Incumbent facing challenge in commissioner’s district 3


A Freetown man seeking a third term as the commissioner representing the western third of Jackson County faces a primary challenge from a political newcomer.

Republican Matt Reedy’s opponent in the May 8 primary election, however, believes he has the ability to do the job if voters put him in the District 3 seat this fall. The Democrats do not have a candidate in place at this time.

“It fits my skill set,” Roger Bane of Medora said. “Everything commissioners do, I know I have had experience doing.”

Bane has spent 29 years in education, including 13 as superintendent, first at Brownstown and now at Medora.

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Reedy said he is seeking re-election for the seat he has held since 2010 for several reasons, but there’s one real important one.

“I believe we are right at a critical stage of jail expansion possibilities,” he said. “We’re starting a new judicial center that will modernize our judicial system in Jackson County. We’re combining offices. The continuity of having someone there who has been there throughout this process is probably imperative at this point.”

Reedy said one of the biggest challenges facing the county at this time is funding for roads.

“The state raised the gasoline tax, but now, we just don’t get it. We have to apply for it,” he said. “It is pretty much a painstaking and arduous task, and last year, we didn’t qualify because we missed a signature.”

He said commissioners also continue to try clearing up some gaps with broadband between offices, especially as construction of the judicial center wraps up.

Bane said school corporations have to deal with funding and budget issues similar to those of the county.

“We’re dealing with budgets,” he said. “We’re dealing with human resource issues. We’re dealing with infrastructure and those types of things.”

Bane said he would like to see a larger police presence in the county, especially at night.

“It seems like they have so much area to cover and there’s so few of them to cover it,” he said. “They’re running from one side of the county to the next. I would like to see some more funds maybe shifted to put more officers out there during the nighttime hours. That’s when the thefts and other things occur.”

Reedy said the county needs to continue its push to putting more things online so people have better access to county information.

“We just have to make sure we don’t put out the wrong information,” he said. “We can’t put their driver’s license numbers, we can’t put out their Social Security numbers, so we have to scrub it.

“The county’s new website, put together by Conner Barnette, is awesome,” he said. “The old website wasn’t user-friendly. We might go into the 21st century kicking and screaming, but we’re going there. We have so many issues that need cleaning up that I don’t want to look at anything new.”

Reedy said he never stops looking at ways to save taxpayers money.

“There’s no line item I don’t look at,” he said. “We have gone through and done LED projects to save on power. We’ve upgraded boiler systems. We have some of the most cost-efficient county buildings, powerwise, that there are. We are constantly looking at internet and telephone programs to maximize those. The new judicial center is state-of-the-art.”

Bane said employees are the largest cost for just about any government, school or even business concern.

“So you really have to take a look at everything and try to make cuts without cutting programs, and I think I’ve done a good job at that at both Brownstown and Medora,” he said.

Medora schools have received more than $1 million in grants in recent years to help with programming.

“It’s out there. You just have to work for it,” he said.

Bane said he began thinking about running about three years ago. His main interest in running is a desire to serve his community.

“I’ve lived in Jackson County my whole life,” he said. “I don’t have any hidden political agenda. I just feel like it’s a time in my life when I can start giving back a little bit to the county. The county has been good to me.”

[sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”Bane file” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]

Name: Roger Bane

Age: 52

Home: Medora

Party: Republican

Occupation: Superintendent of Medora Community School Corp.

[sc:pullout-text-end][sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”Reedy file” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]

Name: Matt Reedy

Age: 45

Home: Freetown

Party: Republican

Occupation: Self-employed businessman

Previous political background: Jackson County at-large councilman 2004 to 2010; Jackson County District 3 commissioner 2010 to present


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