To say we hit the ground running in Porter County government this year would be an understatement. Dealing with one of the worst winters in recent history we were fortunate to have eight new snowplows on the road covering 800 miles of road, making four passes on each for a total of some 3,200 miles every time we got a plowable snow! That was quite an introduction to the administration of county government!
I've come to realize very quickly that this is a complicated, multimillion-dollar business with more than 150,000 customers served daily. We came in facing an economic downturn, which is taking its time to correct, and a backlog of property tax appeals -- about half of which have been resolved. This has benefited many taxpayers but has also created an uncertain future for taxing units. Add to that inaccurate assessed values and property tax caps and we quickly find ourselves facing a potential shortfall in the millions of dollars.
There will undoubtedly be many opinions on how to go forward on many of these issues from addressing problems with E911 operations, funding, the animal shelter, health insurance costs and adult education. Solutions to these issues must be dealt with swiftly, particularly as the public's safety is affected.
Porter County is the fifth fastest growing county in the state, and we are challenged with working with our partners in our cities and towns to aggressively pursue economic development strategies that will create long-term, high-paying jobs. We have 16 buildings in the county to maintain, many that are in need of serious renovation or repair.
To effectively address this number and magnitude of challenges will require communication, prioritizing and working together by all units of government. We must continue to seek collaborations, efficiencies and a new spirit of cooperation. I invite all of our Porter County citizens to join in our efforts to continue making Porter County the best place to live and work.
Nancy Adams, a Republican, is in her first year as a Porter County commissioner. The opinion expressed in this column is the writer's and not necessarily that of The Times.