Public trust in government has been on a steady decline for decades and according to national surveys, today the vast majority of Americans don't believe that their elected officers will do what is right most of the time. I've made it my mission to help restore confidence in Charlestown since I was elected and began my first term in 2020. Upon taking office I immediately began live-streaming all city meetings, publishing budget and meeting materials online for everyone to access easily, and hosting open office hours to meet with residents. We've included residents in our planning for the future, and we've been transparent about cleaning up mistakes of the past.
Another way I've lived out my commitment to serving our community faithfully is in sound financial management. Every year that I've been mayor I've written a budget that lowered the municipal property tax rate and, through careful management of our funds, we've saved an average of $300,000 every fiscal year.
Saving money has helped us build a stronger quality of service for our residents. This year we implemented yet another financially sound solution for long-term management of our city vehicle fleet. Our fleet includes approximately 50 vehicles comprised of police units and city work trucks. Aside from the eight new police units we purchased with savings in year one, the age of our fleet has reached imminent retirement status. Recently I sat down with our Chief of Police and Clerk Treasurer to discuss how we could establish a long-term replacement program for all of our city vehicles and in doing so, keep them on a regular maintenance program to ensure the most efficient and effective management of the fleet. After reviewing purchasing and leasing options, we presented our proposal to the appropriate decision makers, and I'm proud to say that we're now working on a scheduled multi-year replacement plan that will not only save us more money over the next ten years, but will fully replace our aged fleet in that time.
Decisions like this one do not happen in isolation. They take a mayor who will do the background work and research, then verify results with the Clerk Treasurer, present options for funding to the Common Council, and seek contract approval from the Board of Public Works. That's what you have in me. I approach my job serving our community from a professional, research-based position, and I'm dedicated to spending tax-payer dollars in the most ethical and responsible ways possible. I have a proven record of sound financial management and I hope to continue delivering for you.
View the Common Council meeting in which the Council approved my appropriation request for funding the lease program here: https://www.facebook.com/charlestown.in/videos/768674460788103
View the Board of Public Works meeting in which the Board approved and authorized me to execute the lease contract here: https://www.facebook.com/charlestown.in/videos/641495794413033