Cities, townships and county governments in Michigan are in serious financial trouble. Future liabilities for pensions and medical benefits have been poorly funded, virtually guaranteeing bankruptcy, huge tax increases, and broken promises for retired workers. Irresponsible elected officials are solely to blame for building this financial Titanic.
The good news is that Shiawassee County is not one of these doomed communities. We need to keep it that way. Retiree medical liabilities in our county are not burdensome and our pension obligations are currently funded at about 65 percent. While 65 percent is not ideal, it is manageable.
I have spent almost 20 years in the financial services industry. As a county commissioner, if elected, I truly believe I can work with my fellow commissioners to ensure that our budgets and spending reflect reality, look to the future, and never let us experience the fiscal doomsday that so many communities in Michigan can surely expect.
I believe the county board of commissioners should look constantly toward economic development activities to expand the tax base and revenues without asking people for higher taxes. We should also consider creating a county land bank to capture with little effort the tens of thousands of dollars that are currently remitted to State government while improving our neighborhoods.
Additionally, as a commissioner whose district is entirely within the City of Owosso, I intend to represent the unique interests of the city with respect to county spending and other business.
I love our community, folks. Over twenty-five years ago, my wife and I chose to raise our kids and grandkids here. When my children were in school, I served for 8 years on the Owosso Board of Education. Now, I am asking that Owosso voters again give me a chance to pay back some of the wonderful life we have experienced in this community.
Shiawassee County Commission Candidate, District 2