As I have for the past 12 years, I will ensure local government transparency, and fiscally conservative budgets to benefit all Polk County citizens.
The most important issue during this time of COVID-19 and great financial uncertainty is ensuring that the Polk County budget remains sustainable while maintaining an adequate “Rainy Day” fund. And, to do this without raising property tax rates. It is vital that we maintain proper funding for all essential services which must be provided by Polk County Government.
For many years Polk County Schools have been rated at or near the top of all school districts in NC. This high achievement has occurred through excellent teacher and administrative staff, and also because of an excellent working relationship between Polk County management and County Commissioners. I will continue this tradition and I will take action to give strong financial support to our schools in order to ensure proper funding for students, teachers and infrastructure.
Broadband expansion throughout the underserved areas of our rural county is vital for the economic and educational well-being of the citizens of Polk. Over the past year we have gone from no providers interested in working with Polk Government on expanding broadband to now up to four providers working with us on providing engineering studies and seeking grants for broadband expansion. I am fortunate that I have had a role in this vision and the progress that has occurred. I will continue to advocate policies and take actions to provide high speed broadband service to residential, home-based businesses and commercial citizens across our county.
In 2017 Polk County started using a Consolidated Human Services model that included Departments of Social Services, Transportation, Veterans, and Mental Health. In 2019 the Public Health Department was added. This consolation reduced administrative costs and greatly improved the speed, flexibility, and quality of services that can now be provided. As a Commissioner I will continue to advocate policies that will support the employees that provide these services and will continue to seek ways to expand services to be provided, especially for children and senior citizens.
I am very conservative. I support our 2nd amendment rights.I work for all the citizens of the county.
Working on expanding our broadband service to our rural counties. We will be going through a property revaluation.
Funding The school budget as requested by the Superintendent. Continue our funding that our county has been doing.
Support our small businesses.
We have already put in place steps such as we have one director over seeing these agencies. We were in a multi county district prior to this. We have already seen improvement in this area and expect it to continue.
Polk County and its people hold a special place in my heart. I want to serve the people of the county and give a voice to the many young families.
In the upcoming term, I believe the County Commission will be dealing with a lot of the after effects of COVID-19. We will begin to see some of the impacts and financial burden it has caused on the County and school system. It could be a particular challenge navigating budget and allocating funds appropriately. The annual budget is always a challenge but the added impact of COVID-19 could add some challenges.
Communications in the area, specifically internet, is a very big issue for many citizens in the county and expect that to be a pressing issue in the upcoming term.
The biggest role I see for County Commmission is that they be involved with people at the school as much as possible. Not only at the school board level, but we need to listen to the parents, kids and teachers as well to ensure that the proposed budget/expenditures that is brought to the County Commission truly represents the needs of those people. We have incredible, staff and leadership in our school system so my role is to make sure they have the resources to continue to be the best public school system in NC.
I want to continue the work our current county commissioners have done in keeping county taxes flat. I believe it is the plan to reduce taxes in the upcoming year. The economy does much better when money is in the citizens pockets and it gives the ability to invest back into the local businesses. I will do everything I can to push policies that encourage and assist growth in local businesses which will provide job opportunities for citizens in the county.
There are many needs in the county for vulnerable populations. I cant touch on them all here, but one specific item is the foster care system. There is a great need for foster families in the county and as commissioners we need to make sure the foster care system has the resources they need to facilitate training and licensing of foster families. As of now, many children are being put in foster homes outside of the county due to lack of foster families. We need to take care of the most vulnerable and that is our kids. We need continue to grow our after school programs which will provide a safe place for children and opportunities for families to get back on their feet.
Polk County Commissioner.
Plan what happens today, So tomorrow don't just Happen.
County Infrastructure, Long term public water Contracts.
Internet and wifi,Infrastructure.
Supplying social and County services with a balanced budget.
Preservation of our natural Lakes,and Mountains.
Public Safety while enjoying our natural resources.
Retaining and supporting our local Agricultural, Farmers Market, Local Vineyards and Creamery.
Working closely with our School Superintendent, School board, Communicating with them and supporting after school programs, school infrastructure needs ,etc,through budget support.
Approved a County tax increase to support after school programs that was cut by the state .Also infused a one time 500,000 into school budget for emergency funding from county fund balance because of state cuts.Supporting school programs very important to give our students a good start in life.
Tourism is a vital part of Polk County.Policies supporting are Agricultural Tourism, Parks,Trails,any Policy that supports and keeps our rural beauty and also supports local buisnesses. Come,stay awhile relax and enjoy Polk counties Natural beauty.
More Affordable Housing,
Brought back our Health department to Polk County in 2019 from a Tri-County Health Department so we could get better and quicker Services for our Citizens.
Always planning what Happens today,So tomorrow don't just Happen.