Delaware County’s Board of Commissioners has two primary responsibilities: to oversee the County’s functions and to provide leadership on key strategic issues facing the County. As a retired CPA and banker, I believe we need to treat government operations like we do in the private sector: have a clear understanding of what has occurred in the past and why, understand what our current situation is and why, and plan for what we need to do to make the County successful in both the short- and long-term future.
While I believe that the various offices are well run, we can always do better. Approaches that I am currently working on include:
- A zero based budget to truly understand where all our dollars are being spent,
- Developing and tracking productivity trends to better focus our resources, and
- Robust long range planning so we understand better where we are headed over the next 5-10 years.
I believe there are 4 key strategic issues that our County faces:
- Sewers. As one of the nation’s fastest growing counties, Delaware County is facing infrastructure challenges. Careful expansion of the County’s sewer system dictates that we develop a long-term, flexible sewer plan to properly plan for residential and commercial growth and protect our water resources. A firm was recently hired to develop this plan and it’s off to a good start. We have also started to work on improving and streamlining the process and exploring new ideas for funding the very expensive investments in sewer projects.
- Emergency Medical Services Funding. While EMS coverage in the County is good and high quality, there are underlying financial issues in the townships and cities that provide their own that need to be analyzed.
- Transportation Infrastructure. We need to continue to smartly invest so that we address the highest priority projects while maintaining our strong credit ratings. Several recent major projects, including the Sawmill Parkway, outlet mall and Gemini Parkway extension, are underway. These significant investments necessitate long-term cash flow planning models to understand the County’s capacity and timing for funding future transportation projects.
- Economic Development. I have been working closely with Bob Lamb, our recently hired Director of Economic Development for Delaware County, who leads this activity. We have started a long-term strategic plan to guide our efforts to attract companies and industries that make sense for our county. In addition, Bob, my fellow commissioners and I are all working on the key relationships with regional development partners that are critical to attracting the best economic opportunities for the County. We are also participating in local efforts to better prepare for the opportunities that arise with the County’s various townships, villages and cities.
I have truly enjoyed working with my fellow commissioners to make Delaware County be an even better place to live, work, play and raise a family, and bringing my financial expertise to the table. I would truly value your support so that I can continue to help our community.