Name Chad Story
District 4
Current Occupation & Employer Business Analyst, Nissan North America
Political Experience Bev Burger for Alderman, (volunteer). Joey Czarneski for school board (volunteer)
Education AAS Computer Science
Civic/Religious Organizations You Belong To
How Long Have You Lived In Williamson Co.? 15 years
Military Service n.a
Email Address votechadstory@gmail.com
Phone Number 615-618-0139
Thank you for volunteering to serve your community, what motivated you to seek this position? Williamson County has been a beacon of growth and opportunity for many years. My goal is to empower the people of this county so we can continue to build upon our successes using conservative principles. These principles that made us a success are being challenged today and I want to be an advocate for what has set us a part in this County.
On your first day in office, what will be the top item on your agenda? Education
Have you attended County Commission meetings or work sessions, researched the duties and responsibilities of a County Commissioner, and talked to other elected officials about what your role and time commitments would be as a Commissioner? Incumbents: How do you communicate with your constituents and when are you available to meet? For most of the 15 years I have lived in Williamson County, I have engaged my City and County representatives for information and provide input on issues affecting our community. Through these interactions and experiences, I understand the responsibilities between City, County and State duties.
The County Commission is responsible for approving the budget and funding our schools, roads, and infrastructure with property taxes collected. On the other hand, cities fuel growth by approving zoning requests and building permits for commercial and residential construction. What would you do to encourage a shared fiscal responsibility with local municipalities? Additionally, in your mind, who should pay for growth and how? The growth of this county has put pressure on every aspect of how the government performs services. Massive growth does not pay for itself and the relationship between the City and County must work to only pass new development if there is a plan in place for adequate roads and schools. These plans must have funding already understood and timelines already established.
Our current property taxes if left unchecked are estimated to double - perhaps triple - in just a few years. The tax burden is on current residents many of whom are looking forward to retirement, living on fixed incomes, or raising families. Would you support legislation to foster sharing the cost of growth with the business sector as many high growth States have done? Would you support researching alternative funding sources such as making commercial or business rental leases subject to sales tax? What other cost containment measures would you recommend? In general, our Growth has 3 main ingredients. Economic Opportunity, Education Success and Attracting people who appreciate the importance of both these aspects. Our low tax rate attracts people and economic opportunities. I believe that we should look at means of revenues that will not permanently raise the cost for every tax payer because growth spikes are not sustained. If you are a couple living on land for the last 40 years, your property values have risen and your tax bill as well. So if you are on a fixed income and you now have to pay 20% more in tax on your 50 acres, it makes it harder to hold on to and more desirable to sell to someone that might in turn develop the property. This has compounded the issues of schools and infrastructure needs. We must find ways through use fees or impact fees to bridge the gap for funding during growth spikes so everyone is not saddled with 100% of the cost of growth.
In 2016-2017, $44,000,000.00 or 21% of our property tax dollars were allocated to pay the interest on our debt. While interest rates are currently low, if we continue to fund growth by borrowing, we take on significant fiscal risk as bonds interest rates rise. What funding ideas to you have other than purchasing 20 year bonds? request that approval for development that would result in new schools either provide funding or contribute land/in kind services that will help off set the large up front costs of capital projects. We also need to start looking at ways to fund project capital needs by building a reserve fund. As reserve funds reach certain levels, we approve expenditures within the reserve fund amounts so we do not have to borrow.
In an effort to promote accountability and transparency local municipalities in other states have put their checkbook register on line for citizens to see how their tax dollars are spent. What recommendations would you make to increase transparency and accountability to the electorate? I believe a line item budget available online would help the county truly understand where money is going and what we are paying for services. We have so many talented people in this county with a wide range of specialties. I know in the past, commissioners with certain backgrounds could tell in the budget, if we were paying to much for certain items/services. In several instances, the county saved millions of dollars and as business and costs evolves, we need to know via any means possible if these costs are inline with current reality.
What cost containment measures can you suggest to save tax dollars? Again, a lot of county provided infrastructure/building is front heavy on costs. If areas experiencing more growth that require a higher level of funds in the short term out pace the ability to properly pay for it, we must delay the projects until cost savings, outside funding or ability to meet the needs without heavy short term funding burdens can be identified.
Schools funding including interest payments on money borrowed to build new schools is close to 80% of the total County budget. Commissioners vote either to accept or reject the budget as presented, they have no control over how the money is spent. If the budget is rejected, they must negotiate with the Director of Public schools until they reach a resolution. Would you support a resolution to change current law to allow line item veto power to the County Commission when approving the School Budget? Yes