Address: 1200 Hawkfly Road
Occupation: Interactive Operations Manager
Political party: Libertarian
Education: Bachelor of Arts, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (2007); Master of Business Administration, Concordia University (2017)
Organization endorsements: Lincoln Independent Business Association PAC
Herrold, a newcomer to politics, said he's troubled that taxes and spending keep going up and city government continues to grow. He wants his children to be able to afford to live here. "I will work to lower taxes and spending and reduce wasteful government to encourage real growth and make it easier to live and work in Lincoln."
Why are you running and what do you want to accomplish in office?
I moved to Lincoln over 15 years ago to attend UNL. After graduating and getting married, my wife and I knew this is where we wanted to make our home and raise our family. Over those 15 years, I’ve noticed some disturbing trends: Our taxes keep going up. Spending keeps going up. And city government is getting bigger. I want to live in this city for a long time. I want my children to be able to afford to live here as well. I will work to lower taxes and spending and reduce wasteful government to encourage real growth and make it easier to live and work in Lincoln.
Are there any special needs in your district that are different from issues in the rest of the city?
This district is diverse in many ways, meaning there are many different hopes and desires by the individuals that live here. The cost of living is high in many neighborhoods in the district. We need to address the root causes of these expenses (high taxes, land use restrictions, etc). There are neighborhoods in the district that have seen an increase in violent crimes. We must make sure our police officers are focused on high-crime areas to keep Lincoln streets safer.
Every candidate includes public safety and streets as their top priorities. In lean financial times how would you budget for parks, libraries and other city services?
I believe in fiscal restraint at all times -- not just the “lean financial times.” I will oppose budget policies that spend lavishly in good times so we’re not stretched thin in tough times. For example, the city has a “cash reserve” fund that is designed to lessen the financial strain in lean times. In the last budget cycle, that fund was raided for special projects. That was wrong, and I would not support similar short-sighted policies in the future.
Should voters approve a quarter-cent hike in the city sales tax with proceeds earmarked for streets? Why or why not?
I hope Lincoln voters defeat the sales tax increase. Our streets need attention and have needed it for years. But we don’t need new money -- we need a new strategy. I will look diligently for waste in the budget and inefficiencies in our current processes for building and maintaining roads. I will examine the best practices of other cities and counties using their best ideas to improve Lincoln’s streets. We can have better roads without increasing tax rates.
Ensuring that everyone has access to decent housing that they can afford has become a national topic. What is your definition of affordable housing? What should the city do to encourage or provide for more affordable housing?
I will not use arbitrary definitions of affordable housing (e.g. HUD’s 30 percent of income figure). They are not objective, and we shouldn’t make policies that affect everyone based on definitions from an elite few. To address issues of rising housing costs, we must address root problems. Property and sales taxes, land-use restrictions and restrictive zoning are all burdens the government puts on us making housing more expensive. Reducing these burdens is the only real way to address this issue.
With the rise in home values, the city and other local governments could bring in more revenue by not reducing the property tax rate. The additional tax revenue coming from the increase in appraised value has been called a windfall. How should the city respond?
I will craft and champion budget policies that return more of the people’s money to them or let them keep more of it in the first place. This includes reducing the mill levy on properties so taxes on those properties do not increase and even go down. I will insist LPS and Lancaster County officials do the same. I will reject any policy that attempts to find special, unnecessary projects to spend any “windfall.” It is the people’s money.
In 2012 the City Council passed an ordinance protecting people from discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation in housing, employment and public accommodations. A referendum petition stopped the ordinance from going into effect. The council has not rescinded the ordinance nor put the issue on the ballot. If the state does not pass discrimination protection based on sexual orientation and gender identity this session, should the City Council put the proposed fairness ordinance on the ballot for a citywide vote? Why or why not?
I do not support putting the fairness ordinance on a ballot for a variety of reasons. I support everyone’s right to freely associate and rights should not be on a ballot. I am concerned about the mixed messages a vote on this ordinance would send whether it passes or not. I am concerned of the religious freedom/employment issues this may cause. I believe it is prudent to wait for the outcome of the state policy proposal before acting further.
Some Lincoln residents, including members of Nebraskans Against Gun Violence, believe the City Council should pass a safe gun storage ordinance. Do you think the city should require gun owners to lock up guns in their homes?
No, I do not believe it should be a requirement (i.e. enforced by statute), but I do believe it’s a good idea to store guns safely and responsibly. However, how one decides what is safe and responsible for him or herself is up to that individual. Above all else regarding this issue, I support every individual’s natural right to defense. If one chooses to defend his or her property with firearms, the government should not interfere with that choice.
The city has banned cardboard from the city landfill and required local haulers to provide curbside recycling service. Should the city go further, by banning other recyclable products (paper, plastic) from the landfill? What changes, if any, would you propose for the recycling program?
The cardboard ban is less than a year old, so it is too early to tell if it is a success or a problem. Less cardboard is going to the landfill (a positive), but there are also issues, for example, of cardboard piling up around apartment complexes (a negative). We need more time to evaluate the effects. I will say I personally think recycling is an important thing to do, but I am against government overreach like forced recycling.
What role should the city take in planning and paying for bike paths (on streets or wider sidewalks) and bike trails (separate paths for bikes and walkers)?
I have no issues with bike paths or trails per se, but too often tax dollars that should be going to road improvement go to bike lanes. I take no issue with using private funding for bike paths -- sources like grants, endowments, or other private funds -- which happens often. I will work to make sure tax dollars, however, are prioritized toward roads. We should not be adding bike lanes to roads especially where there are safety and congestion concerns.
Winter weather has created an abundance of potholes. Do you think the city does enough to address the problem? Is there anything it should change?
It is not just potholes that are the problem, but our streets, in general, need serious attention. We need a better strategy from our engineers. We need to examine what the best road surface technology, materials, and construction methods are and adopt those for Lincoln. We need to write our contracts so construction companies are held accountable when roads fall apart too quickly. We spend a lot of money on roads, and the condition they are in is unacceptable.