Elections Are About The Future, Not The Past
In addition to implementing our ACT Initiative, the next Chairman will have the opportunity to influence a wide-range of issues in the community. To that end, I believe the following to be true in 4 years…
– People will feel safer in their home, streets and community than they do today.
– In 4 years, domestic violence rates will trending in a positive direction. Safe homes = safe streets and a safe community.
– Religious groups and non-profit organizations will be having a greater impact on improving the lives of our at-risk youth. There will be less fragmentation and more alignment.
– The County and City will be looking back at what was a new era of collaboration. There will be no room in our politics for folks who want to re-fight yesterday’s fights.
– The Region will have made in-roads in decreasing high drop-outs and increasing the # of adults who get their GED or diploma. Only then will we solve our Region’s GED crisis.
– Winnebago County Government will have closed the gap between legal and illegal, ethical and non-ethical. The focus will be squarely on best practice.
– In 4 years, men’s groups, religious and otherwise, will take the lead in talking about fatherhood. One example is the Father Encouragement Project. There is no transformation of our community without strong dads.
– The Region will be executing on a bold marketing agenda that celebrates all aspects of our County; not just parts of it.
– Young people will grow-up hearing more of the good things about our community and will be challenged to come back as adults and lead.
– In 4 years, more civic-minded, business leaders will be running for elected offices in the area. Public service will be seen as a positive thing not a suicide mission or the plague. And if they don’t come to us, we will go get them.
– Taxpayer trust in Winnebago County Gov’t will have been restored not because of perfection but because of a complete and total commitment to making it so.
– Leaders throughout the State will be talking about how Winnebago County and the Rockford Region IS leading the comeback of the State of Illinois.
– More 3rd graders will end the school year reading at grade level.
– The Regional Planning Commission will be clicking on all cylinders and will serve as an efficient model for bringing regional elected officials together around big issues.
– We will be more competitive in attracting and retaining business and talent because we have shifted to a more collaborative approach in working together across governments.
– We will continue to play to our strengths as a region: Location, aviation, advanced manufacturing, health care, and sports tourism.
– In 4 years, our region’s brand will be that this is both a cool place to visit AND a cool place to live.
– Our focus will have shifted when it comes to helping those in need. The focus will be towards moving people from poverty to success; not from poverty to more poverty. Results, accountability and the fundamental belief in the God-given potential of all residents will drive these discussions.
– The county-wide elected officials will be seen as a great team.
– In 4 years, the county board will be seen as a great team.
– We will sell the whole story about education in the region; not just part of it. 205, other public schools, as well as great private school options – parents like options. We will also promote and celebrate our great post-secondary options in education and career training.
– Host fee dollars. In an era of funding struggles, the County will have remain committed to spending host fee dollars on strategic economic development initiatives with an emphasis on primary job growth, workforce development, tourism, and tax base growth.
– 1% Public Safety Tax. In an era of funding struggles at the state and local levels, we will not turn our back on prevention and rehabilitation programs via the 1% PST. This is important since:
- over 60% of those in jail have an addiction problem.
- it cost $25,000 to incarcerate. $3,500 for an addiction program.
- over 60% of those released from jail re-offend.
– Accountability and reporting out results will be a key reason why programs maximize their effectiveness.
– Funding discussions on public safety and prevention programs will be data-driven and not sound-bite driven. There will be less emotion and more strategic planning.
– We want to make Winnebago County Government BORING again. Get out of the headlines. Get into better oversight, best practice approach in management, and better report-out to the community.
– #ACT will be part of the fabric of county government; not just a tagline in my campaign.
– More business leaders will be involved in the political process but not because they want a sweetheart deal or payback in some way.
– Even the most cynical, pessimistic and doomsday among us will have to admit that we are heading in the right direction.
– In 4 years, we will not have arrived but we will be well on our way to being a top tier community in the United States.
Excerpt from Frank Haney’s speech to 300 event attendees at his Summer Kick-off Party at the Prairie Street Brewhouse on June 15, 2016.