Lowest Responsible Tax Rates with Priority Based Budgeting
We have Constitutional, Federal and State mandated spending as well as quality of life mandates. These items should have the projected cost fully explained, possible cost savings examined then funded, ALL additional discretionary spending should be prioritized, have the financial impact on the taxpayer displayed and then voted on individually. I have always supported setting the lowest possible tax rate needed to maintain all mandated programs, identify the “norm” tax rate for the Southeast United States, then debate all increased spending and subsequent increase in the tax rate from that beginning point. This covers our NEEDS and forces us to deal with the cost of our WANTS.
Efficient, Open, and Accountable Governance
This shouldn’t be an issue but with the recent disclosure of scheduling of officials to discuss Tolls so as to avoid open meetings laws it is apparent there is little appreciation for the public’s right to know currently on display in North Mecklenburg.
Performance Based Staff Compensation
When I left the Board of County Commission we had a Manager’s Review Policy that clearly laid out from the start of the year what would be expected, how those expectations would be measured and how success or failure to meet those expectations would be rewarded. This same process was cascaded down through the entire county. We need to revisit this process and make a better effort at reimplementation.
Parent and Student Centered School Management
The Board of County Commissioners holds the checkbook to a substantial portion of Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) funding. We need to make certain that continued financial support will come with demonstrated success in those areas PARENTS deem important. While we cannot currently mandate how CMS spends the hundreds of millions of dollars in supplement the county gives them we CAN make clear that future funding is dependant on demonstrable performance. IN THE SAME VEIN, THE LAST THING THE CITIZENS OF MECKLENBURG COUNTY need is someone who PERSONALLY benefits from the largess of the taxpayer determining how much they and their employer take from the taxpayers wallet.
Business Growth Directed Regulation and Support
Mecklenburg County has the unfortunate reputation of being one of the most difficult counties in the Southeast with whom to try to expand and grow a business. Our onerous over-regulation, difficult building permitting and inspection process, our inability to communicate meaningfully to Raleigh the need for increased financial support in transportation needs and the misguided local plans for future transportation infrastructure have to change. We find ourselves so focused on recruiting new business we are choking off the ability for our current businesses to grow.
Realistic Transportation Policies
Toll Roads and Commuter Rail are NOT the answer. Perhaps the time will come when the need to expand I-77 in downtown Charlotte will necessitate tolls. If and when that happens we should look to share that burden throughout the state. But clearly the need to widen I-77 in North Mecklenburg sufficient to merely catch up with the rest of the County should not be done on the backs of ONLY North Meck residents. With the highest gas taxes in the Southeast (and among the highest in the country) Mecklenburg County taxpayers have paved roads all across North Carolina, and now that our time has come it is blatantly unfair to impose an additional tax for us to receive our adequate share of the pavement.
Safe, Secure and Affordable Police Services
I will continue to fight for the legislation and the fair and affordable implementation of expanded small town police coverage. Currently all portions of the county not currently annexed into one of the seven towns is served my CMPD (with the exception of the Matthews area). This makes for confusion, inconsistent service, underserved areas of Lake Norman, and a sporadic rather than orderly expansion of services as areas are annexed. Additionally the rapid increases in the Police Tax in unincorporated Mecklenburg will continue and only get worse.