Scott on the Issues
I would like to think that I’m open to see where God provides opportunities to serve Him. I believe God opened this door and provided this opportunity for me to serve my community in this capacity as the presiding commissioner of Buchanan County.
Public safety, economic development opportunities for the county/city and fiscal responsibility.
There is an ambulance tax that was enacted to start-up the county ambulance service. I would look towards reducing/removing it as the program gets closer to self-sustainability.
Without being part of a budgeting session for the county and knowing exactly where designated and undesignated taxes are applied, it is hard to say at this point. The commissioners need to be prudent in their spending of citizens taxes.
Infrastructure/capital projects should be looked at from a long-term point of view. Invest in projects that will last and continue to provide jobs, education and products for our community.
We should be looking at areas that are designated economic opportunity zones and try to promote these areas to potential developers or businesses.
Budgetary adjustments are made in the general (undesignated) fund. This is where the county services are funded. These services need to be looked at yearly to determine if the goals for these service entities are still in line with what the commission feels are the citizen’s needs.
When managing public agencies, is it better to have more employees at a modest wage or fewer employees at a wage high enough to attract quality applicants?
Fewer employees working more efficiently and with high quality expectations are better than more mediocre employees. We need to be competitive in our salary structures all the while demanding and expecting excellence in performance.
Should more county services be contracted with private providers or done by the government? What is the appropriate balance?
I believe the county should contract with agencies who have proven they can do the service. Let the experts do the work. Hire good people and let them ply their trade.
The county commissioners need to realize that college isn’t for everyone. We should support trade/technical schools in their endeavor to fill the gap in teaching and training this potential work force. I have said, that if you have a trade and are good at it, you will be needed.
I would champion the fact that Buchanan County is a great place to work and raise a family. I would point out the benefits I have seen living here these last 35 years. How many towns/counties our size can boast of having a parkway system that is envied, a state university, NFL training camp, at least 6 internationally renown companies, a top 50 regional medical center/hospital, a symphony orchestra, art museum, 8 high schools, golf courses, tennis centers, and Air National Guard at Rosecrans. All with a population of under 100,000 in the county. We have a lot to offer potential new businesses that may want to locate here.
Transparency is an important aspect when dealing with and spending tax revenues. It is sad but most folks couldn’t tell you where the commissioner’s office is located, much less know what all they support. Meetings are all open to the public (personnel issues that may come up are the exception). Meeting times are posted every week in the newspaper. Even with all of that, attendance by the public is scarce if none existent. I would try to get with the service groups (i.e. Rotary, Lions, etc.) at their weekly meetings to keep them informed of the happenings in the office. I believe they would be open to hearing. Finally, I am of the opinion, if folks want to know it is not hard to find out what goes on. People will only engage if they deem it important.