I have been proud to serve Grand Traverse County as a county commissioner. I am now seeking your support for another office which needs real leadership.
My record reflects consistently championing the rights of taxpayers and property owners. There are several months left in the term, and I will continue to do so.
All too often the leadership we elect forgets their limited role when handling public resources, and the best intentions become nightmares for the citizens we serve. Land owners find themselves losing control of their personal resources through onerous regulation and restrictions, and the money we pay for operating legitimate government is misspent.
In Michigan, there are forces that would demand power over employment to a point where one cannot follow his or her preferred choice of trade without a payoff. Labor unions tie up key industries with rules that our nation’s founders would NEVER accept as even remotely reasonable. And sometimes our state legislature is afraid to do what is right. Should not a person who is willing to work be allowed to do so without being extorted?
I believe in Right-to-Work, and will continue to champion it, and do what is right without regard to political pressures.
Worsening our political climate, is a tendency to believe that ‘investing’ public moneys into certain favored businesses is the proper role of government. A practice started during a prior administration has NEVER produced the predicted results, picking winners and losers, and using revenues from those who have no interest in the specific favored enterprises, a practice our current representative doesn’t seem to have any plan to change.
Economic Development with taxpayer dollars is corporate welfare. It is wrong, and unnecessary, and distorts free markets.
Some county issues can illustrate appropriate philosophy of government. One is in the particular programs it should be operating.
Early in my term, as promised in my campaign literature, I took on those who felt government is the best way to provide youth recreation. In 2010, the county board decided to turn a 62-year-old tradition, American Legion Youth Baseball, into a government program. While claiming success, the parks management was losing money immediately. I led the fight to successfully return the program to the veterans who built the program for a solid 2011 season, and this year it is again on track to enjoy another great season with its independence from government control.
Government doesn’t HAVE to be involved with everything, does it?
There are many problems to address. As simple as the language we speak, or the laws we enforce.
Then there are financial issues that will not be solved by an inappropriate bridge project that will only serve to move control of a trade border over to the Canadian government from an American family’s control. Or solved by more subsidies by the federal government in expensive rail projects, but based on historical evidence provide only a siphon for local and state dollars through operations that do not pay for itself.
Great government boondoggles take away from our ability to maintain the infrastructure we already have in place. Short term fixes and gimmicks are not the type of tools a government properly managed should use.
And roads by the way, have been suffering. (in case you haven’t noticed)
Why is it we pay so much into gasoline taxes and cannot maintain our roads? It’s because the funds taken in do not all go to the roads. the damage done to our vehicles and the lost fuel economy costs each of us daily as we exercise our freedoms to travel. It costs us in the products we purchase and is a hidden tax on living period.
Fuel taxes should be allocated to road funding only. If taxes are needed for other services they should be imposed with those services specified as recipients. Taxpayers should have a clear understanding of WHY they are paying taxes, and general fund fungibility is destructive to transparency.
And transparency is paramount. Open reporting and accountability is something I have always felt to be important for good governance. Improvements to the state website should have transparency updates regularly.
Last (for now) but certainly as important as any issue in the state, is education.
I applaud recent improvements on the delivery of education services to our youth. School choice and options that break the mold of traditional models promise much in helping our children learn and succeed. I would continue to advocate for more of these types of improvements, and seek even more alternatives that offer the best bang for the taxpayer dollar.
I have filed to run for Michigan’s 104th State Representative seat (Grand Traverse County).
When elected, I hope to be able to provide the consistent principled leadership that Grand Traverse County voters expect.