Last week, I read a letter to the editor where my opponent in the upcoming election claimed that the Town of Mount Pleasant needs a leader who “puts the taxpayers first.” I certainly agree with this statement, and my record as town supervisor demonstrates, unequivocally, that as your town supervisor for the last seven years, I have, indeed, put the taxpayers of Mount Pleasant first.
By way of illustration, during my tenure as supervisor, the average town property tax has increased only 1.9 percent a year – below the state’s 2 percent tax cap. Moreover, in the 2021 tax year, the Town Board passed a budget that I proposed which included a 0 percent tax increase. While some residents have likely seen an increase in their overall property taxes, the town tax levy makes up only, on average, approximately 18 percent of a resident’s property tax bill. The remaining 82 percent of a resident’s property tax bill is for school and county taxes.
Additionally, during my tenure, the town’s municipal bond rating has also been increased from Aa2 to Aa1, with a positive outlook for the future. What that means is that the independent rating agencies, Moody’s, S&P, etc., after auditing the books and records of the town, have found that Mount Pleasant is fiscally sound. This high bond rating allows the town to borrow money for capital projects (roads and infrastructure improvements) at a low-interest rate – ultimately saving taxpayers significant money.
As supervisor, I, together with the Town Board, also created a five-year capital budget plan to pay for road and infrastructure improvements. My pledge is to continue to put the taxpayers first, and for the next two years, I will propose a budget to the Town Board that will again include a 0 percent tax increase. All these facts demonstrate a proven record to put the taxpayers first, and I pledge to continue to do so.
I also pledge to continue the green initiatives, which I have championed during my tenure as supervisor, which will include new LED lighting, more electric vehicles, finalizing the construction of solar panel carports and many more.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the town was also able to maintain all employment positions (no layoffs), and while our senior program was put on hold during the initial stages of the pandemic, I worked with the Town Board to ensure that our town’s seniors received their meals and other essential services without having to leave their homes. Our Recreation Department was also able to safely open the town pool for all residents and safely offer programming for our youth.
As a full-time supervisor with no paid town administrator (as some municipalities may have), I believe that my salary is commensurate with that of neighboring communities. Running the day-to-day operations of a $55 million-plus town budget with more than 150 employees and 150 part-time employees takes proven leadership and fiscal responsibility. My seven-year record as supervisor and over a decade on the Town Board, including serving as deputy supervisor for four years, demonstrates a proven track record of leadership for a town that I love, and where I have lived all my life.
Experience counts and as supervisor I will continue to support our taxpayers, our seniors, our youth, our veterans and our first responders.
Supervisor, Town of Mount Pleasant