Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Opinion

February 1, 2013

Wyman: If Howard County government were a stock

By business principles, it’d rate ‘buy’

When looking to invest in a company, it is important to monitor and measure various aspects of finances and operations in order to determine the success the business is having. Profitability, debt and quality of service are often key measurements. Not too often do these principles and measurements get applied to government.

Why not? Let’s have some fun and apply these business measurements to your current Howard County government.

Let’s take a look at how county government ended 2012. Here are the facts: Through sound fiscal management of the last several years, county government ended the year with a $9 million surplus. We have paid off all county debt during that same time, making us one of the rare local units of government in the state that is debt free! We have grown our rainy day fund from zero to a healthy balance of $1.2 million.

In 2012 we also gave back $860,000 of tax money directly to the property owners of Howard County. I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true — your county government actually gave money back to taxpayers. It is a simple belief we have — it’s your money, not ours!

From a service standpoint we can share that we continually get high marks. The sheriff department received another outstanding jail report from the state, and the newly merged dispatch spent under budget, continuing to save taxpayers of Howard County more than $700,000 per year while providing the same high level of service.

The jail renovation-expansion is almost complete and was undertaken without incurring any new taxes or new debt. Our county roads continue to be hailed as some of the best in the state, our courts oversee 15,000 cases a year, tax collections and assessments are on time, our properties are excellently maintained, and we have begun taking on 20 years’ worth of neglected infrastructure in county drains and watersheds.

We have made significant economic development investments, many in partnership with the City of Kokomo. Projects like Darrough Chapel, trails, Kitty Run and the YMCA, to name a few. When looking at all partnerships that have been accomplished with the city, it is not surprising we received a joint economic development award in 2012 with the City of Kokomo from the state Main Street Association.

Looking at the successes that your city and county governments are having, you would be hard pressed to find any other county where the financial picture of the major units of government are any stronger.

You should know your county employees have contributed greatly to our success. Time and time again during these difficult economic times they have watched the taxpayer dollars closely and have spent your money wisely. Their efforts have enabled us to be in a strong financial position today. I know they will continue to help us manage the new challenges in the coming years. Like business, we will continue to make necessary improvements and listen to our customers.

I love how local government is still so connected to the people. I think that level of closeness is what helps us stay focused and achieve these types of results. It keeps us grounded on sound fiscal principles with a true understanding of the taxpayers’ desires — keep spending down, pay off debt, maintain low tax rates and build surplus for upcoming challenging financial situations.

I am proud to serve with my fellow county officials and very proud of the overall success of our employees. Your local county government is financially sound! Stock rating: BUY!

Paul Wyman is a Howard County commissioner. Contact him at pwyman8@aol.com.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Schools need kids' parents For school-age children in southern Miami County — and their parents — this is a seminal week. Classes start at Maconaquah schools on Friday.School starts for the rest of the Kokomo area next week.Before your children head back to school, ensure they

    July 29, 2014

  • TOM LoBIANCO: Pence, Bayh crowd field with questions In the 2016 political landscape, a pair of the state's political big dogs -- Republican Gov. Mike Pence and former Democratic U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh -- have potential candidates holding their breath and waiting on them. Until Pence says otherwise, he's

    July 29, 2014

  • LETTERS: No excuse letting trimmings rot at curb No excuse for letting trimmings rot at curbWe live in a recently annexed, east-side subdivision — a nice, clean, well-kept subdivision where almost all homeowners take pride in and maintain their homes and lawns.Before the annexation, we paid for our

    July 29, 2014

  • JEFFREY McCALL: All things Hillary are not news, just distractions This column has nothing to do with who should or will win the presidential election in 2016. It has nothing to do with partisan politics of any flavor. This column does, however, assess how television is oversaturating the "news" agenda with countles

    July 29, 2014

  • BRIAN HOWEY: World is rising up to meet Putin's thuggery Any illusions I had about the progressive nature of Vladimir Putin’s Russian regime quickly dissipated when I returned to my Moscow Grand Marriott room in August 2007. Upon opening the door, I was greeted with the spectacle of my papers and note pads

    July 28, 2014

  • LETTERS: Parents taking fun out of youth sports Parents taking fun out of youth sports I enjoyed reading the article, "Nation's youth sports leagues on troubling decline," by Bill Stanczykiewicz, CEO of the Indiana Youth Institute, and the last paragraph, a quote by Dr. Bill Dexter, president of t

    July 28, 2014

  • DICK WOLFSIE: A trip to end all trips My wife is planning a very exciting vacation to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary. This was a big surprise to me. Not the vacation part, but the 35 years. I thought it was 34. Right now she is on the back porch, the patio table stacked high with

    July 28, 2014

  • WEEKLY WRAP: Legal marriages should be honored Legal marriages should be honoredAn eager and probably nervous couple stands before a minister or a judge or a county clerk and exchanges vows, accepting the legal, moral and ethical obligations of a marriage.The couple has properly obtained a marria

    July 28, 2014

  • Right-to-work unnecessary It has been a crime for Indiana employers to enter into labor contracts that require workers to pay union dues since Feb. 1, 2012 — the day then-Gov. Mitch Daniels signed legislation making the Hoosier State a “right-to-work” state.Whether Indiana ke

    July 27, 2014

  • ED VASICEK: Happy marriages do not just happen My wife, Marylu, and I met through a mutual friend. My wife had been involved with Campus Crusade at her university, where my friend, Norman, also attended. One Christmas break, Norman invited his friends from church (including me) to a party — along

    July 27, 2014

Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll