It is important for county leaders to balance the interests of the residents, while remaining pro-economic growth, environmentally responsible, and socially inclusive of a fast-growing and diverse population. Williamson County is experiencing unprecedented diverse growth which is a wonderful thing, but Wilco is run predominantly by one voice. For the future benefit of our community, that must change.
These are a few of the issues Kasey will work on when she is elected to serve as your next County Commissioner. Check back often as, like our county, this list is dynamic and ever growing!
- Adequately Staff Key Departments and Better Management of Capital Projects
Key departments are strained to the extreme and are expected to do more with less. This affects both employee morale and the delivery of services to the public. Our county departments have become a revolving door for training employees only to lose them to higher paying counties or private sector employers. For our hard-working county employees, we need a fair compensation policy in place. Let’s compensate our valuable employees for what they are worth and give them the stability to continue living in our great county. Currently, the county has numerous capital projects all at the same time, which is straining the ability of several departments to adequately manage and oversee implementation of these projects.
- Become a Fiscally Responsible County
We are lacking fiscal responsibility in two areas in our county, first our debt ratio is out of control. We are one of the fastest growing counties in the United States, yet our debt ratio per capita is outrageously high compared to other counties our size. We consistently ranked top on the list of counties with the highest debt ratio per capita. This is not a list we want to be ranked at the top of. Second, we need a responsible fund balance policy. Having enough reserves in the county’s bank account is a smart way to be prepared when the economy goes bad. The current Williamson County budget only covers day to day operations. It should be reevaluated considering the county’s overall debt load. We need more than the bare minimum.
Click here for more information on our county’s debt.
- Enable Better Transparency and Accountability
Too many appointments and decisions in this county are made behind closed doors. All too frequently, key appoints are added to the agenda at the last minute with little to no public input. The one-party rule needs to end so that the numerous appointments to advisory boards and other county governmental bodies are made on a much fairer and transparent basis. In fiscal matters, we owe it to the taxpayers who are ultimately responsible, to be fiscally smart with the courts decisions. Instead of extravagant projects funded with certificates of obligation, the commissioners court must get back to basics of not simply keeping the debt rate part of county property taxes the same, but also cutting waste and delivering essential services in a more efficient, responsible, and caring way.
- Develop a Regional Mobility Plan
Our county is growing at a phenomenal rate. Leander ISD is growing at 1,000 students per year and with the addition of another Austin Community College campus in our precinct, we need a public transit system that accommodates this growth. Instead of a piecemeal approach we need a regional mobility plan that incorporates all transportation options. This is not only important to keep up with the growth, but equally important to provide for the aging and disabled community.
- Advocate for a More Inclusive Commissioners Court
For our dynamic and growing county to truly flourish, the commissioners court should strive to enhance diversity. The opening prayer should include a rotation of community leaders to lead invocation instead of only having commissioners lead prayer. There should be more opportunities for different perspectives by appointing task forces and community input groups to present new ideas and initiatives. We need a commissioners court that encourages a civil temperament, involves a diverse community, and remains open to constructive criticism.
- Address Accessible Parking Abuse
Accessible parking (disabled parking) is a vital part of our community. People with disabilities and mobility issues rely on these spaces to protect their health and safety and to access the goods and services available in our community. A 2017 study in Williamson County revealed a serious problem with abuse of these spaces. It showed that 25% of all accessible parking spaces were being violated at any given time. These violations not only impact persons with disabilities, but also have a negative impact on local businesses and our economy. As County Commissioner, I will ensure that we seek solutions that fully engage the disability community, educate our citizens and visitors to change behavior, and ensure a safe, accessible, inviting community for all.
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Political Advertising Paid for by Kasey Redus for WilCo.