Candidates discuss proposals for more efficient operations

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Editor’s note: Today, The DAILY LEADER concludes a series ofquestions and answers with candidates for District Five supervisor.Candidates Michael Assink and Bob K. Smith and incumbent GaryWalker responded while candidates Rayborn Bowman and Donald R.Golmon did not participate.

As operating and other costs continue to rise, what wayscan Lincoln County explore to save taxpayer dollars? In what areasdo you think savings can be realized and how?

Michael Assink:

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I like this question, because a county needs bold, innovativesupervisors who are willing to work beyond in a creative andresourceful manner. Also, it ties the question of industrial parkuse and jobs with the need for better roads. All of which arepointing toward raising or lowering of taxes. The one example thatI am going to give, I believe is possible to do, because in somecounties and cities in other states, this is already beingsuccessfully done. This plan can have a long term positive effecton taxes, and produce jobs. I believe a solid waste recyclingprocessing plant should be constructed that would include all ofLincoln and the surrounding counties solid waste. Your solid wastebill is a tax that can go much higher because of labor, fuel andinsurance cost, all just to bury your trash, in which space isrunning out. Why bury and keep on taxing to do so, when our solidwaste can be converted to other resources, such as energy? Thisenergy can be used to provide industries within our industrial parkwith cheaper energy and in turn provide more jobs.

Bob K. Smith:

As operating and other costs continue to rise in Lincoln Countythere is a parallel to this scenario occurring in every householdin Lincoln County. We all have to deal with increases in cost ofliving; such as, fuel, food, and other necessities. No additionaltax burdens should be added to the county citizens.

What areas should be explored and given consideration:

* We must first explore potential savings in existing costcategories. These categories must be evaluated on their own merit.A review of existing expenditures typically yields approximately 8to12 percent savings

* Explore new technology methods for scheduling work, routingequipment for effective utilization and fuel savings. This willalso provide more efficiency in manpower utilization. My years oftraining and experience as an Industrial Engineer will serve toprovide methods for achieving these potential savings.

* Community involvement is an area that can result in valuableknowledge of areas that need attention. There is a vast worth ofknowledge I have found as I am campaigning across the district. Assupervisor, I intend on having regular meetings with communityleaders. One suggestion would be to have someone from each precinctrepresented at a quarterly “Lunch and Learn” with theirsupervisor.

* Lincoln County sends millions of dollars to the state andfederal coffers. Those dollars are then redistributed in the formof state aid, state grants, and federal aid and grants forprograms, communities, etc. As we all know, this is a verycompetitive market. Those communities which have knowledgeableleadership with business experience and negotiation/communicationskills will receive their share of these aid and grant programs. Ihave over nine years as a manager and director in the areas ofbusiness development, and contracts negotiation. This is an areathat we can obtain additional revenue.

* Supervisors play a critical role in business development whichcan be a major contributor to increased revenue. Being involved andsupporting business development will be one of my top priorities asyour supervisor.

* Existing business growth and development is often overlookeddue to the enthusiasm for new business. I will work to provide thesame incentives and support for existing business and industrygrowth as that for new business and industry.

* Additional revenue can also come as a result of being a”desirable community.” Desirable communities retain their youth andattract new people that build new homes and rear their children.”Quality of Life,” excellent school systems, road conditions, andcommunity safety will be items that will influence new developmentand bring in new revenue sources. I will be involved and supportexcellence in education and skills training for youth, improvingroads, safety of our property and communities.

* The use of outsourcing has been a tool utilized by businessand industry for reducing cost in the past and present. As a toolit should be evaluated at an appropriate time.

Gary Walker:

1. Management – As operating cost rise and other cost you dependon your employees and the public to help with ways to save money inthe districts and courthouse.

2. Savings – You must try to plan your work so if you have a lotof work in one area you can do it in that area to save fuel andtime, instead of running all over the place and have wasted yourtime and fuel.