BRENDA K. WOODS
Residence: Wayne Township
Occupation: Retired Clerk of the Board of Commissioners; currently Wayne Township Fiscal Officer
What are your qualifications for the position of Clinton County commissioner?
I am the only candidate who offers county, township and municipality experience. I served 24 years as Clerk to the Commissioners and Asst. County Administrator. 16 years as the Wayne Township Fiscal Officer and 4 years as the Executive Assistant to the Mayor. This experience allows me to serve all areas of the county with the knowledge of how each entity works and begin serving on day one.
Why do you want to be a commissioner?
I want to serve as your next Clinton County Commissioners because I feel this is a critical time in decision making for our county and the job requires someone with experience. It requires a full-time commitment to make the best decision for the future of our county. With Mike Curry retiring, I feel it is very important to have the experience in the Commissioner’s office not just government experience. I have the ability to collaborate with all areas of the county and work together utilizing the vast resources this county has to offer in the most efficient and effective way possible.
Describe the kind of commissioner you would like to be.
If elected, I would be a full-time, fiscally conservative commissioner that is accountable to the taxpayers of our county. I will work hard not only for the citizens of our county but most important the backbone, the senior citizens and those residents who have helped to make our county what it is today. The townships, villages and city play a vital role in the future of our success through teamwork. Additionally, I want to create a vision for economic growth while maintaining our excellent quality of life.
What goals would you have if elected?
My pledge to the citizens of Clinton County is to be the watchdog of your tax dollars and commit the time and energy the job requires. Continue to work collaboratively with all county, township and city elected officials as I have done for so many years. To find ways to decrease the tax burden to the hard working citizens in our county, who some strive each and every day to survive on a fixed income. Most importantly to give our residents a reason to stay here and raise a family through good paying jobs and educational institutions.
The commissioners oversee millions of dollars in public money. What’s your fiscal philosophy as to how that money should be overseen?
To be managed responsibly along with the assistance of our County Treasurer whose primary job is to invest the county’s finances. Tax revenue should be carefully overseen and transparent to the taxpayers. I have stated throughout my campaign, these are not the county dollars, but belong to the taxpayers. The dollars obtained through the sale of CMH should be responsibly managed by the county commissioners along with other elected officials to be most effective for the citizens of this county. I believe we need to invest the majority of those dollars in order to be used in the future while at the same time being able to assist our community.
Do you support the county’s levied 0.5 percent sales tax or do you think it should be reduced, increased or expire this year?
I support the decision currently pending to decrease the 0.5% sales tax. At any time the county is in a financial position to decrease the tax burden to the citizens of the county it should be done. However, the county needs to watch every dollar they spend in order to continue being financially responsible. Ask the same questions that a person asks with his own personal budget – is this really necessary and does it serve in the best interests of Clinton County?
During the four year term of office you seek, the county expects to receive millions of dollars from the sale of the formerly county-owned Clinton Memorial Hospital. What should be done with that money?
To develop a plan to invest the money for many years to come in a timely and effective manner. The county is fully aware of the amount of money it will receive from the sale of the hospital, now is the time to make a comprehensive plan. Meeting with the citizens through town meetings we can begin to develop ideas of what should be done with the monies. The majority can be invested, while spending the interest earned on projects meeting the needs of the county as applied. Then along with the applicant raising matching dollars to those being distributed, create a public and private partnership that creates a lasting impact.
Do you wish to briefly add something that hasn’t been touched upon in your responses?
I want to utilize our experienced elected officials and dedicated employees to the best of our ability. The county has many great assets to offer for the future. Whether through law enforcement we all rely upon, the person who keeps our streets and roads safe or the person who simply answers the telephone when you need assistance, Clinton County has many great assets and we need to work collaboratively with our citizens to utilize the taxpayers’ dollars in the best possible way we can. We need to sustain a healthy and prosperous life in Clinton County for our future generations.