Wednesday, December 31st, 2008 at 9:00am

2009 Lake County Wish List

Posted by admin

Tonight, the ball will drop on 2008.  For many working families in Lake County that Waterford crystal ball can’t drop fast enough, and just maybe it will hit hard enough to shatter all of the bad memories.  As everyone in Lake County looks toward 2009, there seems to be a renewed hope for a better day and happier times for the thousands of working families in the area.

Citizens for Better Government, L.L.C. has come up with its 2009 Wish List, and with your help, just maybe some of these wishes can turn into realities.  So, with that, our wishes for 2009 are:

  1. Every government official in Lake County puts job creation as their number one priority.
  2. Lake County government and all local city governments put a freeze on all spending, and begin the process of rolling government expenditures.  Local government must learn to live within its means.
  3. Home and property values in Lake County get properly assessed by including distressed and foreclosed properties in the calculation equation.  The same premise for appraisal comps in the private sector should be applied to government in its assessment.  Property taxes should be dramatically lowered with correct valuations and lower millage rates, as government should be cutting back more so than the people they represent.
  4. Take action to reduce foreclosed properties, which are destroying the wealth of working families by causing home values to plunge.  Needed now is a two-year property tax exemption for anyone buying a foreclosed property and a 50% tax exemption for an additional two years for those who make a foreclosed property their homestead.
  5. Local governments need to stop scaring seniors by threatening a reduction in fire and police protection.  Instead, they should reduce non-essential things like palm trees in medians, unnecessary government buildings, and redundant recreation services.
  6. Politicians who are unable or unwilling to put Lake County first and who are hanging onto the tired, worn-out no growth movement ideas of years past need to step aside.  Sitting by and watching working people lose everything is no longer an option.
  7. Get a real economic development department going in Lake County, and then give the incentives for them to attract businesses.  Going through the motions with political cronies with a plan that is based on a pie in the sky utopian green movement that is not here yet is useless.  Look at your competing counties throughout the South, and you will see they are bare knuckles in this economic fight.
  8. Local governments need to take the darn rule book and throw it into the fire, because the bureaucracy has gotten so bad in this area that businesses can’t do business.  Leaders understand that policies and rules are guidelines, but also understand that in desperate times working outside the box is a necessity.  Too many of our local politicians are gutless when it comes to making deals to attract new jobs.  Go to Oz, find the Wizard, and get some courage.
  9. Follow the City of Leesburg’s example of implementing a business task force for promoting business.  So many local officials are scared of what the private sector will say, so they choose to ignore them.  Have business people from the private sector come in and rip the scab off of the stupidity so that business and commerce can be done.
  10. Stop making excuses for Lake County Schools.  In the last seven years, millions of dollars have been pumped into this school district.  The debt acquired is enormous and may bankrupt the district.  Yet, parents receive a letter in November wherein the federal government says the school district is not meeting basic standards.  School officials and advocates must stop making excuses and the people must see better results.
  11. Local newspapers and media should stop taking the government’s side instead of the people’s side.  It is the job of newspapers and newsletters like this to challenge elected officials and expose local corruption.  There is local corruption in Lake County, but the media outlets do not have the skills or inclination to expose their friends in government.
  12. Stop the redundancy in all areas of Lake County government.  The county and cities build underutilized facilities as tributes to themselves, when one library could serve a 20-mile radius and recreation facilities could serve multiple cities.  The taxpayers in this area are really getting the raw end of this spending debacle.
  13. Everyone, including citizens and government, must understand that you can only have what you can afford.  The area, state, and country must go back to the notion of real value in everything, and it is okay to say, “I can’t afford it.”  Quit getting wants confused with needs.

This is our 2009 Wish List.  With your help, maybe some of this can come true.  One thing is for certain, if Lake County and the local cities are to improve the fortunes of the people, then they must change what they are doing in 2009.  A foolish person does the same thing and expects a different result.  Please support Citizens for Better Government, L.L.C. by sending our newsletters to your contacts, donating to the organization, and passing information to us for the good of everyone.  Please have a safe and wonderful New Year, and may God bless us all!

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