When I ran for County Commissioner four years ago I sent a letter to the delegates indicating there were four key areas I wanted to focus on if I were elected:
3) Budget Control
4) Cooperating for the Good of All County Residents
These are the areas I have focused heavily on, and here is what we have to show for it:
1) Jobs – During the last four years I, along with other business and government leaders have done several key things to preserve, protect and increase jobs in Davis County:
- We formed DUED (Davis Unified Economic Development). This is a group that includes representatives from all fifteen Davis County cities, the economic development team, several commercial realtors, representatives from the Chamber of Commerce, Commissioner Louenda Downs and myself. Through this effort we have had some outstanding results including. The 2 most notable are:
- The East Gate Development
- Falcon Ridge
These two developments will be critical for Davis County as they:
- Bring in 1,000’s jobs with professional-level wages
- Keep HAFB viable and less likely to being closed down
2) Transportation: During the last seven years, I have served on the WFRC (Wasatch Front Regional Council). This council is made up of city and county leaders from five of the primary counties along the Wasatch Front. The role of the WFRC is to plan, develop and manage all of the transportation and transit needs along the Wasatch Front.
I originally started serving on this council while I was the Mayor of West Point. For five years I was a member of the council, and for the last two years I have been the Chairman. This is the position I hold today. Having the opportunity to serve as Chairman provides a unique benefit for Davis County as it gives us a strong voice which has helped us to land a number of important highway projects. One example of this is the current project we have underway to extend HWY 193 in the northwest side of the county, creating a major east-west corridor.
3) Budget Control: four years ago I stated, “I strongly believe in responsible fiscal management and in getting the most from every hard-earned dollar that taxpayers entrust to government’s care. As a business owner and taxpayer myself, I am acutely aware of what responsible spending is all about.”
We have had a pretty challenging economy over the last 4 years. In fact the budget for the county has stayed relatively flat for the last four years. I think it is important to note that we have been able to accomplish all of the things I’ve mentioned while:
- We’ve never raised taxes
- We have fewer employees in the county than we did when I took office in 2009 (910 vs. 892)
- We work for innovative solutions to keep costs down and we aren’t afraid to roll up our sleeves. In fact, during the recent wind storm when we opened up the landfill to handle all of the traffic from the neighborhood clean-up effort, it was myself and one other individual that were out in the middle of the fields directing traffic to keep the process moving as quickly as possible.
4) Cooperating for the Good of All the County Residents: four years ago I knew it would take a tremendous team effort to reach all of the objectives we set out to accomplish. If there is one thing I have learned about what it takes to be effective as a county commissioner, its working as part of a team.
Let me give you one example: We have approximately 96,000 residential properties in Davis County. In the last three years we’ve had over 12,000 appeals on the taxes of those properties. To handle this workload and to ensure the citizens of Davis County have a voice that will be heard, we created a new team called the Tax Administration Department which is specifically designed to handle the workload for the appeals. In 2009 we handled over 6,000, in 2010 we handled 4,200 and this last year we worked through another 2,000 more appeals. There is no way we could have done this without a tremendous team effort.
Additionally, I am honored to have received the endorsements of so many business leaders, military officials and state legislators. However, I am extremely honored to have the endorsement of all fifteen Davis County Mayors. In think Commissioner Downs and Commissioner Milburn would agree with me when I say “Being effective as a commissioner is directly tied to being able to work with the leaders of our cities.”