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County Executive: 2011 Was Year of Great Change

Editor's Note: The following column was written by Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas and appeared in his December 2011 newsletter.

As I reflect on the past year, I am quite proud of our accomplishments, and I am certain that 2012 will be equally as bright.

2011 was a year of great change in Wisconsin government. A new governor and legislature took office in January and passed Wisconsin Act 10, along with a two- year budget that eliminated a $3.6 billion state budget deficit. The outstanding team of employees we have assembled at Waukesha County was very successful implementing the enacted changes.

Also this year we completed several major road projects including the widening of Silver Spring Drive in Menomonee Falls, and the roundabout at CTH V and Good Hope Road on the border of Lisbon and Lannon. In addition, we upgraded the signal and completed safety improvements at the Racine Avenue and Woods Road intersection and completed the much anticipated CTH X project in Waukesha.

In the summer, we launched a new County website. The changes were made to make the website more user-friendly and provide useful links in easy to find locations.

In the fall, the County Board passed my proposed budget, which froze the County portion of the 2012 tax bill for most residents. To do this, Waukesha County reduced the operating budget by 1.4% and personnel costs by 2%. Seeking partnerships between departments, other governments and the private sector to implement efficiencies and ultimately save tax dollars has been integral in maintaining Waukesha County’s strong fiscal health.

I am very proud of and all of our accomplishments. We are one of the fastest growing counties in the state, we have the lowest per capita spending of any county and are AAA/Aaa Bond rated. We balance our budgets and respect the Waukesha County taxpayer. We can feel confident moving forward into 2012 and beyond that Waukesha County is on rock solid footing.

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