Spend Responsibly and Evaluate!
In Frederick County we need to make sure that our County Government is operating in a way that is producing results for our citizens. Even though Frederick has one of Maryland’s highest tax rates, too many of our citizens are paying increasingly more into a system and getting less out of it.
My job is an evaluator. I assess whether programs, funded by tax dollars, are achieving their intended goal. I use data to see if they are producing intended results. If they’re not, we can identify ways to course correct, adapt the project, improve efficiency or stop doing it. I want to bring that kind of common sense analysis to Frederick County.
While citizens struggle to make their budgets balanced, we must remember that government needs to do the same. While taxes might be a necessary burden, we can’t forget that they are still a burden. After all, as Margaret Thatcher once said, “eventually you run out of other people’s money [to spend].”
I am running so that we can ensure that government spends your money wisely.
I’m a listener by trade. I interview, study survey data and go in depth into research. That is something that I’ve brought to my race for County Council as I have been knocking on doors since July, talking to voters about their priorities, needs and passions.
I’m a data nerd. I like to take in all inputs from various perspectives to inform decisions. I love to look at big data, the large quantitative research that is the trend right now, as well as “small” data that looks at the individual and diverse perspectives and stories that define the lives and experiences of citizens.
I’m a fiscally conservative, small government guy. I fundamentally, believe that we need to be responsible with the people’s money. To ensure this, I believe we should regularly have a top-down and bottom-up evaluation of the Frederick government.
If elected, I will consistently look at government programs and operations to make sure we’re fulfilling our responsibility to be careful stewards of folks’ well-earned money. This following criteria will be the lenses through which I will look at County government budgets and operations:
- Relevance – Are government programs and services addressing actual issues in the community that are important to citizens?
- Efficiency – Is government operating in a way that is timely and cost-effective?
- Effectiveness – Are government programs and services producing results for citizens, families and communities?
- Sustainability – Do government programs empower citizens to ensure that we’re not dependent on the government?Adaptability
- Adaptability – Is the Frederick government adapting appropriately to changes in the community. Are we flexible and dynamic?
We should be using data and research to inform our decisions in government. Livable Frederick claims to do so, but I still have major questions about the methodology used to inform the process. Also, there have been many strides in doing so across the country, in trying to make certain government services more like the Apple Store than the DMV. We should find a way to pilot evidenced-based service design to make government services more targeted and effective and to make government institutions more accessible.
In Frederick, all of our dreams lay before us. If we do these things, we can restore confidence in government and produce better results for the citizens of Frederick. By looking at how government operates, in this way, we can build a better path forward in Frederick County.