As we learned at the informative “Intel on Intel” seminar sponsored by the Sunbury Chamber of Commerce on Jan. 24, burying our collective heads in the sand is not the way to address this opportunity that Intel and associated businesses will bring to this area. As a small farmer, I know there are concerns about protecting our agriculture and rural areas. Still, as a businessperson and supporter of private property rights, I know there will be opportunities that we just can’t afford to ignore.

I believe there is a need for local governments to communicate and understand that what they do or don’t do in their community will have a ripple effect on the surrounding communities. As the state representative, I see it as my role to help coordinate between those local officials, the state agencies, and the legislature. For instance, the 61st District needs to secure some of the $500 million allocated in the recent state budget for home buyers. These are programs that can benefit the residents and communities in the 61st District, programs that my opponent voted against. We need to ensure the Delaware County and Knox County Career Center and other career-focused programs in high schools also provided for in the state budget are in place to address the demand for skilled workers.

As state representative, I will be at the table to make sure that the tax revenues being generated from the new businesses are allocated equitably to schools and communities and that the regulatory red tape to start a business is minimized. We must balance the economic change that will be taking place with protecting the qualities of Delaware and Knox counties that residents expect and desire. We will accomplish that through open communications, coordination, and well-thought-out planning.

Mike Holt

Candidate for District 61 state representative