Madison is my home and my family has grown alongside the city. I'm proud that we are consistently ranked as one of the best places to live in our state and country, but we have a problem. As our city grew, our tax base did not keep up.
Let's be honest, while new subdivisions bring thousands of new neighbors and friends, property taxes alone will not pay the bills and keep our services at the level you expect and deserve. Economic growth through commercial and industrial projects are critical to increasing our tax revenues as our inevitable growth continues.
The city leaders have a strong, balanced plan for growth in the city. This plan includes the Westside Master Plan. But a plan is only strong if the leaders follow through with it and execute. By overriding the plans and rezoning commercial and industrial as residential, the city is growing, but the tax base is not growing at the same rate.
Our city, state and nation have been on a good run for the past decade, but recent events point to potential storm clouds on the horizon, But leaders are responsible for planning ahead during the great times for the rainy days.
Balancing the competing demands of economic development, infrastructure, quality of life improvements and debt servicing requires that hard choices are made. Through Smart Growth and Transparency, we can be good financial stewards while still providing the services you expect and deserve.
For your voice to be heard, you must know and understand the issues facing our city. But for the council to really listen, we must adopt a new sense of openness.
With me on the council, I promise to give you a seat at the table while the meal is being prepared, instead of serving you a dish that you may not want.