Posted: 9:34 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012
QUESTION: In recent years, the county commission and employee unions have negotiated lump sum payments between $200 and $400 per employee, instead of across-the-board raises. Do you think this practice should continue?
Lieberman: The economy is improving. Sales taxe receipts are up. I think we will be able to do raises in 2013 to the board of county commission employees. We evaluated salaries a few years ago and I think we are competitive. We want to stay that way.
Webb: We need to be competitive. We need to have good employees. We should compare all county employees’ salaries to those doing similar work in the private sector to see how they compare.
QUESTION: What are your thoughts on financial support of the arts?
Lieberman: We are earmarking money from the Casino Revenue Tax to help fund our EDGE program (money the county commission sets aside for economic development projects) and for the arts, so they can grow.
Webb: I think the arts are a valuable amenity to the qualify of life in Montgomery County. We need to continue to fund as many of our arts organization as we can through private donations and focus efforts of government on those areas that citizens can’t take care of themselves. I have no intention of pushing for additional cuts. If we can turn our economy around and resources are available, I’d like to see arts funding restored.
QUESTION: Would you support an in increase in property taxes to benefit a Montgomery County Human Services Levy in 2014?
Lieberman: We have to hold all of these programs more accountable. If they can’t show me outcomes, why should we share our precious resources. Before a levy is placed on the ballot, we get a needs presentation made to us. The process is driven by people in the community, people receiving services and others providing services. If compelling evidence is there, of course I would support an increase.
Webb: I would like to see human services agencies have more money and I would like to see that coming from our property values going up. I get the fact that no matter how we fund it, the most vulnerable among us are going to need assistance. We have to work together to be able to provide it.
Question: Would you support an in increase in property taxes to benefit a Montgomery County Human Services Levy in 2014?
Dodge: We will have to do an analysis of needs in the community. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we don’t need an increase, but I have a feeling we will. I have been co-chair of the human services levy campaign. I think the community understands that we have to take care of our most vulnerable citizens. I never want to see anyone fall through the cracks.
Vore: I have worked with all those agencies when I was sheriff. I know the importance of them. There are a lot of people who suffer in life. That type of vulnerability is definitely going to be supported. But, are there ways we can economize. That has to be explored, before raising taxes.
Question: What are your thoughts on funding for the arts?
Dodge: I am committed to funding culture and the arts. I think the fabric of the community comes in many layers and the arts are a part of it. They are a tool to help attract businesses here.
Vore: Jobs will be my number one priority so that we can get on an equal footing with surrounding counties. If we get more competitive and attract more businesses, we’ll have more discretional funding for programs like the arts.
Question: Regionalism, how do you define it? Does Montgomery County need more and if yes, how would you make it happen?
Dodge: I think we have found with MCOFuture forums that people don’t have a problem with consolidation of services, if it makes sense and we save money. I think we need to look at all aspects of it, whether that be merging of the city of Dayton and Montgomery County, reducing elected official offices, or consolidating some offices. We also need to look at ways we can all communicate together.
Vore: Before we look at consolidating across jurisdictions, we have to look within Montgomery County government first and consolidate applicative services. When we get that done, we will have learned the pitfalls and opportunities involved in taking the concept to a larger scale.
William Pace, an Independent businessman, also is running against Dodge and Vore. Pace declined to answer Dayton Daily News questions for this profile.