Why do you think you would be the best candidate to fill that role?
A commissioner’s efforts can have a noticeable and lasting impact. Improvements such as installation of streetlights at a school bus stop or passing a sign ordinance can result in a feeling of accomplishment. Another opportunity to influence the future well being of a county lies in helping to prepare the county’s comprehensive growth policy.
There are several issues confronting county officials at this time, including jail overcrowding, the need for a permanent location for Jackson Superior Court II in Brownstown and the need for a shelter for stray dogs. How would you address those issues if elected?
Jail overcrowding: Jackson County has made great strides in developing programs that will help ease overcrowding within the jail, including a public defender’s office and a drug court. Both offices are aimed at reducing repeat offenders while insuring each gets proper legal representation as required by law. The courts and sheriff have worked very hard to ensure the people of Jackson County are safe and that dangerous criminals are off the streets. I will ensure the safety of county residents remains a top priority.
Superior Court II has been in place since 2008 without a permanent location. The court handles many volatile cases, including divorces, juvenile cases and protective orders. The court is currently housed in the courthouse annex in Brownstown. This location does not provide appropriate locations for court proceedings. A more permanent location for the court with facilities designed for court proceedings is needed. I support the continued study and evaluation of a location for that court.
Dog shelter: Jackson County has maintained a stray dog program since 2008. The goal is to build a dog shelter on county-owned property adjacent to the jail. The building of the physical structure will be done with private funds raised by the community and not with public tax dollars. The strays that are currently being housed at Red Sky will be moved to the shelter, where they will be cared for by low-level offenders from the jail. I believe the development of this facility will be a benefit to the county.
Are there any county services that need to be improved, added or eliminated?
There are always areas for improvement in any organization. I have been making an effort to meet with the different departments within county government. This has been a great way to gain a better understanding of the needs of each. Jackson County has great people working to ensure that the county continues to be a place that people are proud to call their home.
Why did you decide to run for office?
Sometimes, people run for office for all the wrong reasons. For example, they have one personal gripe that they want to do something about. Or they are out to make personnel changes based on personal dissatisfaction rather than on professional evaluation of employee performance. They don’t seem to be very interested in the “public good.” I want to ensure county residents have a commissioner that is looking out for the public good.
What do you think it will take to win the support of voters?
I believe that voters want to support someone who is willing to work hard and communicate with constituents.
Occupation: School administrator
Previous political experience if any: None