Timetable to success
Because Douglas County is facing unprecedented challenges I am seeking election to the County Commission District 4 seat. My experience, knowledge, and skills best match the needs of our county. My action-oriented leadership has been proven as I have guided a local private company through bad economic times and have maintained employment for over 800 staff. The company has grown despite the unfortunate economy, due to the implementation of prudent business practices and accountability measures.
Like so many of you, I believe in an open, transparent, and accountable government. It should not tax or assess the citizens to pay for unjustified growth and/or past mistakes. During the most recent special legislative session, $265 million dollars was taken from counties to fund the $800 million State deficit. This created a shortfall in local revenues and a reduction in local services. Now the State is facing a $3 billion deficit … what are they going to do? Proposals include fee increases and State services cuts that will become unfunded mandates at the local level. Our commissioners must be prepared to defend the needs of our county.
Douglas County must improve communication with its constituents. Local government must be seen as approachable, easy to work with, and one that listens. As a certified mediator, I have the skills needed to meet this goal. As your commissioner, I will accomplish the following during the first six months:
November – Meet with county management to share my expectations for department accountability.
December – Prepare for the upcoming legislative session. I will meet with legislative officials now in order to be proactive, not reactive, in the upcoming session.
January – I will assist staff with USDA grant applications to fund community water system improvements that ultimately fund long-term solutions to the water problems. Also, alternative plans will be developed which will not include unfair rate increases or subsidies.
February – I will host a town hall meeting for Douglas County businesses. This meeting will be focused on listening to local business owners to find out what roadblocks currently exist and hear suggestions on how to overcome them. A prioritized plan of action will be developed and put in place.
March – I will establish a private/public self-directed work group that will be tasked with creating a local “Business Incubator.” Success rates of businesses that began in a business incubator is 87 percent, while the success rate of businesses started on their own is less than 50 percent.
April – To improve communication, I will work with staff to ensure that April’s Board meeting be scheduled outside of the business day. This meeting’s agenda will focus on local government performance and accountability.
In my opinion, a County Commissioner has a greater influence on our local community than any other elected official. I am grateful for this opportunity to be elected to such an important Board. I respectfully ask that you vote for me, Lawrence Howell, when choosing who will represent you as the next District 4 commissioner.