than commercial development. This has placed an excessive portion of the tax burden on the residents. Projects such as the Walmart and Home Depot developments work well in their locations near the interstate exits, and bring both jobs and tax revenue to the city. I don’t, however, see projects of that type being “what the city is moving toward“—they only work in certain locations in any town. In addition to these types of projects, we need to bring smaller, locally owned businesses to the city as well, and that’s what projects such as the downtown development and the Neighborhood Commercial zones will do.
In my time on the Planning and Zoning Commission, I’ve worked to ensure that we have standards in place that will provide for attractive, well-placed projects that fit into the various areas of town. As the economy improves, we need to proactively develop relationships with the business community to attract a mix of office, light industrial, medical and retail space to the city, which will both reduce the tax burden on the residents, as well as provide them with more places to work, shop, and dine without having to leave the city.
* Holly Springs is a growing area. As the demand for services increases, how do you propose to keep taxes down?
In order to keep taxes down while maintaining or increasing services, we need to broaden the tax base within the city and also ensure that we’re being fiscally responsible with the funds we receive. By attracting commercial development to the city, we can reduce the tax burden on the residents, but we also need to be good stewards of the tax dollars we collect, regardless of where they’re coming from. This will require us to challenge the way things have been done in the past, make some tough decisions, and look at new solutions and ideas to reduce costs while maintaining services. Holly Springs is a great place to live, work and play, and if elected, I promise to provide our residents with responsible, open leadership that will keep it that way.