Mayor Candidates Speak at Republican Women's Forum
Commissioner Lisa Stanbery's Speech
Monday March 8, 2010.
For the Cleveland Area Republican Women's Forum.
Before I begin today, I'd like to thank the Republican Women for hosting this event. I'd also like to thank Chris Weir and D. Gary Davis for being here today. I want to thank you Chris for your service to our country. Thank you D. Gary Davis for your service to our county. As well, thank you to the citizens attending today for caring enough to hear us all speak.
Today I'd like to talk to you about: WHAT I'VE NEVER BEEN. I've never been a DEBUTANT, I've never been a member of the COUTNRY CLUB, and I've never been a member of THE JUNIOR AUXILIARY or a member of a SORORITY. I've never worn a TIERRA - even on Halloween. And I don't have a SILVER SPOON in my mouth.
But, what I AM is a multi-generational native of Bradley County and a graduate of Bradley Central High School (Go Bears!), and a Third-shift-worker at Fay Swaford Originals while putting myself through Cleveland State Community college, a volunteer from the age of 12 with the American Red Cross, a member of Broad Street United Methodist church serving on the Evangelism Committee, and a proud member of this Republican Woman's Club. I'm also a college graduate with a master's degree and a small business owner, licensed contractor, and 8-year county commissioner. I've been married to the same man for 23 years (and that deserves and award in itself.) I am the mother of two beautiful children, Ian and Alex.
Now, let's talk about what I've done as a commissioner as part of a team of fellow county commissioners.
I chaired the education committee, which was in charge of a 20 million dollar renovation of Bradley Central High School. I'm proud to say that with my leadership and knowledge as a licensed contractor. I negotiated the project down to just over 5 million dollars - saving taxpayers 15 million dollars. Mayor Davis himself said the actions of my committee stopped a tax increase that year. I voted with my fellow commission to keep Whirlpool here and bring new industries like Wacker to Bradley County. As chair of the tax committee, I and my team were successful in moving properties dating back from the 70's back on the tax rolls, resulting in thousands of dollars of profit for the county.
I've had similar success with the Law Library Committee, the Law Enforcement Committee, the Minis Road Project and the Public Library Building Committee. When I sit on a committee, I don't do much sitting. I go to the meetings, I do the work, and I share the credit, because I understand we are a team.
When I first considered running for Bradley County Mayor, I did a lot of soul searching. I spoke to my husband, my kids, and my family, and I prayed. I wanted to be perfectly sure that my heart was in the right place. And what I discovered about myself is that I can no longer sit on the sidelines. I believe that together we all can make a brighter future for Bradley County. We as a team will get ourselves out of this recession and back on track to prosperity.
Here's how I think our future will look with me as your next mayor.
I believe in smaller government that maximizes efficiency and reduces waste. As a small business owner I understand how to meet the bottom line while staying within budget. I'll secure federal funding to improve our roads and utilities. Our roadways will be cleaned up and our recycling centers will be neat, our county owned properties will finally be on a maintenance schedule. I believe in open honest government, no back room deals and no negotiations behind closed doors. I'll work to promote small business and help agricultural markets expand. I will work to provide county owned industrial land. I'll give our veterans and seniors the respect they deserve by developing a one-stop-shop for information and I'll continue to serve on the Veteran's Home Committee until we build our veteran's home here.
I will lead the effort to give Bradley County's young workers a reason to come home to work. I'll continue to support teachers by spending money in the classroom. I will manage the county's debt and funds efficiently so that we pay off our debts in a timely manner.
County Employees will have better options for their family health insurance with health savings accounts, saving them and the taxpayer money. The Greenway will continue to grow as an excellent recruitment tool for new industry. I will grow the community garden initiative across our county. I'll work to have an improved Farmer's Market, a Heritage Trail in Charleston that sparks economic growth. There will not be a forgotten corner of our county. We will do all of this by working smarter and more efficiently. I will not raise your taxes…and I will pay down our debt so you will not have to raise taxes after I leave office. I'll say it again. I will not raise your taxes. I understand that Bradley County Needs to Save, Invest and Build not Spend, Borrow and Patch.
And now I'd like to ask each of you some questions. Are you happy that we are 83 million dollars in debt? Do you like school loans with 12 years of interest only payments before we pay a dime of principal? Do you like to see our young people leave home to find good paying jobs? If your answer is no, consider this: With your help, I CAN and WILL solve these problems. I have worked hard my whole life and as your mayor will continue to work hard until this important work is done.
But before I can begin this important work for our county, I need your help. I'd like to ask each and every one of you for your vote as the next mayor of Bradley County. And please ask your friends and neighbors to vote for me, too. Thank you for your attention today and God Bless.