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October 25, 2010 / Administrator

Baker’s Dozen of Ideas to Reform and Improve Henry County


Baker’s Dozen Ideas and Reforms for the Henry County Board by Jon Zahm, District 2 Republican Candidate
1- Do not pass a deficit budget
— We need to only spend money that we have. We have to cut spending and stramline government first. Let’s put every dime of spending online, in real time, as proposed by The nonprofit group provides the software at no charge to the county. You cannot cut the waste if you do not know about it.
2- Oppose increasing county property tax or sales tax rate
— In this difficult economy we cannot hurt people financially anymore. We cannot chase out people or purchases to other counties. The sales tax increase has been rejected twice by the taxpayers. We have to listen to our constituents.
3- Cut County Board members from 24 to 12
— In a small county like ours we have too much government and bureaucracy. It is inefficient to have such a large board.
4- Do not tear up part of College Square Park in Cambridge for a parking lot
— That is a well used, beautiful park. When people have business at the Courthouse they should be willing to walk a bit
longer than usual to preserve that park. Employees should save the best spaces for customers using the Courthouse.
5- Stop paying County Board members mileage to come to meetings at the Courthouse
— Regular folks do not get paid to come to their workplace. This is a wasteful practice that should end.
6- Develop a strategic maintenance and repair program for the Courthouse. Take care of most serious problems first.
— It is shameful that the Democrat majority on the board let this building deteriorate over the years. Can’t let it happen again.
7- Improve and enhance the County web site
— More information, more complete minutes, more timely postings can all be improved to save people a trip to the Courthouse and have a more informed public.
8- Become more aggressive and successful in writing and securing grants
— There are a lot of Federal and foundation dollars available. We need expert staff in key positions to maximize this.
9- Eliminate the paid Spokesman/PR position
— The Chairman of the County Board and individual members do not need a go between to communicate with the voting public
10- Allow public comment (3 minutes per person) BEFORE the agenda items are voted on, not just at the end of the meeting
— We need public comment, not public afterthought, when the money is already spent and the votes are already taken
11- Prohibit County Board members from working in paid positions funded, in large part, by County dollars
— Jim King worked as Economic Development Director, funded partially by a $20,000 annual county stipend, while receiving pay and per diems as a County Board member. That is known as double dipping, and it is not right.
12- Require the County Adminstrator and Deputy County Administrator to reside in Henry County within 3 months of hire
— The leadership of the County should live under the rules and taxation that they influence so greatly
13- Allow citizens to have their cell phones in all parts of the Courthouse, except the courtrooms (unless Judge presiding permits it)
— Using the services of the Treasurer, Clerk, Circuit Clerk or other offices should not require giving up your connection to the outside world. Some folks have special needs children, or an ill spouse or parent, and every minute counts in those situations. It can be put on vibrate mode as a courtesy to others.

For comments or questions, please contact Jon Zahm on his cell at 630-WIN-VOTE (630-946-8683) or e-mail Or home at 309-522-5008.


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