In August 2014 before the election, I wrote the following Platform Issue…it did not change throughout the Campaign!
2014…Growth Goals, Administration, and Raising Property Taxes.
(For the previous administration) I conducted focus group interviews among residents and business owners. A major conclusion from the Focus Group Study (conducted early 2014) was that the City was at a “fork-in-road…time to decide…continue to be a small city or prepare for growth”. I recommended they (the now previous administration) create a “growth strategy”, then create an infrastructure for growth and hire smartly, then create a Budgets to support that strategy. As a candidate my platform is to properly manage the growth that is inevitably going to come.
The next question is “Would you be raising property taxes to fund the stated growth strategy?” My platform is… “Raising resident property taxes would be the last possible resort to fund growth.” I do not foresee any such tax-raising to support a slow-and-steady-plan-for-growth.
It is now 2018, here is where we stand on this Issue…
2018 Status…Growth Goals and Administration.
Since taking office, I have said the following to staff internally and to everyone in Union… “We have two choices…we can manage City growth, or it can manage us. This administration chooses to responsibly manage growth and never let it manage us!” To responsibly manage growth, the City has to have a very strong administrative staff and Commission. When we took office, the only permanent full-time staff was a Clerk/Treasurer and an Assistant Clerk. Stated employees are in yellow colored boxes…
This administration’s first meeting was January 5, 2015…at that meeting we voted unanimously to hire the new and first City Administrator David Martin.
After putting into place the new City Administrator, our next objective was establish a Communications function that would manage all City communications for the Commission and all Committees. We went onto hire Melissa Hinkle as our Communications Coordinator in 2016. After the former Clerk/Treasurer retired, the city promoted the Ms. Hinkle to Communications and Operations Director to work with the newly hired City Administrator David Plummer, then hired Christy Everman as Office Assistant to work with contracted Treasurer David Baker, and hired Donna Wahoff as City Clerk. The Commission recently approved for hire a part-time as needed City Maintenance Man…Mike Kerns. Below is the current table of organization; stated employees are in yellow colored boxes…
I hope you have noticed how responsive our staff is to serving the Union citizens and the professional level of service they provide.
Raising Property Taxes.
Over the past four years, this administration has not raised property taxes, and we now have no plans to raise them over the next four years. If we maintain this Platform Issue’s premise…slow-and-steady growth, there should not be any reason to raise property taxes. However, if we have to…it will be the last possible alternative.