Statement by Frank Haney announcing his candidacy for Winnebago County Chairman
After careful reflection and in light of recent events, I have made the decision to run for Winnebago County Board Chairman. A change in leadership is needed. I will make the changes necessary to the office of Chairman of Winnebago County that will make headlines about investigations unnecessary. The buck stops at the top.
There appears to be a common theme in my conversations with residents: people are frustrated and disillusioned with the current political dynamic. They are concerned that multi-term politicians are rarely challenged and forced to lay-out their vision for the future. Further, mid-term appointments (vs. elections) is often how elected positions are passed along and power is retained within a very small circle. As a result, the status quo is both protected and perpetuated.
The region is at a crossroads. Big opportunities and big challenges. What happens in the next few years will determine the next twenty-five years. The role of the Chairman will be of critical importance in the coming years if we are to become a top tier community. To succeed, we must focus on:
Good government is a baseline expectation; not a luxury item. We must strive to create a culture of transparency, accountability, stewardship, and continuous pursuit of best practice so that we maximize our return to residents. We need to restore the faith that people place in their government.
Positioning for long-term growth.
It is critical that we think and act regionally in the coming years.
- We must focus our collective efforts on facilitating economic development opportunities that produce good jobs for our citizens.
- We must continue to seek strategic partnerships that maximize our assets and play to our region’s strengths.
- We must embrace a cradle to career education / training approach that encourages more focus on developing our greatest asset: our people. Then, we must go one step further and work together to retain our home grown talent. Currently, few communities export more talented young people than ours.
- We must continue the community discussion on Adult Education. This is critical to workforce development, prevention of crime, as well as the health of our homes and neighborhoods. We are all a work in progress and it is never too late for a person or a community to reinvent itself.
- Additionally, we need to aggressively and collectively sell our region; both within our county as well as throughout the country. We must first believe in the future of our community in-order to sell it to others.
We need cooperation and collaboration with other governments at all levels in order to achieve economies of scale thus respecting our taxpayers. They have carried the burden of taxation without the commensurate respect for their contribution. We will work to ensure that all spending and policy are made with the taxpayer in mind.
I am running for Chairman because I know we can make a difference. Over the years I have built a reputation for being honest, prepared, collaborative, and extremely passionate about moving our community forward. I have no personal agenda outside of our shared interest of creating a community of first choice for our children as they grow into adults.
I do not take this step without some trepidation. Running for any office is difficult. However, I am confident our message will resonate with the citizens of Winnebago County and trump the power of incumbency. I am not running because I see a future in politics. All leaders have a window and that is why I would like to serve a term or two and then go back to the private sector. In the meantime, I believe voters deserve an alternative to the status quo.