Where they stand: Jackson County commissioners race, district 1 Drew Markel

 Drew Markel

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

A county commissioner’s efforts can have a noticeable and lasting impact on the county. 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. Being a county commissioner provides a great deal of visibility in the community. I look forward to being a respectable and supportive representative of Jackson County and its residents.

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 by developing both a public defender’s office and a county drug court. Both offices are aimed at reducing repeat offenders while insuring each offender gets proper legal representation as required by law. The courts and the county sheriff have worked very hard to ensure that the people of Jackson County are safe and that dangerous criminals are off the streets. I will ensure the safety of Jackson County residents remains a top priority.

Jackson Superior Court II: The court has been in place since 2008 without a permanent location. Superior Court II 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 to be handled. 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 Superior Court II.

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 Jackson County 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 that 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 department. Jackson County has great people working to ensure that the county continues to be a place that people are proud to call their home. I am always open to suggestions and recommendations as to how, we as a county, can do a better job of meeting the needs of its’ residents.

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 county 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 that Jackson County residents have a commissioner that is looking out for the public good. I look forward to working with residents to ensure their needs are met.

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

I believe voters want to support someone who is willing to work hard and communicate with constituents.

Drew Markel

Name: Drew Markel

Age: 34

Residence: Seymour/Tampico

Occupation: School administrator

Education: Bachelor of Science in industrial technology, Master of Science in school administration, doctorate in educational administration.

Previous political experience if any: None

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