I urge the board to take action on issues that have gone unresolved for years. One of those issues is the building of a taxiway in the Oshkosh airport to connect to the industrial park. I believe that the county should make a smart investment for the future that will encourage more businesses to come to the area. I also want the county to take action on making county roads safer, especially at dangerous intersections and by widening shoulders for pedestrians and bicyclists.
Transparency isn’t always present on the board. One example of this is that votes are taken without public input after amendments are submitted to proposals. The public’s input is critical to the democratic process. County Board Supervisors are elected to serve those they represent, which includes interacting with constituents outside of election seasons.
Many residents of Winnebago County are not aware of what the County Board does or what decisions they have influence over. While it is the responsibility of residents to have civic involvement, the County Board can do more to engage with constituents. The County Board website is not user friendly, making it difficult to access information. Additional ideas to encourage open communication include sending out written and electronic surveys to gather input from voters, having a social media presence with regular posts, updating the county website, and requiring Supervisors to personally talk with their constituents.
An example of exclusionary practices on the board include not putting new board members on committees while some Supervisors sit on more than 5 committees. Another improvement that the board could make is to more actively match a person’s experience with the committee’s they sit on. For example, someone with a medical background may be a good candidate to sit on the Health and Human Services Committee, while someone with a background in contracting could contribute to te Planning and Zoning Committee.
Incarceration and the Opioid Epidemic
If elected, I will support health and human services programs including mental health facilities and drug rehabilitation programs as a way to address the increased incarceration rate and the opioid crisis. Diversion programs have been proven to be a successful way to help people without placing them in jail. Drug rehabilitation programs and facilities need to be accessible and given proper funding to be effective.