Why do you think you would be the best candidate to fill the role of commissioner?
During my 40 years, I have built several hundred homes and developed subdivisions within the county. In that time, I have gained valuable experience with the county infrastructure. My business experience has taught me how to work with people and listen to their needs. I have an understanding of budgets and have a conservative attitude when it comes to getting the most benefit for the taxpayers’ dollars.
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?
Jackson County Jail: The jail has been running above capacity since 2009 mainly due to drug arrests. There are a couple of options the county has been considering to alleviate overcrowding, including establishing a work release center that would house low-level felons allowing them to work outside the jail. A second involves re-evaluating court procedure to allow inmates to move more quickly through the system. I believe the newly established Jackson County Drug Court will help to relieve some of the burden from the jail. The court requires weekly meetings and drug testing twice weekly. I believe a drug problem is better handled by treatment than idle time in a jail cell.
Jackson Superior Court II: I support a permanent location for Jackson Superior Court II. This court provides a very important need in our community, hearing cases related to family issues like divorces, juvenile offenders, paternity and child support. This court was established in 2008 and hears more than 2,000 cases per year. Opposing parties often wait in the hallway together before having their cases heard. We need a safe, secure and efficient location for this very important court.
Need for a dog shelter: I recently attended a meeting of the Jackson County Dog Shelter committee and eagerly support this nonprofit group’s goal to privately raise 100 percent of the funds necessary to construct a new dog shelter. This facility will be located on county property next to the Jackson County Jail and would use supervised nonviolent inmate labor. In my opinion, this is a win-win for the county. Better care for our dogs and improved self-esteem and less idle time for inmates.
Are there any county services that need to be improved, added or eliminated?
I am very proud of the services that are provided to the residents of Jackson County. During this campaign, I have met with many of our county department heads, employees, and have attended many county meetings to get a better understanding of our county government. Although, there is always room for improvement, I do not see any need to eliminate or add any of the services provided by the county at this time.
Why did you decide to run for office?
I have been interested in the office of commissioner from the first time I appeared before the commissioners some 30 years ago. This office is the only office I feel that touches all of the branches of county government. I have lived in Jackson County my entire life, enjoy the people and want to make a difference in improving our community.
What do you think it will take to win the support of voters?
First of all, be myself. Letting the voters know my experience in construction, business and real estate will be an asset for the office I am seeking.
Occupation: Construction business owner, specializing in energy rated homes and Realtor
Previous political experience if any: This is my first experience in politics, but I have served on various county committees.