Independent Voters of Brown County, IN

Current version available at:  Independent Voters of Brown County IN 

Preamble: The aim of the U.S. political system is to encourage and empower citizens to work together towards a more perfect union. This can be accomplished by taking action that results in outcomes where everyone benefits or at least, are not any worse off in the long-term. This requires that quality leaders identify the feedback that citizens will use to determine if a change is resulting in improvement.

Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” – Vince Lombardi

Purpose. The purpose of the Independent Voters of Brown County IN is to support candidates for political office and appointees to boards and commissioners that support basic governance principles and will work together towards a more perfect union and county.

“The duties of the office of a private citizen cannot under a republican form of government be neglected without serious injury to the public.” Louis Brandeis,


A platform is a formal set of principal goals which are supported by a political party, citizen group (s), or individual candidate, to appeal to the general public for the ultimate purpose of garnering the general public’s support and votes about complicated topics or issues.

PRINCIPLES: Transparency, Fiscal Management, Planning, Assessment, Continuous Learning, Collaboration

1.0 TRANSPARENCY. Transparency is government’s obligation to share information with citizens that is needed to make informed decisions and hold officials accountable for the conduct of the people’s business.

1.1 Will or has the candidate demonstrated support for transparency? If so, how?

2.0 FISCAL MANAGEMENT. Elected, appointed and management officials must be able to plan the work-units budget and manage income and expenditure, through the responsible implementation of policies, practices, and decisions to achieve unit objectives effectively and efficiently. This includes access to financial information to be available via the county website that would include all budgets, current and historical, and graphs showing spending and revenue over time.

2.1 Will or has the candidate demonstrated support for fiscal management? If so, how?

To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. — Thomas Jefferson

3.0 PLANNING BEFORE DOING. The development and maintenance of a County Comprehensive Plan, County Economic Development Strategic Plan and County Strategic Plan is critical to clearly identify what Brown Countians want, do not want, and will support regarding tourism, community, and economic development. A County Strategic Plan includes vision, goals, objectives, milestones, priorities, and resources.

3.1 Will or has the candidate demonstrated support for planning and assessing results? If so, how?

‘If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!’ – Benjamin Franklin

Plans are worthless, but planning is everything. Dwight D. Eisenhower

4.0 STATE OF THE COUNTY – ANNUAL ASSESSMENT AND REPORT. An annual State of the County assessment and Report would include the following: Strengths (accomplishments), Weaknesses (areas that need work), Opportunities (goals and objectives) and Threats (challenges). It would also include support for similar assessments conducted by all interested stakeholder groups within the County that want to share their vision, accomplishments, stories, challenges, and needs. Information learned from these assessments would then be used to update the county strategic plan.

4.1 Will or has the candidate demonstrated support for an annual state of the county assessment? If so, how?

The U.S. State of the Union address is an annual speech presented by the President of the United States that fulfills rules in Article II, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution. The address provides an assessment on the condition of the nation and allows an opportunity for the President to identify priorities and actions by identifying a legislative agenda (for which he needs the cooperation of Congress).

5.0 CONTINUOUS LEARNING. Continuous learning refers to the ability to continually develop and improve skills and knowledge to perform effectively and adapt to change. This includes adopting evidence (facts and data) based approaches to help determine when a change (such as new and revised policies, projects and ordinances) results in improvement. It also includes building on lessons learned from the annual State of the County assessments.

5.1 Will or has the candidate demonstrated support for continuous learning? If so, how?

Successes and Failures Abraham Lincoln

6.0 COLLABORATION.  A collaborative approach to problem-solving and decision making involves all affected stakeholder in working together in problem resolution and decision making.

6.1 Will or has the candidate demonstrated support for collaboration? If so, how?

“Creativity, collaboration and compromise were necessary in political life in order to achieve such great things,” — Gerard Gawalt, guest curator of “Creating the United States,” a new exhibition at the Library of Congress.


The Communities of Excellence Framework identifies objective criteria that can be applied for assessing the quality of community and economic development within the Couty.  The framework includes an assessment that can be scored on a zero to 1,000 point scale.  A community or an organization for that matter, that concludes that things are “good enough” would likely score in the 150-250 point range. A community that shares a common vision and a collaborative approach to problem-solving and decision making would likely score over 600 points.  This level of performance would take several years to achieve.


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