Tampa area resident Dianne Novak brings some familiarity with government funds and roads into the commissioner race.
Novak served on a Dickinson county township board for three years, working with board and community members under budget guidelines.
A bookkeeper by profession, Novak and her husband, Kelly, have two grown daughters.
Novak is running because she’s frustrated with seeing people struggle and a state of stagnation she sees in the county, and believes she can lead in a new and positive direction.
As for her top priority?
“Roads are always No. 1 everywhere you go, especially when talking about rural areas,” Novak said. “Their solution is to close roads. In my opinion that’s not a solution, it’s a cover-up for neglect and poor maintenance.”
Novak wants to thoroughly research options for roads, including examination of minimum maintenance roads. She is reluctant to give farmers free rein to work on roads, preferring that the road and bridge department head go out to work with them on a case-by-base basis.
A central theme for Novak across all areas is better financial management leading to more thoughtful and effective use of county funds.
“If they were spending their own money instead of taxpayer money, they would be more conservative in the way they spend,” Novak said. “If you run a business, you make every dollar count, and you ask questions before you spend. $4,000 here, $4,000 there; that adds up. If we did a little more research we could probably serve the people better.”
A county administrator would help with that, and would also give commissioners more time to work with communities and pull together under common goals.
Novak is dissatisfied with the county’s economic development efforts.
“I’m not seeing any real work or results,” she said. “I’m not seeing any business growth; I see business decline. That’s going backward.”
Promoting the county’s strategic location and the availability land are important to attracting new businesses, as are tax incentives and abatements, Novak said. Reasonable incentives should be offered “without giving up the farm.”
Novak said she was concerned about EMS response times after conversations with people, and said, “In a nutshell, total reorganization needs to take place; there are so many factors to EMS that are not performing like they should.”
Novak acknowledged that “everything is very important,” but that she would be committed to working within the budget and would not raise taxes.
“I can’t forsee any great big major development,” she said. “I would like to live within the guide of the budget now and get a little control.”