If you are like me, you are tired of "yes" people in politics. I am an independent thinker who works for the people of Wayne Township, not special interests. As your representative I promise to continue my principled stance on the issues that matter most to our community. Being a local business owner means that I'm easy to find and gives me a pulse on the values of our voters. I will never forget who my boss is: the taxpayer.
- Saving Taxpayers Money
- Protecting Our Families
- Preserving Rural Life
- Increasing Transparency
- Improving Communication
- Limiting Government
Saving Taxpayers Money
Being a good steward of taxpayer money unfortunately means saying "no" even when presented with great ideas and noble causes. Over the past few years I have taken a stand and voted against tens of thousands of dollars of unnecessary spending that affects our bottom line. Sometimes we simply can't afford it, and we should hold our government bodies to the same standard that we hold our businesses and personal checkbooks.
While the township remains financially healthy, I expressed great concern over spending more than the township collected in our General Fund. I am pleased to say after many years of spending deficits, last year Wayne Township ended the year with a surplus in the General Fund.
In addition, voting to provide smart upgrades for our road department such as BEET-HEET® applicators for icy conditions has allowed the township to provide a more effective service at a lower cost to taxpayers.
Common sense solutions such as energy aggregation helps save our residents thousands of dollars every year by leveraging our collective buying power. I was proud to help vote to approve these cost saving measures in 2016. We should use our position as a government entity to ensure competitive bids and find the most cost-effective solutions.
Protecting Our Families
Reconciling fiscal conservatism with the operation of a successful fire department can be difficult at times. I am proud that the construction of Fire Station No. 2 required no borrowing or new levies and is being built with monies saved for well over a decade; we are building a fire station not only for today, but to serve our community for the next 50 years and beyond.
The men and women of our volunteer fire department are the backbone of our emergency response. I have consistently voted to ensure these brave public servants have the best protection, staffing, and equipment possible. This directly translates into better response times and saved lives.
Preserving Rural Life
Waynesville and Wayne Township maintain a rural charm that attracted many to the area as they sought to escape urban sprawl and poor planning. There is nothing wrong with growth or business; but why even bother with zoning or growth plans or visions for 2030 if we're not going to use them?
Growth should be controlled and guided so as not to overwhelm our community's infrastructure or sacrifice our wealth of natural resources. I love our rural character and I recognize that many of us live in Wayne Township to escape the problems that plague many of the other communities in the region. I have urged our board to update our Future Land Use Map to better reflect the rural agricultural nature of our community. Ideally, I would like to see most of the unincorporated township zoned for 5 acre minimum lot sizes with 2 acre minimums surrounding the more densely-populated villages.
I was proud to vote multiple times in favor of placing select Wayne Township farmland into the Clean Ohio Local Agricultural Easement Purchase Program. This state program protects farmland in perpetuity and preserves our agricultural heritage for generations to come.
Keeping Wayne Township as a beautiful place to live and work remains central to my work as trustee. I was proud to accept an award on behalf of Wayne Township as one of Warren County Conservation District's 2019 Recyclers of the Year. Since I became a trustee the township has held two community recycling rallies to help collect recyclables, trash, tires, and more to help prevent dumping and keep our roadways and streams clean.
The 2017 Wayne Township zoning code rewrite involved the collaboration of a diverse citizens advisory committee and resulted in a more modernized, easier-to-read (and enforce) zoning code. We must continue to balance smart planning, economic growth, and tourism with protecting our farms and agricultural way of life.
One of the most important things to me when I joined the board was to increase the transparency and accessibility of our local government. Transparency is the way we keep our public servants honest and accountable.
In that effort, probably the thing I am most proud of is our participation in the state treasurer's OhioCheckbook.com, which puts all of the township's spending online. This invaluable tool allows any citizen with internet access to peruse our ledger and graph spending from month-to-month or year-to-year, ensuring that your tax dollars are being wisely spent in full public view.
In addition, over the course of the past few of years I have made multiple calls to begin video recording and online posting of our public meetings in an effort to further increase transparency and accountability to our taxpayers.
This move toward greater transparency reflects the shift in culture I'd like to see from all levels of government. Keeping up with technology and delivering information to our residents is one of the most important parts of my job as trustee.
We must do all that we can to fight cronyism and nepotism — or even the appearance of such.
In 2017 our board members voted to publish the bi-annual "Wayne Township News" in an effort be more transparent and better communicate with our residents. Supported by ad revenue, this publication features content from our own township, the Mary L. Cook Public Library, the Friends Museum, Wayne Local schools and other local government entities. I am pleased that we are able to offer this newsletter at minimal cost to our taxpayers.
Over the coming years, we must make rural broadband a priorty. As we find ourselves immersed in a digital economy, keeping pace with technology will allow our citizens to participate in education and business opportunities that they might not otherwise have. Moreover, we must expand the township's social media presence so that we can quickly engage our residents and business owners where they already exchange information.
"... man is not free unless government is limited. There's a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts."
— Ronald Reagan
Local government should be accessible and accountable to its citizens. I promise to be responsive to your questions and problems while respecting the purview and scope of township government.
I consider it an honor and privilege to serve this great community, and I thank you for considering to vote to Re-Elect JOSH PATRICK as Wayne Township Trustee on November 5th, 2019.