Where they stand: Commissioners District 1 race, Fenneberg, Kurt

 Fenneberg, Kurt

Why do you think you would be the best candidate to fill that role?

I have always wanted to run for county commissioner to serve my fellow residents and help do what is best for our county. I am a lifelong Jackson County resident and very passionate about our community. Serving others is an important facet in my life. I have served on the Jackson-Washington Volunteer Fire Department for 32 years; I have been the fire chief for more than 14 years. In this position, I have had a lead role in managing funds, purchasing equipment and securing education for the firefighters. Additionally, I have served as an usher at Immanuel Lutheran Church for 40 years where I have been a member of the board of property and fair stand committee.

Beyond serving others in the community and working at Kremers, I have enjoyed farming in Jackson County ever since I was old enough to do so. I am a partner in our family farm and have a part in the management and business decisions; I understand the importance of sound budgeting practices. These experiences in life help me to understand the community need, industry support and agricultural importance to our county.

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?

These are very important issues which need to be addressed for the future of the county. I would begin by researching the issues further in depth, understanding what constraints we are facing and discuss with others innovative ways to approach the issues. In regards to the overcrowding, I would work to make sure the appropriate personnel and means are available to expedite the judicial processing of inmates from the time they are arrested until they are further processed. Providing the support needed is important to make sure the process is efficient. Jail overcrowding is an important safety issue for the workers and for the community. We need to explore ways to resolve this and look at what others have done to overcome such challenges while keeping in mind the financial aspect of the different solutions. Jackson Superior II is currently located in the courthouse annex; I would like to explore the needs of the court to determine what type of facility or what adjustments could make the current facility safer and more functional for all parties involved. Our dog situation and the proposed shelter needs to be addressed. We have a wonderful working relationship with Red Sky Rescue but more help is needed to provide a rescue available throughout the county.

Are there any county services that need to be improved, added or eliminated?

Our community population continues to rise. With a growing population, we need to make sure county services are continually reviewed, enhanced, updated and resolved for the future of the county. A great example of enhancing county services which I will continue to support is the recent project aimed at building a second EMS station, which will soon allow greater service and faster ambulance response time to medical incidents on the east side of Seymour.

Why did you decide to run for office?

I have always loved Jackson County and the residents here. I am ready to take an additional responsibility serving others. I know I will be able to work with the other commissioners to serve the entire population of Jackson County. I have always wanted to serve the citizens of Jackson County at this capacity.

What do you think it will take to win the support of voters?

Getting my name out to the public that I am running for this position is important. Those who know me are aware that I am reliable, trustworthy and hardworking. I love to seek new opportunities, especially serving others; this position will allow me to do both. People who know me, know that I am always willing to help and always honest to my word. I hope that those people will spread the word and encourage all others to support me and the future of Jackson County with their vote.

Kurt Fenneberg

Kurt Fenneberg

Age: 54

Residence: 69 S. County Road 700 E, Seymour

Occupation: Full-time employee of Kremers Urban Pharmaceuticals for 33 years, currently serving as team leader in tablet manufacturing. I also farm with my brother-in-law, Joe VonDielingen, and nephews, Grant VonDielingen and Tony Eppley. I am the chief of Jackson-Washington Townships Volunteer Fire Department and have been a volunteer firefighter for 32 years.

Education: Attended Purdue University Agricultural Short Course after graduating Seymour High School in 1980.

Family: Wife Jeannie (Raabe) Fenneberg, parents are Alfred and Mildred Fenneberg of Seymour; sister, Karen VonDielingen of Brownstown

Previous political experience if any: While I have not held a political office, I have worked with county commissioners to establish most of the current fire districts and I was appointed to the Jackson County Emergency Management Board serving several terms. I am ready and prepared to take this next step for our county.

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Aubrey Woods is editor of The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at awoods@tribtown.com or 812-523-7051.