Williamston....grew up in Pewamo, Mi
B.S./MA MSU. A lot of course work elsewhere.
Carol-spouse of 42 years; Chad 38; Nathan 31
Vocational Education Teacher. Experiences in Agriculture, Business, Construction/Industry.
Ingham County Commissioner since 1984
I have extensive experience in education, government, industry, construction, agriculture and as a private business owner. ThAs such, the diversified background allows me to look at an overall big picture and the cause/effect of our actions. My outlook is not through a narrow tube, but rather a large lens.
Parks are important and worthy of support. However, the county's long term unfunded liabilities, infrastructure needs and ability to bond and keep an AA credit rating is also critical. There was be balance and fiscal responsibilities.
No. The formula is complex for funding roads with federal, local, taxes, county, other units of government and thus; there is no easy answer. I do think the heavy truck weights, quality of construction and protecting the infrastructure is critical. In addition, fuel taxes should only be used for roads.
It is obvious the infrastructure has been ignored and the will to force changes is required.
The state owns 1/3 of the land and leases the much of the property to generate vast amounts of money. It would be prudent if some could be used for infrastructure that enhances economic development and benefits everyone.
The question I will pose is why don't basic changes be made in the funding mechanisms and the resources of the state before assuming more taxes? What information would the taxes be bases upon and how would the necessary improvements be made.
One cannot say to simply raise taxes, but also how can things be improved within the current situation first.
No. Ingham County Government is trying to be everything to everyone. It now has 10 Special Millages timed in a manner and focused to certain groups to assure passage. The budget cannot sustain the pressure. Employees have not received fair waged in 8 years and their contributions have skyrocketed.
The county needs to stick with its' basic CORE and do a good job.
The townships and local small villages and cities provide for the basic needs more efficiently and directly than the county. The City of Lansing with 109,000 people has more influence than the other 180,000 combined with the Ingham Board of Commissioners.
It would be wonderful if it was non-partisan. There are 14 Commissioners. Eleven are Democrats and 3 are Republicans. The majority party has a "Binding Caucus". Thus, if one gets 6 votes the others are required to vote the same. I believe it should be one person, one vote in a non-partisan format.
*Lack of support for County Wide Public Safety that affects all people of all area. The area has faces the most cuts of any with a loss of 37 officers.
*Addressing the unfunded liabilties to protect the retirees and the county's financial status.
*Revisiting the CORE services to be provided and remembering that our decisions will impact generations to come.
It is difficult to address. As the senior member of the Commission, I witness and argue for the big picture and the long haul. There are too many situations where it is easier to go along, rather than to question.
No. The County is getting into a dangerous area. The County can only raise another $250,000 through tax levy. The General Fund Budge is about $86,000,000. In total with grants, matches, state, feds, the county will spend around $180,000,000.
Basic Public Safety, libraries and the infrastructure (roads, bridges, building, power transmission).
I have always pushed for a booking fee for inmates. Over 10,000 inmates are processed per year at the County Jail. Even a small fee of $50 would generate $50,000 which could be used for Jail related expenses.
The number of millages is of great concern. It will be tough to scale back after they end. The board needs to think long term. Not for 3 or 5 years; but for 50.
I do not support new millages. The Healthcare millage was misleading at best. The fund with whom we contracted had over $10,000,000 in the bank and was not needed. In addition, the number of people to be insured is less than 5% of the stated need.
The Animal Control should be handled by the Humane Society. Ingham County should only be an enforcement agency. There is really not a need for a new facility under this scenario
The Parks and Trails millage was primarily put on the ballot to repair Lansing's Trail infrastructure because it was so badly neglected. Again, do not build what you cannot support and maintain. Common sense!
I opposed all three of the above. .