Why are you running for office and what qualifications would make you a good board member?
The county is short on sheriff's deputies, corrections officers and the money needed to hire them. What, if anything, should be done to increase police numbers?
Aside from public safety, what is the most pressing issue facing the county and how would you address it?
I am running for office to provide the 12th district with effective representation on the county board because if we work together and stay focused on our priorities of more jobs, better education and improved infrastructure then we will achieve our goals. Right now the county board is making big decisions that are bringing great economic opportunities to Rockford. In the 12th district we have industrial capacity, we have workers and we have access to the transportation hub, right here in our area and much of it is not being employed to its potential. As your representative, I will use my background in economics, education and community service and my experience as the owner of a small business to bring some of that new investment and prosperity to 12th district. Working together is the only way we can do this. Throughout my career I have served as a bridge of communication between many diverse groups and local governments and we solved problems by reaching out with cooperation. If you give me the privilege of your vote, I will be there to provide effective representation on the county board when the decisions are made, with our community’s priorities in mind.
Public safety is a priority in the 12th district. The taxpayers of the county recently made a large investment in Public Safety; the new county Justice Center was opened downtown in 2007. Since then, every voter, every person living and working in Winnebago County, every business here, and every local government office has felt the budget cuts due to the recession. With less money to spend everywhere, it is time to align our spending with our priorities. In 2013, Winnebago County needs more alternatives to incarceration and more opportunities for its young people to prevent them from getting involved with crime at all. There are many aspects of the corrections system that also deserve our support including helping people reenter the workforce and make a better life for themselves. Neighborhood watch groups are getting more organized and strengthening the fabric of our communities. Public safety is a priority but in the long-term, we have to invest our scarce resources in schools in order to lessen the need for more jails. Investment in education, not incarceration will make our county a better place to raise a family and grow a strong economy.
The most pressing issue facing the county is to provide a strong and skilled workforce in order to attract good jobs. Some say that good luck is to be ready when the opportunity presents itself. The opportunity for the county is right on the horizon, we have to get ready. Winnebago County is part of a globalized region and our workers need advanced skills to compete in the new employment marketplace. The county is on a good path with its recent investments in education and economic development and we must work together to make sure they succeed.
We must increase access to practical job training to get people back to work in the service industries. We must continue to nurture technical skill programs in public schools and increase professional and career education for adults. We must make four-year education an accessible and worthwhile investment for students. I believe we can do those things, we are doing them. Let's keep doing them.
We can put Winnebago County on the map as a new high-tech zone instead of being notorious for our challenges if we work for it together. By staying focused on our priorities and taking advantage of opportunities in a cooperative way, we will deliver the promise of prosperity to Winnebago County.
David L. Strommer:
I am familiar with the area. I am a lifelong resident of southeast Rockford. I forsee an opportunity to effectively represent District 12. I possess experience in community and governmental service.
David L. Strommer:
Wise use of revenues is a must. Intergovernmental agreement must be a common goal within any taxing body. City, County, State and Federal assistance may be the direction to follow. This will require some creativity.
Attacking this problem by increasing taxes is not the direction to follow.
David L. Strommer:
We must promote a CULTURE of Achievement. I like the slogan used in Rockford -" Excellence Everywhere"
Career training is a thrust we must continue to promote.