An Agenda for Prosperity and Responsible Government
Mercer County has lost 10% of its population and $7 million in annual Adjusted Gross Income over the last 20 years (How Money Walks).
If Republicans become a majority on the county board, we pledge to:
1. Balance the budget. In order to bring economic health and prosperity back to Mercer County, we will stop the policy of spending more than we take in and selling properties to try to make up the difference. We need to leave our children and grandchildren a legacy, not a liability.
2. Relieve the tax payer. We will stop the policy of raising the county property taxes the yearly maximum in order to help balance the budget. We will freeze taxes with the goal of eventually reducing them.
3. Upgrade the county board’s operation. With a trained county administrator to assist them, the county board will operate more effectively and county government will perform more efficiently. A county administrator is trained to pursue access to grants and development dollars – to get some of our money back – and to oversee, overhaul, and better manage county departments which are without elected heads.
4. Serve the people. Our singular commitment is to faithfully serve the people of Mercer County. All Republican board members are currently foregoing and will continue to forgo compensation for meetings and mileage at least until such time as the budget has a real surplus.
5. Prosper Mercer County. People and resources are steadily flowing out of Mercer County and into the surrounding counties. We do not need more plans to extract revenue from Mercer County residents. We need a plan to improve general prosperity among the people of Mercer County. Revenue will then take care of itself. Ideas being considered include a short-term tax abatement for new business or new construction which will directly bring jobs and residents and will indirectly grow established businesses – all of which will more than offset the abatement. Mercer County needs to create a business and landowner friendly climate of opportunity in order to cultivate prosperity.
6. Implement full transparency. The people have a right to know what their government is doing. This means Information on Mercer County government – the checkbook, board meeting minutes, budgets, etc. – will be made public and readily accessible online.
7. Manage the jail obligations. The jail expansion has become one of the county’s primary concerns. Republicans will maintain a management policy which will protect the people of Mercer County from becoming burdened by the obligations of the jail expansion.
8. Empower the people. Republicans pledge to always give the people of Mercer County the direct say about large county projects involving potential tax increases. We will also move toward bringing a referendum before the people on dissolving the Public Building Commission so that such matters will always be referred directly back to the judgment of the people of Mercer County.