Conservative approach to spending is important says Snyder

By Thomas Wilson
STAR STAFF
twilson@starhq.com

   Just because a county government has money doesn't mean that taxpayers' dough should be spent, says John D. Snyder.
   "You have to know where your money is coming from because you are going to have to be conservative with how you spend in the next four years," said Snyder, who is seeking a seat in the commission's 6th District. "You're going to have to have so much set back for a rainy day.
   "In the past, the county executive and commission has made sure we had a good fund balance, but I don't know what we're going to see in the future."
   A barber by trade, Snyder, 66, spent 22 years as a county commissioner before electing not to run in 1998. He has served on all commission committees including Finance, Education, Health and the Beverage Board while on the commission. He is a current member of the county planning commission.
   A former member of the Economic Development Commission, Snyder said luring new industries into any county was not easy. He advocated a greater community effort to draw business instead of the public's total reliance on the county government.
   "You really need people in the community to get in here and work to get industry," he said. "We also need to take care of the ones we have and take care of the people we've got here.
   "Maybe if we had taken care of Alcoa, they wouldn't have left," added Snyder, referring to the aluminum extrusion plant's closure earlier this year.
   He also felt the county's direction should be guided by the county commission and not the county executive.
   "We are going to have to have a county executive who needs to be working, working, and working to get them in here, because they are not going to show up and beg to come to Carter County," said Snyder. "We should know everything that's going on in the county because we are accountable to everyone we represent."
   Snyder said the cost benefits of hiring a county financial director should be weighed against how much money a finance director could save the county.
   "Why are we going to spend $50,000 or $60,000 for a financial director if maybe the next county executive can do it?" Snyder asked.
   He also felt the decision to hire a financial director should be made after the August election when a new county executive and county commission had been seated. The commission voted to form a finance management committee at the June commission meeting.
   Snyder said a public meeting held in the district when the zoning issue was raised found many residents opposed to adopting county zoning standards.
   "The people told me they didn't want zoning, and if they don't want it, I'm not going to vote for it," he said. "Carter County is not like our surrounding counties. Valley Forge is different than the lower lying areas of the county."
   Snyder said the county's existing zoning regulations pertaining to property development should be enforced rather than adding a new layer of zoning laws. He also felt the county's mountainous terrain did not lend itself well to strict zoning, and adherence to zoning policies set by the state infringed on the rights of property owners.
   Snyder is married to the former Ethel Honeycutt. The couple have two sons, six granddaughters and one grandson.
   "I have worked with the public all my life and I have an understanding of what the public feels," he said.