Government is not the answer to all of society's problems. It never has been. We have to work together as a community -- private business, civic groups and churches -- to seek real solutions to our problems. At the same time, state government has an important role in our community. The able, public-spirited government employees who provide important government services should be given credit for their efforts.
We need to continue working on better ways to make government more effective and efficient. That's why I passed a law to consolidate two state agencies this past year and will continue to look for ways to make government more efficient and productive with improved technology. I will also work to protect the state retirement system that is an incentive to retaining and attracting our state employees and also important to the many state retirees in our area.
The biggest challenge is how to effectively fulfill the governmental functions that citizens demand, while keeping taxes to a minimum. Everyone wants better schools, law enforcement, roads and health care. Everyone also wants low taxes. Balancing these conflicting demands is the largest challenge facing any public servant.