Wayne Horack, a practical candidate
Candidate for Carbondale Board of Trustees
Editor’s note: The Post Independent gave candidates in the Carbondale and Silt municipal elections the opportunity to publish 800-word statements. Two candidates responded. Wayne Horack was one of them.
Allyn Harvey just wrote a nice piece in the Post Independent on St. Patrick’s Day about the changing face of Carbondale’s Board of Trustees. He mentioned me.
Yes, I am under 40 and full of new ideas and hopes for Carbondale. He mentioned, “I don’t get the sense he [Wayne Horak] would be out of place on the town council. In fact, his perspective would add to the overall mix.”
Allyn, thanks for getting the important point. I’m PRACTICAL and that’s the very reason why I should join you on the Board of Trustees.
Each of us can speak to our dreams and hopeful ideas for keeping Carbondale at the forefront while not having the town change for the worse. I know that I certainly can. Wishing for the best and being able to frame our hopes are worthy activities, but the 500-pound gorilla in the room, the thing we must do first and foremost, is pay our bills without living off the savings account. A sustainable tax revenue base allows us to be able to support our various organizations and activities. It’s entirely up to us to raise the revenue necessary to sustain ourselves and the groups, organizations and activities that we have come to love.
Carbondale’s 2014 budget calls for yet another annual loss. This year’s deficit is in the neighborhood of $1,500,000, and that’s an optimistic view considering that the town budgeted an increase in sales tax revenue despite the scheduled major re-construction of Highway 133. The main pathway into town will be traffic-challenged for most of the year. We must do a GREAT job of helping people through the upcoming maze.
Our town is financially challenged. Our nonprofits, our arts community, our streets, our parks, our infrastructure, our town employees, our merchants, our restaurants, our community — WE are financially challenged right now. We have used up our town’s savings account trying to survive the recession. There is little money left to spend and some revenue sources that have helped us get by are now themselves being reduced. We have some infrastructure items that we need to fix (sewage treatment plant) and/or buy/build (e.g. the plaza at 4th & Main) to improve our quality of life.
We also need to realize that the jump in sales tax revenue from one or two recreational marijuana merchants will certainly add some additional revenue to the town’s financial base, but not nearly enough to help us move forward on those things that we truly desire to see happen in the long term. Increased sales tax revenue from any source needs to be applied to a prioritized list of uses that include putting a few dollars back into the savings account.
Let’s see if we can purchase the plaza at 4th & Main so that it is ours forever. Let’s increase bike access and pedestrian access. Let’s put some money in an “opportunity loan fund” to help finance small sustainable businesses wanting to relocate to Carbondale. Let’s create a “line of credit” loan fund for merchants who may see a drop in business while Highway 133 is being re-built. Let’s put some money into the repurposing of the old library building. In short, let’s invest in us again!
Please don’t confuse my being PRACTICAL with lacking ideas and proactive solutions. Practical is addressing our most immediate challenges as quickly and thoroughly as possible while keeping our sights set on all the great things we can be. Practical is increasing the town’s sales tax revenue by helping its merchants survive and hopefully thrive to create a more sustainable revenue source for our town. Practical is doing these things in a manner that retains our funky charm and renowned uniqueness keeping us the envy of the valley and a really grand place to live. PRACTICAL is really important to Carbondale right now!
I am Wayne Horak and I will work tirelessly to build a more financially sustainable revenue base for Carbondale using the community’s ideals as a guiding principal. For more information please go to http://www.Wayne Horak.com. I ask for your vote and your input to make Carbondale sustainable in the most important way!
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