Taxes should always be the last resort. There are still families struggling in our community and doing the people's business while living within the people's means is our fundamental duty in public service. The way we grow our tax base is by expanding the economy and finding efficiencies in government.
We must make it easier for businesses to succeed and then let them do what they do best: put people back to work. Businesses need to know that the playing field will not change under their feet. They must have certainty that they won't have new regulations forced upon them each year.
I will continue to fight for budgets that are sustainable and work realistically with the revenue available. I will fight for budgets that include NO tax increase, positive reserves, and NO gimmicks. If we have a budgeting problem, we fix it now. We must get our fiscal house in order, put the private sector ahead of government, the taxpayer ahead of everyone, and we will stay in the black, no matter what.
I worked to implement policies to bring a brand new level of transparency to County government. Along with my colleagues, we implemented greater community involvement and openness in our budget writing process, and opened collective bargaining negotiations to the public. We are pulling back the curtain on County government.
Counties in Washington State are tasked with directly engaging in economic development. We must create an environment that allows our existing businesses to grow and encourages businesses not already in our area to move here. I don't just want to make Spokane County a preference for businesses, I want to make it the only place that makes sense to do business.
Helping create two public development authorities in collaboration with the City of Spokane has spurred development on the West Plains as well as in the Hillyard area, and created jobs for our citizens.
Spokane County has more road miles than any other county in the state. Keeping roads well maintained helps keep our citizens safe. We must continue to ensure that our transportation dollars are being spent as efficiently as possible and find innovative solutions to stretch each dollar even further. Effective transportation helps drive our economy, no matter what form of transportation you personally choose.