I hope this message find you safe and well during this unprecedented time. God Bless all of of our healthcare professsionals, truckers, grocery store employees, school bus drivers, teachers, school system, community and faith based organizations, and all of the community leaders that are on the front lines and assisting others.
We have accomplished much and I appreciate your input and support very much. As many of you are aware, in the past, our foundation was rocky and the 'good ole boy' politics and special interests ran rampant costing taxpayers much and providing less. Over these last few years, by insisting on full transparency and accountability to the citizens and the entire governing body, the curtain has been lifted, and we have gotten our house in better order.
You can't build a brick house on four toothpicks and today, our foundation is much more solid. As a result, our bond rating was increased to AAA. This is a big deal and a first in Newton County! But what does that really mean to the citizens? It means investments in our community will grow---government supported projects will cost the taxpayer less.
For the first time in many years, fiscal discipline restored Newton County to financial stability. We have stabilized our budget with a healthy fund balance. This is a blessing during this challenging time and contrast to where Newton County was after the 2008 crash. Foremost we have worked hard to establish and cultivate a culture of trust and plan for our future in a more transparent, collaborative, accountable and meaningful way. We have also tackled and moved forward from some challenging issues of the past in a way that protects resources and communities for years to come. Our FY20 budgetary process was streamlined and held to a higher level of accountability-- driven by a Citizen's Needs Assessment. Expenditures on items that were identified by the community are now tied to a strategic action item.
The power of our community is great and one that is rich in diversity and strength, especially through the power of serving others. We have the power to reshape the future standing on good decisions we have made in the past few years that give us a firm foundation. We are moving forward to a brighter future and getting much accomplished. Yet, there is more to do. You have my promise that as I have done over the past 12 years, I will continue to fight for what is right and fair--steadfast against special interests. It is my hope to continue the positive momentum we have built and move forward together for a better Newton. It is an honor to serve as your commissioner.
Be safe and well,