Prepare for a quick campaign rant: I recent read some answers to a Green Bay Chamber of Commerce survey that my opponent provided. Not surprisingly, a number of his answers came off as a bit naive. Not to bash the man, but he simply lacks some of the understanding of certain topics that I have garnered in the last 6 years of attending city meetings, for which he was not present. In fact, I do not recall seeing him at a single one, not even now as a candidate.
Had he attended some of those meetings he would understand how hard we are currently working to get a southern bridge built. And it would be understood that it is much easier said than done. The process is complicated, and involves EVERY level of government: municipalities, the county, the State DNR and DOT, and the Federal EPA and Highway Commission. The delays that we are seeing are NOT something that the council can control. We can and do rant and rave and ask for updates and continue to push, but at the end of the day there is little we can do to speed the process. The state and federal government is going to do what they do regardless of our local desires.
He would also know more about our cooperative purchasing efforts and other initiatives with surrounding communities that help us provide services at reduced costs by working together when it is appropriate to do so. However there are also cases where it doesn’t make sense, and would mean losing quality of services and local access, as it did with our recent decision to keep our city health department rather than turning that function over to the county. This includes our efforts to keep costs down on our health insurance plans. Year over year we have explored many options, and brought forward those that best fit the needs of all of our stakeholders. Yes, as a city employee and now retiree, his premiums have gone up, everyone’s have, but not as much as they could have.
He would also know that working with departments to raise more revenue can be problematic. Usually that means raising fees for services. He might know that there are limitations on what can be charged for services by the fire department. Having worked in marketing, I also understand that raising prices is not always the way to make more money, sometimes it leads to making less. I also know that both revenue and cost evaluations are part of every budget for every department. His suggestion is not something new. It happens every year.
These are just a few of the comments that stuck out. The difference is the experience I have had working with these issues over the past 6 years, and the understanding that comes with that experience. And that is why I hope to continue serving this city for another term, and would appreciate your votes on April 5th.