Name: David Allan
I’ve served in a number of private, non-profit organizations but never worked in a government except for my U.S. Air Force experience.
What are your county’s biggest challenges and what will you do to meet those challenges?
The county levy went down last year but spending stayed mostly the same because extra money came from federal sources; same taxpayer, different pocket. Union negotiations are expected to push the levy up by 3 percent, according to a department head. A new law enforcement center would cost $15 million and the sheriff has asked for $2 million for a heated bus garage. The county belongs to roughly $50,000 worth of information-sharing, convention-holding associations; perhaps there’s a better, faster, cheaper way to learn than a three-day weekend on the beach at taxpayer’s expense. It seems like everybody has a special interest group except taxpayers. The county board needs more members willing to say no.
How would you balance conflicts between encouraging businesses and preserving the county’s natural resources?
Your question assumes that there is a conflict and I don’t necessarily agree. The last thing a responsible business owner wants is to foul the area he lives in. The irresponsible ones can be dealt with. But the unnecessary, overwhelming, restrictive regulations is one of the elements making sure workers and business owners will face more double-digit unemployment. The sooner we get over the notion of a choice between business opportunity and good jobs and a ramped up assault on zebra mussels, the sooner we’ll solve some of our unemployment problems. We’ve spent untold millions trying to keep lakes un-invaded and it hasn’t worked out as well as advertised. Perhaps we can get some of our DNR money back.
Are there any specific programs you would cut or eliminate? At a recent meeting of retired business executives, I asked five or six of them if they thought the county or government in general was involved in areas that could be spun off into private businesses. They all said yes, and they were willing to find them. Some government activities are difficult to envision generating a profit from but a private, competitive corporation would certainly lower expenses because the ones who own the corporation demand it. I believe there are free market opportunities out there for us.
And I wonder if the new Land Use Ordinance could be re-thought, especially its impact on area construction trades.