What do you feel is the primary issue facing Van Buren residents?
The primary issue that is facing our town is the increase in our property taxes, by increased assessments. One thing is clear: times are financially tough on all of our residents. Unfortunately, the assessed values of our homes keep rising, each and every year. At the national level, we are well aware of the consequences of inflating the value of our homes. On the local level, homeowners are squeezed by increased assessed values that do not necessarily reflect the declining market values of real estate in today's market.
The real estate bubble is over, but our taxes are not going down. In other words, our assessed values are not necessarily the price that the market will yield, if we did try to sell our homes. Yet, at the same time, there is an increased amount of development that has negatively impacted the value of our homes. For instance, the asphalt plant and the microwave cell phone tower, both of which are being approved or have been approved and finalized this year.
Other problems in our local government include the one party that conducts all of our town's business. There are no other points of view that are being represented or debated before decisions are being made, at this local level. Read the minutes at townofvanburen.com and you can see that there have been no close votes, very little discussion, even at public hearings. You will find unanimous votes more often than any other vote. I encourage our town to review the business in our town, sign up for the alerts and keep yourself aware of the changes, before you find yourself at the end of a law that has been unanimously changed.
If elected, what are your goals?