|Sat, Dec 21, 2013 07:05 AM
|Issue of December 18, 2013
October 10, 2012 | 08:19 AM
Three people are vying for the Harrison County District 1 seat: incumbent Democrat James Goldman, Republican George Ethridge and Billy Wayne Wallace, the only Independent on the ballot.
The terms of office of county commissioner are four years on a staggered basis. This year, in addition to the District a seat, the District 2 seat will also be on the ballot. (District 2 candidates were profiled in last week's newspaper.) The District 3 seat will be up for election in 2014.
The position is elected to a four-year term by the voters in the entire county and is not restricted to term limits.
Questionnaires were sent to the candidates. Below are their responses.
R-George Ethridge (click for larger version)
Residency: New Salisbury
Family: Patti Ethridge (wife), Robert Ethridge (son), Julie Basham (daughter), Christopher Ethridge (son). We have also been blessed with two grandsons.
School and year graduated: Clayton Valley High School 1976, Heald University 1984 and Project Management Institute 1998
Additional education: Community College of the Air Force, multiple technical certifications on analog and digital telecommunications systems, leadership and personnel management courses
Occupation: I own and have operated Golf Shores Fun Center in Corydon for the past 7 years. Formerly a partnership of CCS Partners, a telecommunications counsulting firm in Louisville for three years. Worked for QCI, a telecommunications consulting firm in Louisville for 7 years. Worked as field engineer for AT&T Information Systems, Pacific Telephone and Data Voice Systems. Prior to this, I was in the U.S. Air Force for four years.
Previous political experience: This is my first run for public office.
What qualifies you for the office (in 100 words or less)? As an experienced project manager, I have managed multiple vendors to complete complex projects on time, under budget and with quality work. We should first look to locally owned and operated companies for contract work using a fair distribution system of rotating lists of qualified vendors. Quarterly reviews need to be conducted to ensure there is good communication between vendors and the county. The county should not rely upon a single outside consulting company for all of its consulting and engineering work. This is how I have operated in the past and how I intend to conduct county business. My allegiance would be to the county taxpayers, exploring ways to get the most benefit for their hard-earned dollars.
There's been discussion about building a county-owned boat ramp. Do you support this endeavor? Why or why not (in 100 words or less)? I have read the report developed from a recent study concerning the benefits/drawbacks of building a boat ramp here and do not wish to see all of the options implemented. If the county were to install two ramps, camping sites, amphitheaters, ballparks, walking trails, etc. the project could cost as much as $4 million, not good stewardship of public funds. However, developing a single boat ramp with adequate parking and a floating dock could be an option if we partnered with the nearby town to assist with the ongoing maintenance. Adjoining property owners may wish to provide camping sites, prepared food, fuel or other amenities. This is an example of how local government can encourage private companies to invest in our county.
Dedicated space for the county highway department is also an issue. What, if anything, would be your solution (in 150 words or less)? The highway department is looking to upgrade their facilities due, in part, to growth and to reported safety deficiences. After requesting $700,000 to buy a piece of landlocked property with several sinkholes was rejected by the council last year, a committee was formed to study the situation and report their findings and recommendations back to the commissioners and the council. To date, this committee has met only once and no report has been made. If this issue is as dire as some say, why has this committee not met since their initial meeting and provided the requested information? It is my experience that severe deficiencies do not happen overnight. The highway department management and the commissioners must accept some level of responsibility for allowing things to deteriorate and must work together to correct them. Currently, I have little access to internal issues and do not know all of the facts. I would recommend the appointed committee meet and identify the problems so a reasonable solution can be developed.
Contact information for voters: Did not answer
D-James Goldman (click for larger version)
Family: Wife Kathy, Jaime Rennirt (daughter), Jared Goldman (son), eight grandchildren, three stepchildren (Christian Cox, Travis Mott and Hope Mott)
School and year graduated: North Harrison High School 1965
Additional education: U.S. Navy 1965-1968, attended diesel engineering school
Occupation: Dairy farmer, retired 2009
Previous political experience: 12 years school board, 12 years county commissioner
What qualifies you for the office (in 100 words or less)? I ran my own business for 34 years, dairy farming, one of the most demanding and competitive businesses in which to engage. I have spent the last 24 years in public service, 12 years as a member of North Harrison school board and the last 12 as your county commissioner. My record of fiscal responsibility and commitment to our community speaks loud and clear when you review my past tenure as a public servant.
There's been discussion about building a county-owned boat ramp. Do you support this endeavor? Why or why not (in 100 words or less)?Harrison County has 45 miles of river frontage, yet we have neglected to utilize the potential the river presents to us. I believe that providing better access to the river for all of our residents will bring more opportunities for everyone. There are over 1,200 watercrafts licensed in Harrison County and over 4,000 residents hold a valid fishing license. Many more people use the river for boating, camping, etc. While the town of Mauckport has the only boat ramp with adequate parking space, I do not support the concept of adding sports complexes, water parks and amphitheaters. These items would be underused and not cost effective.
Dedicated space for the county highway department is also an issue. What, if anything, would be your solution (in 150 words or less)? The highway department has many issues which cause the facility to be in non-compliance with IDEM and the EPA. Fuel and oil tanks are not dike protected, salt is stored outside and rainwater leaches it into a nearby sinkhole causing pollution to the underground aquifer. We need to place dikes around the tanks and build a salt storage facility. The health of our employees is at risk from exhaust from vehicles in an enclosed, non-vented building. The best approach to correcting these problems and others not listed here is to undertake a study of the entire complex by qualified personnel. The commissioners have identified many problems and presented them to a committee set up by the council and commissioners. However, the committee could not agree on even the most basic of recommendations. Therefore, I feel the commissioners should develop a plan of action, based upon the study, and present that to the full council in a public meeting.
Contact information for voters: 738-2740, email@example.com
Billy W. Wallace
I-Billy W. Wallace (click for larger version)
Family: Saundra J. Davis Wallace
School and year graduated: Clarksville High School 1958
Additional education: Modern management
Occupation: Self-employed consultant business LLC
Previous political experience: None
What qualifies you for the office (in 100 words or less)? I retired from Jeffboat with 36 years of service. Of those 34 years of supervision, I worked very close with union and personnel. After retiring in 1999, I started my own consulting business, which I still have. I think my background and the understanding of the county duties I could be very helpful in solving some of Harrison County's problems.
There's been discussion about building a county-owned boat ramp. Do you support this endeavor? Why or why not (in 100 words or less)? I do support a boat ramp. I think it is a much-needed service for Harrison County. We have several miles of river frontage that could be used. The times have changed in the past years. We need to keep up with the changes. If and when a boat ramp is awarded, I think the location should be an issue, which will need to be looked at very hard to make it user friendly for Harrison County.
Dedicated space for the county highway department is also an issue. What, if anything, would be your solution (in 150 words or less)? I have worked with the highway department for 4 years. I have experienced some of the issues that need to be addressed. If everyone would work together, the highway department building and storage could be settled with a little effort and very little cost.
Contact information for voters: BWWallace@frontiermail.com