-Davis County citizens expect and get clean balance sheets.
-Davis County has an AAA credit rating.
-Over the last four years, the long-term debt has nearly doubled to $82 million.
-Over the last four years, the annual interest payments doubled on the debt to $3.8 million.
-The annual Davis County budget is around 100 million.
- Comparing Davis County’s “small” per capita debt to other counties and comparing “what we could spend to what we do spend” doesn’t negate the need to practice the basic principles of fiscal wresponsibility.
-Current Davis County debt interest ($3.8 million annually) will be charged for several decades.
-Davis County commissioners have voted themselves pay increases, well beyond what most make.
-We have a potential ability to borrow $501 against the county’s tax base.
(Go http://www.co.davis.ut.us/clerkauditor/auditor/cafr.cfm for the complete Davis County budget.)
With those points established, it is easy to highlight the stark differences between myself and my honorable opponent. I consider my points a voice of warning to the citizens of Davis County.
-Debt is debt, regardless of how it is packaged. Increasing personal, local, national, and international debt is not generally wise, especially now. Many, like my opponent, the U.S. Congress, Greece, Spain, bond traders, etc., feel it is needed and can act as a stimulus. I aggressively avoid debt in my personal and business affairs. I disagree with the basic issues of debt trends and taxation equity.
(For a complete and balanced look at my thoughts on debt, go to VoteSteveAndersen.com.)
- It is using current government rhetoric to suggest that,“All capital improvements be financed on a cash basis shifts the tax burden of future taxpayers to the current tax payer.” I have a simple question,“How did former leaders of Davis County succeed without leaving a legacy of debt?” Until recently, the leaders of Davis County avoided debt. In 2002, Davis County paid $335,000 annual debt interest. Today, Davis County pays annually, $3.8 million.
- We should not take comfort in the fact that our debt service is less severe than many counties around us. We must be vigilant to protect against the weeds of poor principles that seem to be incessantly scattered around us. Davis County voters must let the county leadership know that we disagree with increasing the county debt just because we can. We should focus on easing the burdens of the taxpayers. What could we do with $3.8 million per year, if we didn’t have to pay that amount in interest?
My opponent tells us that during this economic downturn he is finding every way to cut back. However, he failed to look at his salary and that of each Davis County elected official. They are the highest salaries in the state. Pay packages are higher than the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, Treasurer, etc.
For the record, last year, my opponent voted to raise the pay for elected officials. I can understand the county employees receiving an increase, but, why the elected officials? Why?
There was a time, not so long ago, when public service meant sacrifice and public pay was lower than the private sector. The long and dedicated hours were mostly compensated by the knowledge that each had done their best.
We must return to traditional fiscal values. We don’t have to sway with the wind of contemporary fiscal thought. We must make that happen in Davis County. I am asking for your vote and I invite you to encourage your neighbors to support this cause.
Because these issues are complex, I call upon my opponent to openly debate these issues with me so the county residents may have a fair and clear choice between us. Then they may choose the principles best suited to govern our Davis County.
-Steve Anderson, Democratic candidate for Davis County Commission