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fox cities news, appleton, wi fox cities news, appleton, wi
Today's Blog: Time for the Guv to morph into Chris Christie
My husband and I and a couple hundred friends watched in Green Bay as ...(more)

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  • Time for the Guv to morph into Chris Christie (6/28/2011)
  • Time for Gov. Walker to talk more about the cake (3/4/2011)
  • Today, reality hits home (3/1/2011)
  • FoxPolitics News going on hiatus (1/28/2011)
  • Brown County Executive candidate forum Feb. 8 (1/28/2011)
  • Education done right (1/27/2011)
  • To Obama, the ‘We’ is Government (1/27/2011)
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    12/4/2006
    Why do we always lose the good ones?

    Carol Kelso announced last week she would not be seeking re-election to her position as Brown County’s Executive. Viewing her work from afar for these last four years, it's easy to see she has delivered on her commitments to Brown County taxpayers - and they will miss her.

    There are those who said she was never really a politician – but in the way she constantly looked out for her constituents, it seems she’s the best kind of politician a taxpayer and resident could ask for.

    You see, Kelso pledged to provide Brown County services in a fiscally responsible manner. Everybody pledges that. But management in Brown County was different. You see, year after year after year, she really did it.

    Cynthia Archer, who headed the Department of Administration for Kelso, said Kelso had a “clear vision of what she committed to taxpayers” and “was doggedly tenacious in living up to those commitments. She never wavered….I would work for her again in a heartbeat.”

    (Brown County will lose Executive Kelso in April; they lost Ms. Archer last Friday. She is moving to Milwaukee County where she will work as Scott Walker’s new Fiscal and Budget Director. Wow. There were challenges in Brown County, but nothing like the challenges Ms. Archer has committed to taking on in Milwaukee County.)

    Kelso worked 24/7 to protect the taxpayers of Brown County. The total tax levy increased less than 2.6% annually during her four years in office – less than the increase in new construction which means the average taxpayer will pay lower county taxes for 2007 than they did for the 2004 budget. In these years when pressures on government budgets were huge, Kelso kept her commitment to the taxpayers.

    And she kept it while being one of only four Wisconsin counties to enjoy a bond rating of Aa1. She kept it while continuing to deliver quality services to the people of Brown County.

    In keeping her commitment to taxpayers, Kelso apparently made some enemies. The 2006 budget alone eliminated over sixty positions. And not all members of the county board agreed with her focus on difficult choices.

    Jim Frink, a member of the Brown County Taxpayers Association said “Carol has done a super conscientious job and isn’t afraid of anybody.” He referred to the difficult time she had with this last budget (many vetoes) by saying “[The] only trouble is, all the county departments keep throwing stones at her. Unfortunately, and this seems to be the case with school districts, the state and all of the other municipalities and counties, …. mandated employee benefits are running the budgets and leaving very little for everything else if we want to keep our taxes in line.”

    Kelso made the tough choices. Yes, politicians can’t expect a smooth road. She worked 24/7 to serve the residents of Brown County. But this politician has decided she’s done her time and now yearns to spend time with two young grandchildren. She will be sorely missed on the stage of solid fiscal management in government.




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