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Gouff: Don't just listen, but investigate

September 09, 2006|BY Carrie Gouff

Yes, I am still in the race for Washington County Commissioner! I was unable to attend the forum due to a family emergency! I have not watched it, but have heard much talk about what I have said all along: When put in front of a group of people with all candidates, after a while they all sound the same.

I encourage voters to not just listen but to really look at these candidates. Are they giving up jobs to work this full time? Are they going to be available every day? Are they committed to serving county citizens' needs? This is a full-time job, not an "extra" job.

We need to have meetings to accommodate all citizens! My priority would be to freeze the taxes and to work with citizens to have tax credits and better management.

Obviously, the last refund was done without clearly thinking of its cost. This may be why we still had a tax increase - to pay labor, materials and postage to send the refunds.

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This surely could have paved more roads, upgraded safety, or even helped senior citizens in need. I would like to work with county government on having an assessment cap. Homeowners need to be able to make improvements to their homes without being penalized, (additions, etc...)

Another big issue is education! According to the tax bills we receive 53 percent now goes to education. We need to take a real hard look at education. I speak from experience in saying we are leaving children behind! Money is wasted at the main office before it even gets to our school staff and children. Senior citizens do not benefit.

I would like to propose a tax break for senior citizens who have lived in the county and retired here. I would also like to be sure impact fees are going for what they need to be going for.

This would be a great relief if handled properly. I hear a lot about bringing better jobs to our area. It is hard to bring big businesses to an area where we do not have people qualified to fill those jobs.

As a community, we need to educate and get people to work. This will help improve the county in many ways. There are all types of jobs, not all of which require college degrees!

That seems to be what our school system has pushed, forgetting that there are jobs that are needed to keep people living daily! More colleges have moved to the area, but the problem is that we are not teaching and encouraging trades.

For some reason, this county looks at a lot of small business owners in a negative way.

I want to work with the permits and inspections department. I believe we are expected to have permits for too many things. The process time is ridiculous and inspections are getting way out of control. Local contractors need to be more involved in making the codes instead of comparing what other counties are doing and trying to do one better.

Agriculture is another important issue. I do not feel we do enough education on the importance of farming right here in the county. I am very disappointed that our commissioners did not do more to keep Fort Ritchie for local citizens.

This had so much potential for county residents, who will and are affected by all the decisions made with this property and has currently cost us local taxpayers in many ways.

There is a lot of work needed to get back to an affordable and safe county and it will take five full-time commissioners to do it. So I am asking you for your vote on Sept. 12.

I will tell you like it is and if I do not know an answer, I will get you one! If you have an issue, I will help you deal with it. There is so much I could and would say, but space is limited. But believe me, if I am elected, I will work for all citizens. Thank you!

Carrie Gouff
Republican candidate
for Washington County Commissioner

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