Message from Andy Duyck

When I began my term, I had three major accomplishments in mind for the county, all of which have been successfully achieved.  With the diversity of opinions on the Board of Commissioners, it hasn’t always been easy to bring about a consensus, but we worked together and have made it happen.

So what’s been accomplished for Washington County?

We stayed in the black
Washington County has benefitted from leadership that’s avoided waste and resisted expansion of County services.  A balanced but firm fiscal approach has been followed that prioritizes spending. A 15-20% budgeted reserve has been a cornerstone of every budget to make sure funds didn’t need to be borrowed in order to meet cash flow cycles. Unlike other counties, Washington County is financially solid. Your support of my Chairmanship will continue these policies.

We focused on jobs
Despite a tough economic climate, Washington County has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state.  The sound fiscal policies laid down in 2011 by me and my colleagues set the groundwork for a business-friendly environment that continues to attract and retain employers in Washington County.    We added 4,800 private sector jobs in Washington County – one of every four created in the state last year.

We improved the County’s customer relationships
Government works for the people, not the other way around.  For that reason, one of my goals has been a special emphasis on making county agencies “user friendly” to residents and businesses.  We changed procedures to take the headache out of going through the building permit process by treating you as customers, not problems.  To increase transparency, more information has been transitioned to the Washington County website than ever before.

It has been a good year for Washington County and I applaud my colleagues on the board for joining me in guiding the county in a strong and steady direction.  There have been detractors of my policies who had different priorities, frustrated that their views do not reflect the majority views of the board.  While it is always a challenge to bring these viewpoints together into a shared vision, I continue to reach a hand out to both sides

Andy Duyck
Chair, Washington County Commission