Crawford County Commissioner, District 2
October 22, 2008
Crawford County District 3 Commissioner James Schultz is also up for re-election, but faces no challenger.
Wayne Carothers, Rep.
Personal: Carothers, 45, of English, and his wife, Tarra, have a daughter, Brianna. He is an insurance agent at Crawford County Security Company in English. A 1981 graduate of Crawford County Junior-Senior High School, he earned an Associate of Science degree in business administration from Vincennes University in 1985 and a Bachelor of Science degree in business from Indiana University Southeast in 1988. He has served as the clerk-treasurer of the Town of English since 1999. Voters may contact Carothers at 338-2355 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Duties of position sought: Administration of county business as prescribed in Indiana Code, including supervising county property, authorizing claims against the county, supervise and provide maintenance of county roads, promote economic development, etc. Although not specified by law, a county commissioner serves as one of the closest public officials to local citizens. They are a point of contact with many questions and concerns. Commissioners assist in providing the public with the contact information they need for the many levels of government: local, state and federal.
Why are you seeking the office? I care about our county and I want to help lead this county in order that we may prosper and grow. I want to control the growth of our property taxes, find new and innovative ways to make them lower. I enjoy working with budgets and finance and look forward to the decision-making challenges that lie ahead.
What qualifies you for the office? I have a thorough understanding of government legislation and finance. I believe my job as clerk-treasurer has provided me with insight both legislatively and financially. I have prepared ordinances and budgets and monitored the prioritizing of spending plans and projects with the legislative body. I have worked with various organizations within the community and have listened and been responsive to the concerns. I want what is best for our county and I offer that experience to our county and its residents.
What do you consider the top issues in the campaign? Spending and dwindling tax revenues are at the top of the list. Spending must be curtailed and government must learn to live within its means, via a balanced budget. The mortgage crisis is not immune to Crawford County. We have a high number of foreclosures and we must work with state, federal and non-profit agencies to assist our taxpayers and residents. Other issues are animal control, road and bridge maintenance and repair, economic development and improving our quality of life. We are much like the federal government, many issues and too little money to take care of it. It will be a challenge prioritizing and funding those needs.
At the 2009 budget adoption, the Crawford County Council indicated that the Crawford County Highway Department faces a budget crunch, perhaps partly because of overstaffing. Is the department overstaffed? What should be done to make the department solvent? I am not in favor of eliminating jobs. These workers depend on these wages for their livelihood. If we are overstaffed that is one thing, however, I would want to look at other alternatives such as reducing spending, attrition, selling useless assets and other cost cutting measures first. There are ways to save we just have to be sensible about it. This financial problem did not occur overnight and cannot be solved overnight. The employees did not cause the situation and should not be the ones penalized. I am in favor of eliminating wasteful spending.
Should the county have an annual public road plan that defines, depending on revenues, which roads, bridges, culverts, etc. the county will attend to in each district during that calendar year? Please explain: I am surprised one is not already in place. The county needs not only a one-year plan, but it would be beneficial to have a three, five and even a ten-year plan. One of the first things you learn and is required in any management class is a detailed business plan. The public should be involved in this planning process, along with highway personnel. Public meetings should be held addressing the concerns of the public while these plans are drafted. The key is to develop a plan and stick with it, updating as the situations occur and being sensitive to the needs of our residents. Proper planning will yield much more productive results.
Should the county have hired new positions in the courthouse (floater) and Dispatch after it recently laid off several employees? Why or why not? No. The laid off employees should have been given priority. They have provided the county with years of service and it was wrong not to consider them. I do not question the qualifications of the individuals hired. Their credentials speak alone. However, if qualifications were a concern, promotions in one department should be considered, as well as retraining for a specific job. On one hand we reward employees with longevity bonuses for their years of service and on the other we ignore it. We need to be consistent. We must tool and staff our county offices in order that they can efficiently serve the public. Efficiency will equal savings.
Other: I want to serve as your District 2 Commissioner. I am open- minded and an independent thinker. I have the background and qualifications to serve with honesty, integrity and dedication, in a fair and impartial manner. I will listen to all concerns and not succumb to pressure from individuals or groups. I will be a commissioner for all of Crawford County. I will stand up for Crawford County and put our residents first.
Contact information for voters: Home 812-338-2355 or e-mail: email@example.com.
Randy Gilmore, Dem.
Personal: Gilmore, 61, of western Crawford County (with a Birdseye address), and his wife, Linda, have three children, Eric Gilmore, Dave Gilmore and Annette Zehr. He is semi-retired and a log home builder. He earned a GED and has served two terms as District 2 county commissioner. Voters may contact Gilmore at 1-812-685-2295.
Duties of position sought: County management, working along with county council. Also constantly working with county highway department, EMS and dispatch. We also work with economic development, redevelopment and tourism. Always working with the public.
Why are you seeking the office?: Although progress is always slow with the government process, we have some projects in the works. I would like the chance to continue with such projects as the railroad bridge at Taswell and the curved bridge on the west side of Milltown. I think we're always improving our road system. I'm certainly not trying to tell you that they're all in great shape, but I think they are getting better, along with several bridges that we have rebuilt. On the subject of bridges, we still have a couple of large bridges to repair and we're in the early stages of securing grants for them.
What qualifies you for the office? I'd like to think because we as a family are in a business of our own building log homes. I worked on road construction for over 23 years, and for 15 years I worked for the Patoka Lake Regional Water Co. as equipment operator, foreman and later waterline cost estimator and working with the public to procure easements on our large projects.
What do you consider the top issues in the campaign?: Budgets, which I'm sure everyone in Crawford County knows. It is a state, national and world problem. Let's stick together and we'll get through this.
At the 2009 budget adoption, the Crawford County Council indicated that the Crawford County Highway Department faces a budget crunch, perhaps partly because of overstaffing. Is the department overstaffed? What should be done to make the department solvent?: Let me address the thought about overstaffing. We're running with a skeleton crew as it is. Because of past budget shortages, we laid all our laborers off several years ago. We couldn't possibly take care of over 450 miles of roads with any less workers. The department has always (eight years that I know of) been underfunded. We have always been able to just barely get by. We tell the council this every year and they understand and always help us. Our budget will get worse because of less fuel tax money being paid this year as a result of high cost of gas. I know I, along with you all, had to cut back on driving. We're already looking for ways to manage next year.
Should the county have an annual public road plan that defines, depending on revenues, which roads, bridges, culverts, etc. the county will attend to in each district during that calendar year? Please explain: At the beginning of each year, each commissioner, along with the highway department, check bridges and roads to see which needs repairs the most. Then, we compare repair costs with our budget and proceed, but there is never enough money to do all repairs and some are left for the next year unless it is an emergency situation. Such as this year we had two bridges having to be repaired. This we learned as the engineering firm that does bridge inspections completed this year's inspection.
Should the county have hired new positions in the courthouse (floater) and dispatch after it recently laid off several employees? Why or why not?: We knew at the time of the layoffs that some offices were going to need help at certain times of the year. The floater seemed to be the most economical way to solve this need. With the assessor's office needing help with appraisals, etc., the auditor's office getting tax statements sent out and the treasurer's office with collections, this person and everyone else in those offices will be very busy. The new dispatch supervisor didn't add anyone to the payroll. He filled an opening created by someone who had quit a couple weeks earlier. At this time, dispatch seems to be running smoothly.
Other: (Did not answer.)