(10/1) Adams County is no stranger to making tough financial decisions; increased demands for services and the economic downturn have forced local government to re-examine the way it spends the taxpayers’ money. Next month
we will elect three new County Commissioners: I want to talk about a few financial successes and how with educated, insightful and forward thinking leadership we can turn this County around. This election should not be about what has gone wrong in the past, but about how strong we can become in the future. The next Board of Commissioners will inherit the
challenges of the previous Board, but the building blocks have been set in place and this County is poised to do great things. With leaders that look forward and not backward, have a strong work ethic, and have the fortitude to make tough decisions we will succeed.
We not only need Commissioners who understand the needs, not wants, of our growing County, but also who have the strength to face challenges head on. Equally important is having Directors and staff willing to rise to the challenge of saving taxpayers’ money by making wise spending choices. We need people like George Groft and his team in
the Building and Maintenance Department. They are easy to overlook. When most of us think of county employees, we don’t think about either tile installers or carpenters. They are as much a part of County government as a tax assessor or a court reporter.
With budgets getting tighter and tighter, County staff have been asked, as I believe they should be every time they make a purchase, to find ways to save money. Mr. Groft and his crew have risen to this task. In recent years they have completed two major projects which saved County tax payers $443,000. Between choosing to use his staff to
replace the carpeting in County buildings and in renovating the 3rd and 4th floors of the Courthouse with little outside help Mr. Groft changed $640,000 of expenses to only $207,000. These jobs had to be done out of necessity, but instead of raising taxes to pay outside contractors to do the work, George and his team rose to the challenge of saving money.
The decision to purchase the St Francis properties has already been made, but the leadership to spend wisely and save money starts with the new Commissioners. The next challenge is, how do we channel this work ethic that saved $443,000 to what could be the multimillion dollar renovation of Saint Francis Xavier. Last month I had an
opportunity to tour the old school and after I stopped reliving my grade school days as a student there, I was able to learn how we can use this property to start saving money immediately. Some interim ideas have already been put forward; such as storing voting machines, maintenance equipment, and records. While these are necessary, we need to start thinking about
relocating office space and stop paying rents for space we no longer need. In order to move offices, we first need to have a discussion of what renovations we can do for ourselves. George Groft has proven that we can do some of this on our own. If the next Board of Commissioners follow his lead, I know we will save money and be able to hold the line on taxes.
Over the next month there will be many opportunities to learn about the candidates for County Commissioner and where we stand on the issues and challenges facing Adams County. I encourage you to attend the debates and ask questions, but not just about where we stand on yesterday’s issues or what we would have done differently, but instead
about what we will do in the future. How will the next Board work to save your money? Which ones will make the tough decisions and fight for you to keep your dollars in your wallet? Who will have the insights to complete the projects at hand efficiently and at the lowest costs, then move on to the next challenge? I will take a page from George Groft’s playbook, I
will work hard from my first day to my last and before I spend a dime on an outside consultant or contractor, I’ll ask if we can do this for ourselves.
In order for me to serve you and lead County employees in saving tax dollars, I need and am asking for your vote on November 8th for County Commissioner. With your support and a strong team of volunteers I will win this election and be proud to work to build a better County for our citizens and children.
If you would like to discuss any issues or become a part of my campaign team please contact me at 717-339-6514 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please visit my website at www.martyqually.com for more information on my candidacy.
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