Dean Browning Announces Bid For Lehigh County Executive
Dean Browning Announces Bid for County Executive
Cites 30+ years of private sector business experience;
Says responsibly balancing Lehigh County’s budget will be his top priority
Allentown, January 28, 2013 – Citing over three decades as a private sector, business executive in Lehigh County and his legislative experience as former Chairman of the Lehigh County Board of Commissioners, Republican Dean Browning announced his bid for Lehigh County Executive today saying he was the candidate best prepared to manage and reform Lehigh County’s $360 million budget and 2,000 plus employees.
Browning outlined a specific four-point plan to grow the county’s economy and create jobs, to responsibly balance the county budget, to streamline government operations, and to break the current grip of ideology-fueled gridlock and dysfunction in county government.
“While I have long been a constitutional, economic, fiscal and social conservative, I don’t believe compromise and bipartisanship are dirty words,” said Browning, a resident of South Whitehall Township for 26 years, a Lehigh County taxpayer and homeowner for over 30 years, and former Chairman of the Lehigh County Republican Committee.
Browning said the role of County Executive requires a candidate who is principled, but doesn’t view every decision through the narrow lens of their own partisan political ideology.
“Lehigh County is home to 350,000 diverse citizens, who hold different political affiliations and beliefs. The one thing that unites us is that we’re all striving for a more prosperous life for our families and ourselves,” said Browning. “I’m running for Lehigh County Executive with a plan to reform county government so we can balance our budget, foster local job creation and reduce the tax burden, while still providing valuable services for our seniors and support for families that have children with special needs, keeping our neighborhoods and schools safe, and maintaining the local parks, ball fields, open space and bridges that enhance our quality of life and make Lehigh County a great place to live and work.”
Browning encouraged people to visit his web site at www.BrowningforExecutive.com to learn more about him, his record of accomplishment and his specific vision for Lehigh County – which is outlined below:
1. Balance the Budget
Dean will enact spending reforms that balance the county budget, while pursuing responsible tax cuts that don’t add to the deficit, like was done this year.
Browning will link county spending and wages directly to the rate of economic growth in the county, and end the practice of letting spending exceed revenue.
2. Rein in Spending the Right Way
Dean will implement the findings of a comprehensive review of county government done in 2011 that he co-directed, which identified specific programs and services mandated by the state and those that can be improved, reduced, eliminated or privatized.
Browning will empower Lehigh County taxpayers and voters to approve or reject new county borrowing for large capital projects.
3. Make Lehigh County an Economic Leader
Dean will establish a roundtable of county business leaders and educators to develop and implement a sorely needed strategic vision and plan that develops a skilled workforce and makes Lehigh County a destination for job creators.
Browning will make science and technology and work force development an educational priority so county students are prepared to compete for the jobs of the 21st century, while actively engaging companies and entrepreneurs around the country looking for a place to settle and create jobs and sell them on the benefits of Lehigh County.
4. Enact Term Limits for all County Politicians
Dean was greatly disappointed that the current Board of Commissioners refused to give county residents the right to enact term limits for all county politicians, despite widespread support for such measures nationally.
Browning will resurrect a plan to put a referendum on the ballot giving voters the ability to limit county politicians to just two, 4-year terms.
Browning also directly confronted the controversial budget showdown that led to his primary defeat two years ago, and said while he hopes for a debate about Lehigh County’s future in the campaign ahead, he expects his primary opponent to dredge up the same misleading attacks again.
“The facts are clear: I never voted for a budget that increased property taxes – and that statement is beyond dispute,” said Browning. “What I did do was vote to reject a Washington, DC-style budget gimmick that even its supporters admitted was all about partisan politics. Unlike them, I just don’t believe it’s ‘conservative’ to call for spending cuts without having the courage to identify what you would actually cut; and I don’t believe it’s ‘conservative’ to pay for tax cuts by driving up the deficit.”