Name: Patrick J. McGinnis
Occupation: Physician; Director of Medical Informatics at Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center
Campaign website or social media site: www.drpatmcginnis.com
Elected offices held (with years of service): Friendswood City Council, Position 4 (3 years)
Q: Are you a legal resident of the district you are seeking to represent?
Yes __x___ No _____
ADDRESS: 2010 Butler Dr. Friendswood TX 77546
Q: Have you ever been charged or convicted of a felony crime? If you answer yes please explain.
Yes _____ No __x____ EXPLAIN:
Q: Have you ever sued a public entity or been sued by one? If you answer yes, please explain.
Yes _____ No ___x___ EXPLAIN:
Q: Do you have any other debts (including unpaid taxes) to a public entity? If yes please explain.
Yes _____ No __x____ EXPLAIN:
Q: Will you have your home phone number listed in the phone book or your mobile number listed for the public to contact you directly?
Q: Why should voters choose you?
A: The voters should choose me because I am the most qualified person vying for the position. As the incumbent, I am the most up-to-date on current issues, and I have good working relationships with key staff throughout the city. My work experience and educational background, described in a subsequent question, gives me the broadest knowledge base from which to deliberate and make decisions.
Q: What are your specific qualifications for the position?
A: I have had a prolonged career in public service, and continue to meet and fulfill positions of responsibility. Specifically: 1) 27+ years serving our Nation and State in the US Air Force, Air National Guard, and Air Force Reserve. I currently hold the rank of Colonel. 2) 10 years with NASA as a Flight Surgeon taking care of our astronauts and their families. 3) 8+ years of leadership positions in Healthcare Information Technology – with both for-profit and non-profit organizations. 4) 3 years serving Friendswood as a City Councilman. I also bring a high level of education, including 4 advanced degrees beyond the baccalaureate.
Q: What are the issues in this campaign?
A: Thankfully, there is no “hot-button” issue this year. Unfortunately, the issue which energized the electorate in 2010, the Alvin Park Land Deal, still casts a shadow. The City continues to face a lawsuit as a result of that prior action by Council, as was described on The Daily News recently. Other items important to our citizens include updating our infrastructure, facilities, and parks. At the present time, we have a Citizens’ Advisory Group looking at several options for strengthening our infrastructure, renewing or rebuilding city facilities (i.e. library, fire station, etc.) and expanding and enhancing our city parks.
Q: What is your platform on those issues?
A: With regard to the lawsuit, we will work through the legal process. In general, this should be settled with the least expense for Friendswood taxpayers. For example, if a mediation solution is possible to help resolve the outstanding legal claims, that would be preferable to and much less expensive than, seeing this lawsuit be drawn out more years. Regarding the other items, we must make sure our roads/water/sewer are in good repair and updated as necessary to deliver the high level of utility to our residents. We are awaiting the report from the Citizen’s Advisory Group on the priority of major capital projects, and how they shall be funded.
Q: What does the city need to do to increase business development along its main corridors?
A: The Community and Economic Development Committee is currently looking at this particular question. We already offer some business incentives. The CEDC works tightly with other organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce, to let business prospects be introduced to Friendswood. These actions enhance the underlying market mechanisms. Thus, and most importantly, our policies should keep Friendswood a desirable and safe place for families. As we continue to gain residents, I know this fact alone will present attractive opportunities for businesses to locate on the main corridors.
Q: How would you rate the city's dedication of resources to infrastructure: Poor, fair, about right or excellent? Why do you rate it that way?
A: I would say it is “about right” for 2013. I have now been through the annual budget process 3 times. Each year, we do look at the current and projected infrastructure needs, and the required capital investments. We are “about right” for the next few years, even with no new development. The citizens can be proud of our newer facilities such as the Public Safety Building and Animal Control Building. However, on the horizon, say beyond 4-5 years, we also know there are significant projects which should be undertaken. That is why we have asked the Citizens Advisory Group to give Council recommendations on their priorities for development and funding.
Q: What resources should be dedicated to help curb crime, especially from those outside the city?
A: Currently, the City of Friendswood is the 20th safest city in America. So, what our Police officers are doing now is working. But to continue to curb crime, we should reinforce the police presence along the 528 and 518 corridors. But policemen can’t be everywhere. I would see an opportunity for the Police Department to work with Home Owners Associations, to help individual neighborhoods develop their own security through use of newer technologies, such as now being employed by many businesses. Also, our continued cooperation with neighboring police forces will be key to catch and deter criminals who do come to Friendswood.