Deb Holscher: Candidate Profile
Wheatland Township Board (4-year Terms) (Republican)
Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.
Office sought: Wheatland Township Board (4-year Terms)
Family: 2 children
Occupation: semi-retired investor
Education: Bachelor of Science, Psychology, University of Houston, 1981 Master of Occupational Therapy, Texas Womans University, 1986
Civic involvement: Wheatland Township Precinct #10 Committeeman Wheatland Township Republican Organization
Elected offices held: Precinct Committeeman 2012-present Wheatland Township Space Study Committee member 2011
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: Beyond traffic citations, no
Key Issue 1
1. Collect only taxes needed to operate the township vs. current practice of overtaxing to fund wish lists/pet projects. With a $2 million surplus, we can eliminate town fund taxes in 2014 and reduce tax rates in subsequent years.
Key Issue 2
2. Implement term limits and eliminate of pensions for part-time officials. These reduce the incentives for career politicians.
Key Issue 3
3. Identify long-term needs and develop permanent building solutions to accommodate needs. For example, consolidate township business into one vs multiple million dollar buildings.
Name the three most important goals or objectives this board should tackle in the coming term. Prioritize them, and briefly discuss why you believe each to be critical, and how the board should go about addressing them.
1. Resolve township building issue This is the township's most costly financial drain. Currently, we are spending in excess of $95K annually on two separate and temporary locations. Mismanagement of assets and blatant disregard for employee/public health and safety concerns have cost the township more than $300,000. The solution is to develop a due diligence report to review alternative proposals (including consolidating buildings). Then call a special meeting of the electors to direct the township. Lastly, execute the will of the people in a timely, cost-effective manner. 2. Get our financial house in order In addition to the above, we MUST begin with a forensic audit to better identify the TRUE operating costs of the township and fully realize where and how our tax dollars are spent. Financial report line item descriptions must be specific, understandable and easily accessible. Also, corrective action is warranted on exorbitant legal costs, caps on consultant fees and other expensive services. 3. Enhance and strengthen communication with citizens, community partners and other government entities . Participation is critical to ensure effective and efficient government. In addition, user friendly, literate online access to important meetings/discussions, comprehensive financial reports and issues that directly impact our township would increase communication and community involvement.
In the 21st Century, with municipalities gobbling up vacant land, why are townships needed? Should they be serving a new role? If so, what?
About 10% of Wheatland residents live in unincorporated areas and township government is their local, primary source of services. Municipalities rarely provide services for folks in unincorporated areas. The role of township government is defined by law and has three provisions: assessor services, road and drainage services, and general assistance. Coordinating these services with other government entities and our community residents/partners is essential for optimal service delivery with minimum cost to the taxpayers.
What should be the primary responsibility of township government?
Serve township citizens, as mandated by law, in a respectful, responsible and representative manner.
In these hard economic times, can you identify some township expenses/programs that could be trimmed or eliminated to reduce the tax burden?
Provisions for multi-million dollar buildings and duplicitous services are expensive and unnecessary burdens on taxpayers. In addition, exorbitant expenditures e.g. legal counsel, professional consultants, etc. warrant review and action plans.
What specific background or experience do you bring that makes you the best qualified candidate to serve as an elected official in the township?
My frequent, informed participation at monthly board meetings, special/and standing committee meetings and hearings surpasses many of the currently seated trustees. In addition, I led the grassroots effort to stop the wasteful and unnecessary, $2 million dollar township building. I was elected and served on the committee charged with assessing the needs and costs of other building options. As a 19 year resident of Wheatland Township, I am keenly aware of the changes in the economy, demographics and availability of goods/services in our township. Mycan do? attitude, commitment to due diligence and creative solutions (that utilize available resources) have served me well in distinguished careers in healthcare, education and as a nationally recognized consultant. Presently, I am semi-retired and have the time to successfully fulfill the duties of trustee. As your Wheatland Township trustee, I will continue to represent your interests, as protected by law, respect your perspective and provide sound, responsible leadership that serves the greater good.