“I firmly believe that we can do better. The council has to do more than just react to current circumstances. The future is coming and we need to plan for it. At the same time, we also have immediate challenges to meet, especially concerning affordable housing. Intelligent, enterprising leadership is what we need right now.
Every tax dollar we spend must take into consideration long term consequences for public health, our economic health, our carbon footprint, and our future climate. It’s the responsibility of the County Council to provide leadership.”
The current council is planning for a significant revenue reduction this year. The shortfall is likely to extend into 2021. We’ll be facing some old problems and several new ones but we’ll have fewer resources to deal with them. Leadership skills and creativity are going to be essential. We should focus on:
- Restoring our local economy –County government must do everything it can to help restore our local economy while protecting public health.
- Planning for a new reality –COVID-19 has forced us to rethink everything. If we haven’t had a healthy tourist season in 2020 the county budget may shrink even more. We’ll need some new economic drivers to create jobs. We need to be thinking ahead.
- The lack of affordable rental housing –This urgent issue is damaging our local economy. Workers can’t find places to live while off-island owners of vacation rentals use our county as a cash cow. We need a better approach to this problem.