Dick Brady: Yes, it’s a problem. The county’s debt load, and more importantly, the $8 million in interest we pay annually, reflects two decades of poor decisionmaking under Tom Ferrell. This robs every county department of opportunities to provide improved services to the taxpayer.
Tom Ferrell: This is not debt, it’s an investment. Our investment has led to huge economic growth we have experienced in Erie County.
Jude Hammond: The problem is that the cost to repay the debt through principal and interest payments takes away from funds available to pay for operational expenses for the county to provide services to our community.\
Brad Hartung: Yes. The debt is a problem, but if used wisely, it could be a tool to deliver infrastructure at a fraction of the actual cost over time. Timing is everything, and closely watching each debt issue allows for the planning required to purchase things we need at a savings.
Steve Kraus: Yes, it is a problem. The commissioners made a good investment that has not paid off because they have not addressed foundational problems within our economy. Once those issues are addressed, we should see a good return on our investment.
Pat Shenigo: Yes. Massive debt payments for projects that don’t provide a positive outcome to the user are a problem that will continue to haunt us for many years to come.
Watch the candidate debates by clicking the following links: Shenigo/Hammond; Ferrell/Brady/Kraus.
And get a copy of today's Register for the other questions the candidates answerd about the county's debt.