I am graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy. At the Academy I was instilled with the values of “Integrity First, Service Before Self, Excellence in All We Do”; principles I continue to use today. In the Air Force, I was navigator on a B-52 crew.
After the Air Force, I was sales engineer for an engineering company. I then started my own small business providing rapid prototyping services, today known as 3D Printing.
Aviation was my passion and I was presented with the opportunity to work with business aircraft manufacturer called Galaxy Aerospace. Galaxy Aerospace was eventually purchased by Gulfstream Aerospace.
After a facilities closure by Gulfstream, I began working for Jet Aviation as Sales Manager for almost 10 years. During that time, I was responsible for 7 aviation departments, managing 40+ aircrew and maintenance personnel. I was also project manager for several new hangar projects worth $3.0M to $7.0M each.
Currently, I work at Gulfstream as a manager. Most of my job is considered confidential, but some of my responsibilities are meeting with and listening to customer’s feedback, providing engineering requirements, developing business cases and strategic planning.
Aviation used to be my first love until I met my wife, Amanda. We have been married for 19 years. We have three (3) kids who currently attend Bryan County Schools.
As you can see, I’m not a Politician, but I know I can use my experience to help this community. I want to be Your Voice, a Voice for Everyone!
#1 Name something specific in the last 12 months that you have personally done to make Richmond Hill a better place to live, work, and play?
I was a Cub Scout Leader as the Events Committee Member for my son’s Cub Scout Pack for three (3) years. I planned activities for the Cub Scouts such as trips to the USS Yorktown, Cape Canaveral, Sea World and, of course, camping trips. Over the years I enjoyed seeing the kids develop confidence in their abilities, character and leadership skills. Help building these kids with a good foundation, makes them better residents for our community in the future to live, work and play!
#2 If money was no object and the decision was solely up to you, what’s the first thing you would do if elected?
Money is a major consideration in the decision-making process. If elected, I would consider the City of Richmond Hill’s money and budget as my own. It’s money I pay in taxes and fees along with my neighbors, my friends, my co-workers and all the residents and businesses in Richmond Hill. Therefore, The City of Richmond Hill needs to have a budget not only for the next fiscal year, but for the next few years and adhere to that budget. Then the City Council can work with the City Manager and prioritize the spending for equipment, personnel, roads, drainage, parks, etc. My priority would be making sure public safety had the necessary personnel and resources to protect our community.
#3 What visions do you have for Richmond Hill and how soon do you think those could become a reality?
My vision is to have a safe community. At Gulfstream, I work with projects that take between two (2) to seven (7) years to complete with budgets that are in the millions of dollars. The City of Richmond Hill is no different. Therefore, it would be unrealistic for anyone to expect changes to happen quickly soon after being elected into office.
#4 What can be done within city council to influence or create more family-friendly amenities?
I would like to find out what the residents prefer for family-friendly amenities. My idea on what family-friendly amenities are could be very different from what our residents want. We can work with appropriate City Departments and businesses to help it become a reality.
#5 What are your thoughts on growth? Do you have any related plans or goals?
Growth needs to be planned appropriately. My priority is to make sure our community is safe by having the proper infrastructure in place. That means the police and fire departments have enough personnel, equipment and training to keep our residents safe. It’s having proper roads and traffic lights to reduce accidents within the city. Finally, it’s having parks and sidewalks that are safe and include all residents such as people with special needs and senior citizens.
#6 Do you feel the schools are overcrowded? How do you plan on working with the Board of Education to manage this?
I have three (3) kids that attend Richmond Hill Schools. People move to this community because of the excellent schools and teachers we are blessed with. It’s important to me as we grow, that the City Council and the Bryan County Board of Education work closely together to manage this growth.
#7 Do you feel that Richmond Hill should offer their own ambulance service? If no, why not? If yes, what can be done to help make this happen?
It’s my understanding that Richmond Hill receives its ambulance service through Bryan County. If Richmond Hill were to consider their own ambulance service, we would need to research and find out if it would improve the safety to our residents and be a cost benefit to the City of Richmond Hill.
#8 What are your thoughts on the fact that most of the schools in Bryan County don’t have a dedicated resource officer?
Ideally I would like a dedicated resource officer in each school, this would involve Richmond Hill City Council to work closely with the Bryan County Board of Education. Again, planning and budgeting for the safety of our community, in this case our students and teachers, is a high priority for me, especially since I have kids attending Bryan County Schools.
#9 What is your opinion on the Bryan County Commissioners recent LVAP funding decision?
I was not privy to the information regarding how the Bryan County Commissioners made the LVAP funding decision. It would be irresponsible of me not having all the facts and providing you with an opinion.
#10 If the public has questions during this campaign, what’s the best way to contact you?
FaceBook: Mark Ott for Richmond Hill City Council