Why are you running for this position?
I have been interested in and excited about county government since I was a teenager. Serving as Scott County Commissioner for District 1 has been a privilege and honor. The past four years have flown by! I have learned much about county government and am excited to continue to work with residents, staff and businesses to make Scott County safer, healthier and an even better place to live, raise families, and grow businesses. I especially want to continue to find ways to transform the delivery of services in a way that yields long-term positive impacts and cost savings.
What are the top three issues you would face during your term?
The top three issues facing the Scott County Board over the next four years include 1) Continuing to limit levy growth and keep tax increases minimal as the demand for county services and mandates from the federal and state governments grow; 2) Attracting and retaining a top-notch workforce – folks who believe in public service and will continue to serve the public even in these times of heightened demands and a general dislike of government by some constituents; 3) Transforming the delivery of mandated and necessary services in a way that continues to be cost-effective but provides greater positive outcomes.
Is Scott County appropriately responding to the COVID-19 pandemic? If not, what actions should be taken?
3. Scott County is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic very appropriately. The County’s first responsibility is to continue to deliver mandated and necessary services in a way that keeps our customers and employees safe. We have implemented work-at-home policies and options, online and no contact delivery of services, telehealth options and more in a very short time period. Our public health department has been instrumental in working with long-term care facilities, child care providers, businesses and others to distribute PPE, provide testing options for residents and assisting businesses in re-opening and staying open in compliance with state and federal guidelines.
How can Scott County improve access to affordable housing?
Through the work of the County, Scott County cities, builders and developers and others, 431 units of affordable housing have been added to the housing stock of Scott County over the past four years! These are great results made possible because of a very collaborative effort. I see the county’s role as a convener of the interested parties and as helping provide the infrastructure needed to result in a varied housing stock for our current residents and for those who want to move here and work here.
How will you work to increase job opportunities for Scott County residents?
I will continue to support SCALE and the Live, Learn, Earn initiative that work to promote our communities as terrific places to build and grow businesses. County Government can increase job opportunities for residents by keeping taxes low (the County Board of course only controls the county portion of taxes — not city, school, township or other portions), investing in public safety, maintaining transportations systems — all of which make Scott County an attractive place for businesses. Business want to locate in safe, healthy, vital communities with low crime, good schools, parks and functional roads — key parameters local government can influence.
Why should local business owners support your candidacy?
Local business owners should support my candidacy because I believe a strong local economy will lead to health, vitality and safety for Scott County residents. I support prudent investment in infrastructure that will enable further economic development in Scott County — things like good roads, public safety, sewer and water extensions and parks. My belief is that local government should facilitate public goods and infrastructure and then, in general, get out of the way for the economy to work and grow.
What areas of the Scott County budget, if any, should be adjusted?
The Scott County Board and senior staff are often adjusting the Scott County budget! Departments, programs and projects are continually reviewed and evaluated. We make adjustments to the budget based on changing needs, changes in mandates from the federal and state government, and resident demand. For example, based on the pandemic and the ensuing changes in Scott County during 2020, we have significantly adjusted the 2021 budget to lower the projected tax levy. I believe that sometimes we need to adjust the budget in a way that allows investment which yields long-term savings and payoff.
What steps, if any, would you take to address social and racial inequality in Scott County?
Scott County Government has and will continue to thoughtfully grow in its ability to serve all Scott County residents. Some of the efforts already underway which I will continue to support are a continuing effort to diversify our workforce so that our workforce is representative of the citizens of Scott County, work to engage diverse residents and stakeholders on our advisory committees, board and commissions and as volunteers, and training for staff. I am especially proud of our Sheriff’s Department; our deputies, corrections officers, dispatchers and investigators consistently work on serving all citizens equally and professionally.
Have you been charged in the past year, or ever been convicted, of a misdemeanor or higher, or been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy or foreclosure?
No, I have not been charged in the past year, or ever been convicted, of a misdemeanor or higher. No, I have not been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy or foreclosure.