Make America Great Again: Spread the Message

Executive Accomplishments Under President Trump

  • Appointed Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch which neutralized the court until the next Supreme Court appointment 
  • Stock market value has increased by $4 trillion dollars
  • 1,000,000+ jobs created; Unemployment at 4.3%
  • Opened federal lands and waters to energy development increasing our oil production and oil exportation
  • Stemmed the tide of illegal immigration by a minimum of 64%

Be sure to check regularly for more accomplishments under President Trump!

***Tip of the Day***

In the 2016 election, President Trump won 92 of our 95 counties!

"We must be vigilant - we must protect the lives of our people...in difficult times such as these we see the true character of the American people...together we will endure and we will overcome...we are praying for you and we will be with you every step of the way - our hearts are joined with you forever" - President Donald Trump to the people of Texas affected by the devastation of Hurricane Harvey

 

"They called it a Reagan Revolution. Well, I'll accept that, but for me it always seemed more like the great rediscovery, a rediscovery of our values and our common sense." - President Ronald Reagan

Let's Get Our House in Order with the People's List

19534_283457212853_5227027_n (1).jpg

By Commissioner Kathy Danner, 4th District

Budgeting is about prioritization. It's how we get our house in order. Like your household budget the County has to pick and choose what we can afford.

It's time to get our priorities straight; we can start by asking hard questions like if the County owning businesses that compete with the private sector is a good thing? Or, could those assets be used to pay for schools, roads and the Sheriff's department?

When I took office seven years ago, I asked the 4th district for money saving ideas and I called it "The People's List. I mentioned this list in a recent article in the Tennessean and would like to share it with you:

  1. Sell the hospital. The budget committee will be asked to vote on a resolution Monday night that if they approve would allow the formation of a task force to study the feasibility of selling the hospital. Many people are unaware the County owns Williamson Medical Center. If sold the transition would be seamless to the public, the hospital would simply have new ownership and employees would go to work just like they do now. The hospital currently pays no property taxes.
  2. Sell the Convention Center. Most people are unaware that the County owns the convention center attached to the Marriot in Cool Springs.
  3. Ask our Cities to donate their Adequate Schools and Facilities tax dollars to the schools for which the tax was intended.
  4. Offer Employees "Medical Centers" for primary care as a choice for reduced co-payments and convenience. In a self-funded insurance plan like the County has, research has demonstrated employee health centers reduce cost, improve employee health care and reduce absenteeism. Let's explore all options.
  5. Engage citizens in money saving ideas or suggestions by putting the county checkbook on line. While the budget shows allocations, the checkbook shows where the dollars are spent and with whom. The State of Texas does this now.
  6. Get competitive bids for things like health insurance or legal counsel. The State does not require it so it is seldom done. Hire outside government optimization consultants to audit the County for best practices.      
  7. I would encourage those who asking for a property tax increase for schools to make a donation to the Williamson County, 501c3 educational foundation. This is how private citizens and the business community can support public education.
  8. The County subsidizes Parks and Recreation about $12 million a year. A small increase in fees, would help reduce this deficit. All County and hospital Employees use the facilities for free.
  9. We spend about one million dollars per year on longevity pay. Could we use that money to motivate and incentivize employees who make suggestions that would save money or make operations more efficient?
  10. Ask employees whose spouses who have alternative health care plans to opt-out of the County plan. This is what the private sector does.

Why adopt a property tax when there are numerous money saving options still on the table?

Let's get the house in order with the People's List and avoid a property tax increase.

Is Williamson County Headed for another Property Tax Increase?

On Saturday April 1, Williamson County Mayor Rogers Anderson held a joint budget session for the County Commission and members of the Williamson County School Board.

The intent of the meeting was to review the current County budget and debt in light of new funding requests made by Williamson County Schools.

The Williamson County School's budget is about 64% of the total County budget. When you factor in the interest or debt payments on the money the County borrows to build new schools, the real cost of funding WCS is closer to 80% of the total County budget.

A financial consulting firm hired by the County reported that the County had reached its borrowing limits for the debt services portion of the budget that funds capital needs to build schools for grades K-8 in Williamson County outside of the Franklin SSD. They also reviewed a number of options that revealed that there are no tenable scenarios to fund WCS's latest budget requests without additional revenue from either decreasing other parts of the budget or by increasing taxes.

I concur with my fellow Commissioner, Todd Kaestner, who commented that "the suggestion to increased taxes is disheartening news in light of the fact that the Commission just passed a property tax increase of 15% in 2016."  

If you would like to learn more, please plan to attend the next planning meeting on Saturday, April 22, at 9 AM in the auditorium at the County Municipal Complex.

Gregg Lawrence
4th District County Commissioner