There are three main issues I see facing Wright County: 1.) the taxes, 2.) the huge debt load created by the current Board of Commissioners and 3.) the County Commissioners not listening to their constituents and voting accordingly.
Property taxes are higher than ever to compensate for the over spending. The present County Commissioners are not using common sense to spend within their means, not by raising taxes, but working with what they have to stick to a budget like any constituent family has to. We all understand expenses go up and we budget for those increases all the time, but there is a two letter word, “No,” that must be used more often so that the priority things get funded and the dreams, wishes, and luxuries get eliminated. There must be better management of the tax dollars taken in. Hidden agendas should not be funded.
For example, does the new Judicial Center have to have all the pretty frills? No, it needs to meet the needs for the foreseeable future, not the dreams. Why is there so much additional unused space built? The County Commissioners’ answer is that it is because this building will last for the next 50 years. However, the present courthouse has not lasted 50 years and there is no explanation for why the next one should be different. Technology changes, laws and mandates constantly change, and the County as a whole will drastically change in 50 years, so I recognize that something now is not going to be what is needed for the next 50 years. The constituents have asked the Commissioners to stop this over building. They have not listened, but I will.
Recently there was a petition to ask the County Commissioners to have constituents vote as to whether a new Government Center should be built. The County Commissioners dismissed the petition because they said it would cost too much for a special election, the petition was not in the proper form, and already had decided on another way to do the bonding and go forward. The request was there to be able to vote on this big ticket item. The Commissioners chose not to listen. I will.
Another sales tax was also added to all the people of Wright County by the current Commissioners. The funds from this tax were to be used only for roads and bridges in Wright County and designated and used at the beginning of the year as to what roads/bridges it could be used on. However, most of these collected taxes are being used only on the roads in the northeast part of the county. This tax also was sold to the public with the idea that people travelling through the County would be helping pay this tax. Clothes from the Mall are not taxed and there is not a lot of tax collected on cold pop and chips. It is all the constituents of Wright County that buy everyday items that are paying this additional and increase in our taxes, not folks travelling to the Mall to buy shoes and jeans. Have you also noticed the increase in taxes on services such as your phone, electric, natural gas, and other bills? That never got explained. Communication is vital as a representative of the people, but the current Board of Commissioners is not listening, and they are not communicating in a transparent manner. We constituents deserve to be fully informed, have a say, and be heard. I will listen to you.
The huge debt load is another issue that the County now has because of the overspending and bonding by this Board. Wright County has never seen a debt load like this before. Ten years ago, the bonding debt was $65 million. Checking on it in February, the bonding indebtedness is now $162 million. This huge debt for the County is very scary, even during a time when the economy is good. The current revenue from taxes is high due to the good economy, but the current Board even with increased revenue is spending far above the budget. If and when the economy slows down, especially since the coronavirus outbreak, this county will be in severe jeopardy. There has to be better management of the finances. The constituents are demanding it, and where this current Board has ignored those requests, I will not. I will listen.
Finally, the prevailing problem over all these issues is the current Wright County Commissioners’ unwillingness to listen to their constituents and act accordingly in their decisions. I promise that I will listen to you. I have no hidden agendas. I will work to stop the over spending and do a better job of management of our County’s tax dollars. I will listen to my constituents and I will work for you!