My name is Terri Kelso. I am running for County Board. The first question from friends and neighbors is the same: “Why are you running?”
I am extremely concerned over the amount of money that is borrowed and subsequently owed by the county annually. I believe, in our current economic climate, increasing taxes is wrong. I believe we should be lowering taxes and setting limits on staff levels. We cannot continue to spend more than we make! This is a very basic rule when it comes to budgets.
As a homeowner and business owner, I know how important it is to adhere to a budget. If I wish to make a purchase, but don’t have the money, I need to save for it. If borrowing money is an option, then the decision needs to be made whether or not the payments can be managed on a current budget, not on what I “hope” to make in the next year. If your income-to-debt ratio is too high, your credit score goes down. So it is with the county. Dane County has lost its AAA bond rating.
When the sales tax increased a half percent more than 15 years ago, it was a proposed way to pay for the jail. The problem: The jail was built and opened in the mid-1990s and we have paid for it several times over. The tax remains. The county simply got used to having that money. This is why I do not support the proposed wheel tax. I fear the same would happen here as well.
Health and human services programs for the elderly and less fortunate in our county are so important. Half of our county budget supports this group. Ensuring services are of value to them and available to them should be a high priority. I am also an advocate of promoting volunteer programs in local communities. This is a great way to give back and get to know your neighbor!
I would support a north beltline highway to reduce traffic congestion and increase safety on roadways.
The top two issues I wish to address are safety and job growth.
We cannot allow cuts to county law enforcement. This will adversely affect the safety of our communities. Crime and drug incidents will be on the rise and property conditions/values will continue to fall. We need deputies to be visible and accessible to help deter crime. Residents should feel safe in their own homes.
Job growth is crucial to Dane County. Attracting new businesses and helping current businesses expand and grow will increase the need for workers, thus growing our local economy. I would support Joe Parisi’s economic development and job creation initiatives so long as they do not impact the county budget by offering costly incentives.
Please VOTE on April 3!