Ed Robb says the solution to Boone County’s budget and revenue difficulties is to take a closer look at how the county spends its money.
"You need to look within your means," he said.
PERSONAL: Age 68. Married to Rosa. 5 children.
PARTY AFFILIATION: Republican
OCCUPATION: Self-employed at Edward H. Robb & Associates, an economic and governmental consulting firm.
EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree in economics from Bradley University, master’s and doctorate degrees in economics from Michigan State University.
BACKGROUND: Former economics professor and director of three research centers at MU, served two terms (2004-2008) as state representative for the 24th District in the General Assembly, served as vice chairman of House Budget Committee.
- County budget: Believes the county could budget more accurately and would cut money from departments that don't spend all the money budgeted for them now. He also says the county's elected officials are paid far too much.
- Home rule: Feels that charter government is inevitable for Boone County and wants to have public hearings about the issue. He thinks a limited constitution could be passed first, then it could be expanded in the coming years or over the next couple of decades. Wants a five-member commission.
- Tax incentives for economic development: Says the county doesn't have many tools to encourage development but believes strong cooperation with Columbia and other cities can help leverage its resources.
Robb is running for presiding county commissioner because he is disappointed with the manner in which county budgets have been prepared. The urging of friends also motivated him to run.
Balancing the budget would be his top priority if elected in November.
“The outlook for the economy in general, and particularly in Missouri, is not that rosy,” Robb said. “We need to make some hard choices now, so in 2012, which will probably be the worst year in the budgetary cycle, we’ll be in the position to still provide essential services for the county.”
These essential services, Robb said, are those considered mandatory by the state legislature. Robb said those mandatory services include the county's roads, bridges, law enforcement, jail, courthouse and juvenile justice center.
If necessary, Robb said, those programs that are not mandatory may need closer inspection.
“At some point, if you’re going to have to cut expenditures, you’re going to have to look at everything that’s available,” he said.
Robb said it’s a “certainty” that he is the best candidate for the job. “I’m the only one who has any background in budgetary, not only practical and state level, but also, I taught all the undergraduate courses in government finances at (MU).”