Vincent Dragonetti for Commissioner
Endorse Vince Here I need your endorsement today, time is short!
I'm running in the August primary for the 7th District Ingham County Commissioner.
Ingham County Commissioner
County Vice-Chairperson Pro Tem
Served on the Michigan Association of Counties taxation and equalization committee
Law subcommittee, Ingham County
County Service subcommittee, Ingham County
Spoke at Senate hearings enabling Ingham County to create Road Department
Instrumental in the creation of the Ingham County Road Board
Former Parish Council Member
1st President/founder Jackson Landlord Assoc., Vice President Michigan Landlord Assoc.
RPAC Chair Greater Lansing Area Board of Realtors
Credit Union Board Member
Vince is a life long Michigan resident and current member of the Michigan Education Association, higher education. He taught high school over 7 years assisting students in job placement and career planning. This led to being 1 of 22 accepted of 200 applicants at the University of Michigan graduate school in a 2 year program for administrative education for higher education in which he completed.
A former Certified Financial Planner for 25 years is now active brokering, managing and investing residential/commercial real estate, advises clients on business valuations and commercial "broker’s professional opinions" of values. He continues to teach business & investment courses at Lansing Community College. He's worked with individuals on retirement and education funding including elder care planning, as well as budget control/debt management for families. Over the years has started and operated 4 businesses including consulting to Persian Gulf for Ex Pats.
County Government: our goals should be what I've said for many years. The local level we need key in on "local" needs in common. Public Safety, Roads, and Basic Emergency Health Care. I've asked many people face to face and on radio call shows what the public feel our job should be. The great majority of people will say at least 2 of the above items.
I’ve watched this unfold a few years ago after a terrible hurricane in Haiti. In what order was assistance given? Medical teams could not arrive, they had no security. Food could not be shipped, they had no roads. Security moved in as fast as requested and quickly medical and food followed. Those are truly basic services we almost always agree are our common needs must be crafted.
Current Ingham County challenges include having all departments properly follow our County Clerks policies and procedures as designed thru the state of Michigan in filing requirements of items passed. Many are not doing this nor have any idea how to use the software if at all.
Financial safety mechanisms must be designed if problems are seen such as we have been aware in a few county wide elected positions and their money management of taxpayer dollars. We need to take a major look at our spending vs what we have and live within our budget. We cannot keep asking for an extra $25 year for X or "only $22.50 per year per home for Y."
A question has come up regarding our county spending more than other counties? I respond to those that we need compare services here as to other counties as you cannot compare one family with one car, one child, and 2 parents with another family with 2 cars, 5 kids, and 1 parent ... the spending needs differ. I would want to see what we are spending today and why. If cuts be needed again we need address why and how, then set priorities based on public safety, roads,
911 Center- there have been problems from the start that began with some disgruntled employees from the merger when the new center began. A few, very few, employees from the former 911 organizations wanted the best of each contract placed into the "new" employment conditions. This was not a "pick n choose" situation. Their former jobs ended, they were offered jobs by the Counties new 911 center and all policies and benefits fell under Ingham County alone. Also, a few of the early problems that emanated and blamed on the NEW center were later found to be problems that happened well before the new Ingham 911 center began but we, the County, took the heat. The current problems, I'm not involved in the current situations but will of course want to find out more 1st hand to assist where I can to improve the employees and management situations at 911.
The “new” 911 was also another potential powder keg when a former Commissioner was pushing very hard to be sure we Commissioners had a seat on that Board. I stressed we need not have a Commissioner on that Board. It is made up of highly trained police and fire sent by area municipalities ... they know their business and not elected Commissioners. Meetings are public and the public may speak to agenda items.
“Legacy Costs” are the cost of our retirees especially healthcare and including their income they deserve. It was a poor system 5 years ago and a worse system now. The plan was to do nothing and “wait for the stock market to get better.” We would then have enough… there is not enough money. This was poor thinking at the time and now proven false. This must be addressed quickly and must be a high priority. Now, the Commissioners will have to address this, do I know the answer? No, I do know the sit and wait thinking is costing us millions and putting hard working retirees at risk.
How have I operated when I'm elected in various groups ... I try to listen. I really talk much less than most at meetings. Some people just like to talk and talk and talk. So why do I say little in many public venues unless I'm teaching a course? In most groups, if you listen enough, your idea may already be on the table. I will add to an idea my support or challenge but I don’t add to hear myself or just get “into the minutes” as many elected people do. Listen closely, now and then there are some excellent ideas. Sadly, many of those great ideas even in a great group there may be financial or legal reasons why the outcomes just don’t work.
IN the end I make decisions based on NEEDS and WANTS. What are the basics we all have in common and move forward. In my years handling client money that is the gold standard ... people get into money trouble buying WANTS not NEEDS. In our area we NEED cars but we do not NEED 3 $75,000 SUV's. If you WANT them and can afford them on your own money, great for you.
I’ll not have all the answers nor do I promise that. I actually promise little as I know people running for this office WILL promise the world and SAY ANYTHING to get elected. In the end very few live up to those promises. I don’t need the job, I want it.
I promise only to think logically and be a steward of the funds we manage and to offer services that potential assist the majority of the public, if needed and not just some of the people all the time.
I promise to listen and bring sound ideas forward that are good for the majority of taxpayers in the area, not a certain few.
Paid for by Vince Dragonetti personally