Navigating rising prices in the county's budget. Everything is going up; fuel, labor cost, supplies, etc., and it's not transitory. Keeping the levi low will be a challenge. Next is capital improvements. What will be the county's need in infrastructure in the next ten years and beyond. We have to plan for those needs by budgeting as needed. Another would be the development of the Deep Lake Park. This will be an additional tourist draw to the area. Tourism is a large factor in our local economy. Making Hubbard county more of a destination location would contribute considerably to that industry.
First, doing whatever the county can do to make sure that people are not taxed beyond their means. This would include keeping property taxes as low as possible and lobbying through the Association of Minnesota Counties for the state to do likewise. Next would be good paying jobs with the proper training. When people have good incomes, they can afford to either rent or purchase a suitable home. Finally, I would also encourage the construction of lower income housing to be like an entry level home
I am a proponent of in person voting with voter ID. Do away with mail in voting and drop boxes. It has been proven that the greatest level of fraud comes from mail in votes with drop in boxes. Keep absentee voting for the military, people employed overseas, and those with a medical condition that keeps them from getting to the polls. I have waited in lines to vote. I was determined to have my vote counted, as every American citizen should.
The biggest challenge is the rising level of people in need of social services. A large amount of this stems from drug abuse. At the federal level, our borders need to be controlled; stop the drug and human trafficking. Everyone needs a sense of purpose and worth. Getting people with mental illness involved in groups like the LAC drop in center encourages them and makes them feel comfortable about being a part of the group and better able to be more open about their illness.
Law enforcement and the county prosecutor would be tops. We need to have law and order. To do so requires adequate funding. Next would be highway and solid waste. There may be a need to stretch out equipment life spans or delay some highway projects, but these services need to be available. Then their is our veterans. All either risked their lives for our country or by joining, were available to do so. We must never let our veterans down. This department would need to staffed as needed.
Top 3 priorities:
Holding the line on expenditures. My background is finance. I have a bachelor's degree in Public Administration with a minor in Accounting and a minor in Economics. I assisted with budgeting as Financial Director at Heritage Living Ctr for over 20 yrs. I also provided the Hubbard County Treasurer with personnel budget data for the County budget while working in the Coordinator/HR Dept. I know the questions to ask dept managers when money requests are brought forward.
2. Recruiting and retaining qualified employees.
We want qualified employees to serve the people of Hubbard County. Once hired, I am committed to keeping them.
3. Maintain public safety.
I would work closely with the Director of the Heartland Lakes Development Commission and the Property Management Specialist for Hubbard County Housing and Redevelopment Authority. The goal of HRA as stated on their website is "Providing opportunities for low- & moderate-income families in Hubbard County to attain safe, affordable, and stable housing." I would not duplicate their efforts but support them.
The legislature in Minnesota sets the election laws. We all must let our voice be heard with our legislators to eliminate practices that erode the confidence in the election results. We must guarantee that major political parties are allowed to observe the counting of all votes. I think every voter should be required to produce an ID. We require ID's in many aspects of our lives that are less important. Eliminate drop boxes that are difficult to monitor/observe.
The biggest challenge to individual mental health may be better answered by a doctor. My opinion is the breakdown of the family may be a leading factor to mental health issues coupled with drug/alcohol addiction. My personal mental health involves faith and family and the attitude of perseverance.
The challenges I see for our rural county is finding mental health professionals to serve our people. I am assuming video conferencing is widely used to bridge that gap.
Preserve public safety.
I would argue that most departments have been created out of necessity to process the finance functions, personnel/payroll function, property recording function, property valuation functions, zoning functions, veterans' services functions.
I would discuss reducing spending by:
1. Attrition (not filling vacant positions)
2. Negotiate with all unions to close offices at 4 pm (saving 1/2 hour/day/employee expense)
3. Freeze all out-of-state travel
4. Video meetings