Election Q&A county council: Kathy Schafstall

What about your background and experience qualifies you to serve on the Jackson County Council?

My experience in setting budgets comes from helping on the family farm, 12 years with Schneck Medical Center, 15 years managing my own landscaping business and my time on the Jackson County Water Board.

What is the role of the council and its members?

The financial powers of counties are placed on the county council, which serves as a check on the board of commissioners. It is an elected administration of county government.

What is the top issue facing our county, and how would you address it?

I am sure there are issues facing the county in all areas of government. As far as which one is more important and how to address them is something that I will approach with an open mind and welcome other ideas and opinions on any issues so I can make an educated decision.

What steps should the council take to keep the budget balanced and not have to dip into savings?

I am a fiscal conservative that believes in responsible spending and fiscal accountability. Therefore, we need to stay within our tax dollars and not overspend and then have to raise taxes — is it needed at this time or something that can wait?

What are the biggest financial challenges facing the county, and how would you address them?

Some of the challenges I have heard are the courthouse and jail expansion. Not knowing all of the ins and outs of this, I would research this and be open-minded on which way to go but be careful not to put more hardships on Jackson County.

Jail overcrowding is an increasing concern. How can the problem be solved? Do you support a jail expansion?

I think there are different ways that this can be handled. It is something that needs to be studied to see if Jackson County needs to add onto the jail or maybe look into a work release program to see which way is most fiscally possible for the county.

Is open government important? Why or why not? How will you ensure that the council is open and honest with the public?

Yes, I believe in open government, and as a councilwoman, we work for the taxpayers. If elected, I will be open and honest to all taxpayers. I want to do the right thing for Jackson County.

Schafstall file

Name: Kathy L. Schafstall

Age: 61

Party: Democrat

Residence: Seymour

Family: Husband, John; three grown children; seven grandchildren

Occupation: Grounds supervisor for Schneck Medical Center in Seymour

Political experience: None