(Editor’s note: Due to an error, two of the five candidate questionnaires for the Jackson County at large seats in the June 2 primary were in inadvertently left out of the print edition of Saturday’s Tribune. All five will appear in Monday’s edition of The Tribune.)
Why do you feel you are more qualified for this position than your counterparts?
As the incumbent, I have learned over the past three years how the office of county council works and what it entails. The county council is charged with how we spend the taxpayers’ money. I try to be as frugal as I can when making these decisions. I spent my working career as a supermarket manager and learned how to write budgets and work within those budgets. County council is a lot of the same. When developing the budget for the county, we need to think about the future needs and if we can afford those needs. It is easy to make a wish list of things that we would like for the county, but we need to be smart about what we wish for and what we need and what we can afford.
Are there any county services that need to be improved, adapted or eliminated?
I feel that we need to look at how we can improve Jackson County Emergency Medical Services. The increased drug activity within the county has also increased the workload of the EMS. At times, the EMS is short-staffed, and we need to eliminate that to meet the needs of the county. We may need to add another ambulance and crew to the EMS. There are several things I would like to get adapted in the future. I would like to see the animal shelter get completed at the jail. Even though the commissioners have made the decision not to fund this project, I feel that it needs to get completed. I am anxious to see the Jackson County Work Release Center get completed. This will keep us from an expensive jail addition.
How do you plan to make yourself more accessible to the public for comments if elected?
I feel that as an officeholder, I need to be transparent to the public. I am more than happy to make myself available, whether it be by text, phone call, email or a letter. My phone number is 812-498-1107 and my email address is [email protected]. The council meetings are held the third Wednesday of each month at 6 p.m., and the public is always welcome to attend. The agenda of each meeting can be found on the web by going to jacksoncounty.in.gov. It is also posted on the door of the courthouse in Brownstown.
What would you say to voters and taxpayers who feel as though their tax dollars are not being used to their maximum potential?
I am more than willing to listen to the voters and taxpayers’ ideas. Through my years in management, I have found that employees have great ideas and ideas on things that management had not thought of. I will also explain to them why as a council we do certain things. We all have our own ideas as to how things are done and decisions are made.