Candidates for Precinct 2 County Commissioner Robert Janysek, Mike Beam, Edwin J. Dziuk, A.T. “Pete” Jauer and Jude Beaver participated. From Precinct 4 there was Sharon Chesser and Daniel C. Burris. Tracey Schendel for Precinct 4 did not attend.
The first question given the candidates by the public was, “What does it take to get a road paved around here?”
Most candidates agreed that it takes faith in the Unit System and a good budget.
In favor of budget cuts, Burris stated, “I am going to take 20 percent off my salary the minute I am elected, to donate to the county.”
Jauer and Beam both said they recently spoke to active contractors to get a handle on the price of paving a road. Both contractors quoted around $150,000 to pave just one mile of road.
Beam said “So you can see we can’t jump off and start paving yet.” He said the first thing you have to do is make sure the roads are maintained.
Candidates were in agreement that once the monies were attained, which could take a while, the roads would have to be evaluated and put on a priority list starting with those that serve as bus routes and go from there.
In a related topic, another question was asked if the candidates believed the unit system was right for the county and if they can work in a positive way for the county.
Dziuk made it clear that they have to make it work. The county cannot go back to the old way because all of the equipment was sold off.
The others all agreed that they believe it can work if the commissioners work together with the road administrator.
The next question given asked the candidates if they would put a freeze on spending until the budget was straightened out.
Beam said “freeze is a pretty stout word.” He and many other candidates felt that freezing spending would not be doing the right thing.
As far as employees go, Jauer said, “You have to pay employee a fair wage.” He said that there is about $2.5 million to be paid out to 125 employees.
The candidates agreed that the thing to do would be to reevaluate spending and salaries. For more indepth coverage please see this week's edition of The Countywide.