Opinion: No time for on-the-job training

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For the past 32 years, Meredith Carter has represented the residents of Hamilton County in council district 1. Carter has been a strong leader, and a quality representative on the County Council – fighting to keep your taxes low while increasing vital services.

After much consideration, Carter decided to retire from this position. Recently, Carter said “I have known Andrew for many years, and he has the character, integrity, and work ethic to fill my seat in the upcoming primary election. I fully support and endorse his candidacy to this position.”

As I have been out talking to voters throughout the past months, I have found that they do not want a politician to tell them what they want to hear. They want a public servant who understands their needs, and a representative who desires to keep Hamilton County the premier place to live and work in the United States.

I was born and raised in Hamilton County and have lived and worked here my entire life. Therefore, I have the knowledge and clear understanding of the needs of our county. If elected, my commitment to you is very simple; every vote I make will be based on the best interest of the citizens of Hamilton County.

I served ten years as a Hamilton County probation officer, and in that capacity my main responsibility was protecting our community. I decided to attend law school and commuted to Lansing, Mich., from Fishers weekly for three years to obtain my law degree, all while maintaining employment at a substance abuse clinic in Noblesville.

After being admitted to the Indiana bar, I opened a law practice focusing on litigation in Hamilton County.

As a business owner, I understand the type of quality growth our county needs in order to attract businesses and quality employment opportunities. I firmly believe that we must take into account the current growth that Hamilton County is experiencing as well as future growth that is certain to occur.

I will work with other members of the council and commissioners to help create the infrastructure we need to sustain this growth, while making sure we are maintaining our current infrastructure and investments. Most importantly, I will be mindful of the fiduciary dutya county councilor has in protecting your hard earned money.

The chief function of the county council is to approve the county’s budget.

It’s common for a candidate to say they are a fiscal conservative, but rare that they have proof of it.

As the owner of multiple successful businesses, I know and understand fiscal conservatism. In the public sector, it is vital that I create budgets that are balanced, and fund priorities while looking for innovative ways to save money. I have had to make difficult decisions while budgeting during the recent recession. This is a reminder that money must be spent wisely, with caution and saved appropriately.

As a Hamilton County probation officer, I created and developed the Community Service Work Crew, which is still in existence today. This program currently saves many county resources and funds by putting low-risk criminal offenders to work, doing community service projects for our county parks and Judicial Center. I have also volunteered many years on the Hamilton County Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs.

As a county counselor, I can utilize my higher education in the fields of criminal justice and criminology to help create new and innovative ways to protect our community and save taxpayer dollars. As a result of my background, education and experience, I have been humbled to accept endorsements from the Carmel Professional Firefighters and the Hamilton County Professional Firefighters.

It is my strong belief that elected officials should only be public servants, not politicians. I ask you to consider the investment I have made to the citizens of Hamilton County as a public servant my entire adult life. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Andrew Dollard is running for Hamilton County Council in district 1 which represents Carmel. Dollard can be reached at 770-7070.

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