Candidate's viewpoint: Economic development should be the focusDuring the three days I spent at my Woodbury Days booth, I talked with many citizens. Frequently the question, “What do county commissioners do?”
During the three days I spent at my Woodbury Days booth, I talked with many citizens. Frequently the question, “What do county commissioners do?” came up. County commissioners are policy makers looking at the “big picture” and long term vision for the county. Their job includes working with the county staff in developing and maintaining a long range strategic plan; adopting the budget; determining the tax rate; reviewing and evaluating county services to make sure citizens are getting a good return on their tax dollars. The county is an arm of the state government, and 75-80 percent of county services are mandated by the state. Those mandates are the reason county government exists.
I believe we need a new way of thinking. Local government is nonpartisan for a reason. Instead of focusing on new taxes or no new taxes, we should be focusing on what return are we getting for our investment. Use our tax dollars more wisely. The libraries are one example. We have invested millions of dollars in our library system. Should libraries be closed for two full days each week for a year? Common sense needs to play a part in decision making.
We can achieve that new way of thinking by creating a strategic plan focused on economic development to promote and support job creation. Economic development has never been a focus of our county government and it must be as we move into the future. Drawing businesses to the east metro area continues to be a challenge. We have to collaborate with cities, chambers of commerce, developers, businesses and schools to improve our business climate. That means, development and implementation of sound technology and transit/transportation plans, and partnering with colleges in our county so our job creators have people with the skills and the expertise that are needed now and in the future.
All of this will take vision, leadership, experience and common sense. If elected, I will bring these to the Washington County Board, as the District 5 Commissioner representing city of Woodbury citizens and taxpayers.
Remakel is a candidate for Washington County Board, District 5