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  • Uebelhor

Crawford County Council, At-Large


Election preview



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October 22, 2008
The top three vote-getters will be elected to the seven-member council. The other four seats are by district and will be open in two years.

William Breeding, Dem.

Personal: Breeding, 57, of Milltown, is married to Darlene and has 14 children. He is a contractor and farmer, having graduated from Paoli High School in 1969. He also received EMT training. Voters can contact Breeden at 633-4493 or 1-812-812-972-1619 (cell).

Duties of position sought: Oversee county spending.

Why are you seeking the office? I would like to help the people in Crawford County.

What qualifies you for the office? I have been a self-employed businessman in Crawford County since 1987 and a farmer and raised a large family.

What do you consider the top issues in the campaign?: Law enforcement, schools, taxes and jobs.

The County Council earlier this year gave its support to a plan that would cut several county government jobs in an effort to get the county's revenue sheet into the black. Has that been successful, and what else, if anything, needs to be done?

I think this has been successful. I think we need to keep a close watch on the budget.

Is there any way the County Council can supplement the Highway Department with additional riverboat gaming funds, to ensure that roads and bridges are better maintained, as roads continue to be a source of concern among the electorate and the county faces several bridge issues?I don't have enough information on this issue. I would like to get additional money for the schools and bridges, if possible, maybe through grants.

Should the county have hired new positions in the courthouse (floater) and Dispatch after it recently laid off several employees? Why or why not? Yes, I was recently in the courthouse to pay my taxes and I felt they needed more help.

Other: None.

Jerry Brewer, Dem.

Personal: Brewer, 53, of Marengo, and his wife, Michelle, have three children, Reggie, Trent and Katie. He is a dairy farmer and graduated from Marengo High School in 1973. He has served both as a Crawford County commissioner and county councilman. Voters may contact Brewer at 365-2804.

Duties of position sought: Setting the county budget and making additional appropriations throughout the year.

Why are you seeking the office? Having held this position, I believe that I have the knowledge and experience to do the job.

What qualifies you for the office? I operate a small dairy farm making business decisions daily. Also, my past experience with county government.

What do you consider the top issues in the campaign? The downturn of the economy and increasing fuel prices that will affect the county. Also, we must work together against the privatization of state government, keeping responsibility at the local level.

The County Council this year gave its support to a plan that would cut several county government jobs in an effort to get the county's revenue sheet into the black. Has that been successful, and what else, if anything, needs to be done? Yes.

Is there any way the County Council can supplement the Highway Department with additional riverboat gaming funds, to ensure that roads and bridges are better maintained, as roads continue to be a source of concern among the electorate and the county faces several bridge issues? Yes. Recently the county has used Orange County riverboat funds to repair and replace bridges.

Should the county have hired new positions in the courthouse (floater) and Dispatch after it recently laid off several employees? Why or why not?: Yes, the county review committee recommended that some positions be eliminated and others be combined. This was a cost savings to the county.

Other: (Did not answer.)

Daniel Crecelius, Rep.

Personal: Crecelius, 57, of Milltown, and his wife, Angela, have three children, Sam, Christine and Matt. A 1968 graduate of Milltown High School, he is a pipefitter/sheetmetal worker for CSX Railroad and owner of Crecelius Mechanical. After high school, he was a journeyman plumber and journeyman sheetmetal worker. He is completing his third-term as a councilman; has served 15 years as Republican county chairman and 18 years as local chairman for the Sheetmetal Workers Local 462 of Louisville. Voters may contact Crecelius at 633-4886 or dancrecelius@hotmail.com.

Duties of the position sought: The County Council serves as the fiscal body for the county. Additionally, the council serves as a check on the county commissioners by overseeing all county spending.

Why are you seeking office? I enjoy the work of a councilman, and I want to continue the work that I have started in Crawford County.

What qualifies you for the office? Along with meeting the legal qualifications for this office, I have significant experience (12 years) as a councilman. In my 12 years in office, the council has tackled a variety of important issues, and I feel fully capable to handle future challenges. Additionally, as a business owner, I understand the ins and outs of fiscal management. This experience provided a strong base that has helped to prepare me for the rigors of managing Crawford County's finances.

What do you consider the top issues in the campaign? The county's financial condition is clearly the top issue in this campaign. Due to this, the county must be prepared to do more with less in terms of services. The county should be run like a business with the tax payers as the shareholders. It should rely on a smart business plan that allows for the highest quality services at the lowest cost to the taxpayer. In doing so, county government should offer as much tax relief as possible, including a real effort to provide property tax relief for families already struggling to meet the steadily increasing cost of living.

The County Council earlier this year gave its support to a plan that would cut several county government jobs in an effort to get the county's revenue sheet into the black. Has that been successful, and what else, if anything, needs to be done? Yes, as a member of the five-member budget review committee that made the recommendations to the county and current councilman, I know that this plan has been a successful step towards securing the county financially. In the coming months and years, we must stand by these decisions and continue working in the right direction to put right the county's financial woes. It is important that the county continue to follow the recommendations provided by the committee and not fall backwards.

Is there any way the County Council can supplement the Highway Department with additional riverboat gaming funds to ensure that roads and bridges are better maintained, as roads continue to be a source of concern among the electorate and the county faces several bridge issues?: Yes, additional revenue from the Orange County casino could be used to supplement road and bridge maintenance, and once the courthouse/jail complex debt is retired, the county can rely on gaming funds from Switzerland County to address these needs further.

Should the county have hired new positions in the courthouse (floater) and Dispatch after it recently laid off several employees? Why or why not? In the final report of the County Budge Review Committee, we suggested a floater position between departments be established as a more cost-effective method to alleviate heavy workloads in the courthouse. In regard to the Dispatch position, it is my understanding that this position was one of great need. However, I believe that those who were laid off by the reduction of forces should have received first consideration if qualified.

Other: I have not given up on securing a medical health center, financed by state and federal grants, that would provide immediate medical care 24 hour a day, seven days a week.

Douglas Howard McLain, Dem.

Personal: McLain, 41, of English, and his wife, Vicki, have two daughters, Tori and Mandi. He is self-employed in sales. A 1985 graduate of Crawford County Junior-Senior High School, he also attended Indiana University Southeast for two years. Voters may contact McLain at 338-3442 (home); 267-2628 (cell); and 366-4366 (work).

Duties of position sought: Overseeing and budgeting the spending of money in the county. Getting the most out of the money spent. Keep spending less than we have coming in.

Why are you seeking the office? Bring in new ideas and opinions for the office of county council. Seeing that the money spent in Crawford County is spent wisely and getting the most out of what is spent.

What qualifies you for the office? I own my own business and I have to make business decisions every day on the running of the business. Decisions for the county is like running a business. Keep spending less than we have money coming in.

What do you consider top issues in the campaign? Trying to keep property taxes as low as possible. Dealing with the rising cost of operations and having the same or less money coming in to operate on.

The County Council earlier this year gave its support to a plan that would cut several county government jobs in an effort to get the county's revenue sheet into the black. Has that been successful, and what else, if anything, needs to be done? First, I don't like to see anyone lose their job. Anytime the council would reduce the spending then the county revenue sheet would reflect it.

Is there any way the County Council can supplement the Highway Department with additional riverboat gaming funds, to ensure that roads and bridges are better maintained, as roads continue to be a source of concern among the electorate and the county faces several bridge issues? The council is responsible to fund the Highway Department out of gas tax from the whole state. It is based on the amount of roads in the county. The council can use some gaming revenue from Orange and Harrison counties for case by case usage.

Should the county have hired new positions in the courthouse (floater) and Dispatch after it recently laid off several employees? Why or why not? The dispatch was not a new position. That position was open when a full-time employee quit. The budget review committee recommended that a floater position be created. The floater position reduces the work load in each department because of the staff reduction.

Other: (Did not answer.)

Billy Joe Walker, Independent

Personal: Walker, 63, of Marengo, and his wife of 43 years have a daughter, Kathy Jo Griffith, and two grandsons, Tyler and Ryan Griffith. He is retired from teaching at Paoli Junior-Senior High School after 31 years, and is a farmer/bus driver. A 1963 graduate of Marengo High School, he earned a B.S. degree in education/economics, government at Indiana University in 1969, an M.S. in special education/psychology from IU in 1973. Voters may contact Walker at 365-2658, W.C.Fang45@aol.com or 365-9596 (fax).

Duties of position sought: Council members should establish and promote sound, practical and affordable fiscal policies for Crawford County. In other words, balance the books, maintain current payroll and important programs by working with available funds from fair tax revenue.

Why are you seeking the office?: I have leadership experiences and management abilities. With cooperation and public support, a positive difference will be made. Long-range planning, new fiscal ideas and changes in attitudes are possibilities.

What qualifies you for the office?: Current president of the Crawford County Park Board, past Soil and Water Conservation District chairman, 4-H Council member, past Crawford County School Board member, South Central areas school board member and several volunteer chairperson positions has helped develop leadership skills. I have a genuine desire to serve my county by using experiences and knowledge obtained while teaching, clerk for Western Electric and L and N Railroad, U.S. Census, business farmer, as well as many other part-time jobs held.

What do you consider the top issues in the campaign? How to meet payroll and fund important programs; wise use of tax dollars and riverboat gaming funds; long-range planning for bridges; roads and other capital projects; improve upon a positive image for Crawford County government.

The County Council earlier this year gave its support to a plan that would cut several county government jobs in an effort to get the county's revenue sheet into the black. Has that been successful, and what else, if anything, needs to be done? The necessary information is not available in order to make a qualified decision about the county's revenue sheet. We must capture all state and federal funds available. All matching dollar programs are worth taking a look at.

Is there any way the County Council can supplement the Highway Department with additional riverboat gaming funds, to ensure that roads and bridges are better maintained, as roads continue to be a source of concern among the electorate and the county faces several bridge issues? The riverboat gaming funds need to be used in emergency situations because they may not always be available for permanent use. The maintenance of roads and bridges need long-range funding plans using safety and travel frequency as criteria for order of work.

Should the county have hired new positions in the courthouse (floater) and Dispatch after it recently laid off several employees? Why or why not? I believe "floater" positions are ways of saving money without losing "service" to county residents. Any laid-off employee should be offered the jobs first, even if training was necessary. Seniority is very important.

Other: I expect the challenge and difficulties running as an independent. My success depends on voters looking at the person rather than party affiliation. If elected, my voting will be based on merit and funds available. All persons will be treated equally to the best of my ability.

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