Hargenrader for County Commissioner - 2016
Political Principles: Civil Libertarian, Fiscal Conservative, Federalist
Occupation: Electrical Engineer, Business Owner
Age: 57 years
Family: Married 36 years, 9 children. Youngest one living at home and attending Brighton High School.
Resident: Since 1992, Brighton Township, Homeowner.
I advocate reduction of operating budgets for all county entities to match an even revenue balance, with the general consensus of the Board of Commissioners on fixed reduction targets department by department. I would push for the abolition of DDA’s within the county, and return taxing authority solely to local elected officials. DDA’s create duplicate government overhead, with taxing authority given to unelected political cronies. This will improve the financial health of cities within the County and reduce reliance on local units for County fiscal backing of bond debt. I would end Health Care Coverage for County Commissioners.
I am in favor of reducing the operating budget for county jail operations, to force revisions in sentencing for non-violent crimes to reduce short term incarceration rates. I believe that far too much emphasis is placed on minor traffic enforcement, which inhibits the right to freedom of movement, and clogs up disproportionate hours of court time, burdens the poorest of the poor, and decreases societies trust in our sense of fairness. All too often, traffic enforcement is used as blackmail to balance local and state budgets. This motivation is not rational; it is punitive to normal law abiding citizens and has the opposite effect of decreasing public trust.
I would advocate creating a County Executive position, and decreasing the number of Commissioners from nine, to five. Livingston County is now a mixed use area. It has more urban, suburban and industrial areas than it did a generation ago. A full time county executive could add great benefit to oversight of county operations. It would allow operations like Economic Development to be done within the County Executives office eliminating outside NGO's like SPARK and improving performance. A County Executive could also work directly with Township Supervisors and City Mayors withing the county, to coordinate public policy.
Schools and Services
I advocate consolidation of Public School Corporations, to be unified under a single County School District. This makes all aspects of county government more efficient, through elimination of duplicate personnel, benefits, building and asset maintenance, and administrative costs. I advocate consolidation of local fire departments in the county, into a single well coordinated organization to address the growing need for larger response teams and more specialized training. This can be done most efficiently in a county run Fire Department modeled after the combined Fire Authority created for Brighton City, Genoa Township and Brighton Township.