Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Friends of Falk New Year 2010 Message

Friends of Kathleen Falk

Dear Friends,

A New Year means it is time to look back at what we accomplished and ahead to what we should do.

Despite the awful economic times, here in Dane County we didn't just hunker down; we worked hard to move the ball forward on big issues that are basic to a strong future for all of us.

A year ago, I challenged our community to work collaboratively to reduce the problems our kids and families face because of people who drink too much alcohol too often. I pulled together a first-of-its kind county coalition to work on changing cultural norms and laws.

Our pilot project in middle schools is changing kids who drink alcohol before they are 13 years old. We've lobbied the state legislature to adopt long-overdue reforms on drunk driving.

We took big steps in 2009 to clean up our lakes and create green energy and good paying jobs at the same time! Our "Cow-Power" project is a great private-public partnership, using technology to remove the phosphorous in cow manure (which we have a lot of!) to generate green electricity to run 2000 homes, help our important dairy industry expand, and serve as a model for communities across the nation.

And now we have embarked on a process to explore how to collect all the food we waste each day (30% is wasted!) in order to convert it to jobs and green electricity.

This past year we went after every federal stimulus dollar we could. As a result, we are improving our airport, fixing our roads, and building a new county nursing home – featuring solar and geothermal heat -- that will serve some of our most vulnerable citizens.

The 2010 county budget which we recently finished was the toughest in history. The key in helping us maintain essential services was our successful negations with all the unions that represent our 2500 employees. We came to the table, respectfully and honestly, to save jobs and $8.5 million for taxpayers.

As we begin 2010, I know better days are ahead. My resolution is to do as much as I can to create more jobs and more opportunity for the many who are searching for work. Together, we will all succeed.

Happy and healthy year to you all!


Kathleen Falk

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