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District 2 race sees 6 candidates in Primary

District 2 race sees 6 candidates in Primary District 2 race sees 6 candidates in Primary

Three Democrats and three Republicans are hoping to win their party’s bid for the Harrison County Commissioner District 2 seat. Among them is the current officeholder, John R. (J.R.) Eckart, a Republican.
The two winners in next month’s Primary will square off Nov. 4 in the General Election.
Democrats
Scott W. Hussung

Address: New Middletown
Occupation: Equipment operator for Gohmann Asphalt & Construction
School and year graduated: Lanesville High School, 1976
Political affiliation: Democrat
Previous political experience: None
Duties of position sought: Second district commissioner
Why are you seeking the office? I was a small business owner, have general knowledge of business, and have been in major road repairs and general construction for 25 years.
What do you consider top issues in the campaign? Reducing tax rates and county roads.
What do you think Harrison County officials should be doing in preparation of Kentucky expanding its gaming industry? Keep tourism attractive to public; gaming will take care of its own.
What changes, if any, should be made in the way highway department funds are spent? The funds should be put in one fund, not one for each district. The commissioners should give their recommendations of roads in their district then give them to the engineer company; let them get repaired in the worst to best order.
What actions should the county, specifically the county commissioners, take to promote and foster economic development? (Did not answer)
What one major change needs to be made in the work of the county commissioners? Why? (Did not answer)
How can county government be improved for taxpayers? (Did not answer)
Carl L. (Buck) Mathes
Address: Corydon
Spouse: Divorced
Children: Denise Harbeson, Matthew Mathes and Houston Mathes
Occupation: Contractor, auctioneer and farmer
School and year graduated: Corydon Central High School, 1965
Additional education: Greer Technical Institute, Braidwood, Ill., Heavy Equipment Operator’s Training Course; American School of Auctioneering, Mason City, Iowa, Auctioneer’s School; and Ivy Tech, Sellersburg, Realtor’s Course
Political affiliation: Democrat
Previous political experience: Chairman of the Harrison County Council and completing third term on the Harrison County Council, which is responsible for the county’s financial health.
Duties of position sought: The commissioners have the general executive authority and responsibility for county government and legislative authority for ordinance making purposes. The commissioners appoint individuals to a wide variety of boards and have responsibility over all county property. The county commissioners have many duties other than road and bridge maintenance. There are other administrative duties that come with running the county’s business. Commissioners are responsible for furthering economic development, providing veteran services, planning and zoning, and ambulance services.
Why are you seeking the office? I care about the county and want to improve the quality of life here, promote a healthy business climate, and encourage business and industry to prosper to increase the number of good jobs for people.
What qualifies you for the office? Managed Mathes Stone Quarry; business partner in Harbeson Brothers Paving Inc.; auctioneer; contractor; and presently serving as the chairman of the Harrison County Council.
What do you consider top issues in the campaign? Safe county roads, financial well-being of the county now and in the future, and economic development for our community.
What do you think Harrison County officials should be doing in preparation of Kentucky expanding its gaming industry? Be conservative with riverboat money and taxpayers’ money, increase the amount of riverboat money set aside in contingency funds and be prepared to renegotiate the contract with the gaming company.
What changes, if any, should be made in the way highway department funds are spent? Consider contracting snow removal in subdivisions and require bidding on most county highway department projects.
What actions should the county, specifically the county commissioners, take to promote and foster economic development? Acquire real estate to be used in the future for economic development purposes; coordinate efforts with the Economic Development Corp. and the Chamber of Commerce; support the Regional Sewer and Drainage Board in improving the infrastructure for business and industry.
What one major change needs to be made in the work of the county commissioners? Why? One county commissioner should be present during business hours in the courthouse, on a rotating basis, to provide better service to the citizens and businesses of Harrison County.
How can county government be improved for taxpayers? Establish a telephone hotline for potholes and road repair issues and continue to set aside a part of riverboat income in the Community Fund.
Other comments: If I am elected county commissioner, I will put my 40-plus years of business experience and 12 years of experience on the county council to work for everyone. I am a lifelong resident of Harrison County.
Contact information for voters: 1505 Heidelberg Road SW, Corydon, IN 47112; 738-2048
Donald G. Mathes
Address: Corydon
Spouse: Judith O. Mathes
Children: Corey, Teresa and Cynthia
Occupation: Self-employed
School and year graduated: 12, 1952
Additional education: Auto mechanic
Political affiliation: Democrat
Previous political experience: Ran for sheriff in 2002
Duties of position sought: Board of county commissioner is responsible for the administration of all county business.
Why are you seeking office? County commissioners have lost the power of the ‘office.’ Commissioner need to know ‘his duties.’
What qualifies you for the office? I have ran my business for 30 years. Business leader, well-known.
What do you consider top issues in the campaign? How county money is spent with ‘roads’ and ‘county parks.’
What do you think Harrison County officials should be doing in preparation of Kentucky expanding its gaming industry? This is a hard question; need more study.
What changes, if any, should be made in the way highway department funds are spent? Better leadership.
What actions should the county, specifically the county commissioners, take to promote and foster economic development? Help new business growth.
What one major change needs to be made in the work of the county commissioners? Why? Give them their power back. Too many people trying to be a ‘commissioner.’
How can county government be improved for the taxpayers? Lower the assessed tax rate.
Other comments: I will try to make your county a better place to live.
Contact information for voters: 738-2621
Republicans
John R. (J.R.) Eckart

Address: Corydon
Children: Melissa Eckart
Occupation: Owner of Eck-A-trol, LLC, industrial machinery service provider
School and year graduated: Corydon Central, 1973
Additional education: Purdue, 1990
Political affiliation: Republican
Previous political experience: Harrison County Surveyor, 1997-2000; Harrison County Commissioner 2001-present
Duties of position sought: Executive branch of county government, manage highway department, oversee committees such as planning and zoning, hospital board, health department board, purchase and sell county properties, oversee legal and contractual obligations.
Why are you seeking the office? My position as commissioner has been a means for me to give back to Harrison County some of the many things the county people have given me. I strive to maintain Harrison County as special rural community with modern conveniences for its citizens.
What qualifies you for the office? My personal life has included 30-plus years of engineering, management of contracts and projects that supports the county work of similar type. My political career has educated me on the needs and expectations of the people of this community.
What do you consider top issues in the campaign? Long-term planning for the county transportation system; continued conservative use of the county funds including riverboat, growth of jobs and business opportunities.
What do you think Harrison County officials should be doing in preparation of Kentucky expanding its gaming industry? As part of the county’s long-term plan, the commissioners have already been directing 75 percent of our direct riverboat income into a protected fund of which the interest will be used for generations to come to offset cost of county operations. The focus of riverboat funds should be one-time investments in county infrastructure and other uses such as the funding of daily operations should be curtailed.
What changes, if any, should be made in the way highway department funds are spent? Personally, I feel the highway funds are being used responsibly. Emphasis is being placed on safety, issues and improvements toward the continued population growth of the county.
What actions should the county, specifically the county commissioners, take to promote and foster economic development? As we have with the ‘old Wennings site,’ the commissioners can expedite issues such as zoning for prospective businesses. Also, the commissioners can support economic development with infrastructure such as road improvements, sewers and water to the sites.
What one major change needs to be made in the work of the county commissioners? Why? Harrison is unique in as the riverboat has added many issues to the county other counties don’t deal with. The commissioners responsibilities have already changed greatly and will as needs arise. The commissioner’s position is very demanding due to the needs of the community but I could not name any one change that would serve all the aspects of the job well.
How can county government be improved for the taxpayers? Currently, the government offices are scattered in various locations. Improvements and additions to the county building program to centralize the office locations (and court locations) would help the taxpayers with their needs for service.
Other comments: Harrison County is a wonderful community that I have been blessed to live in all my life. Many of the people of this county take active rolls in the management and use of our resources and it’s this involvement by many that makes this community what it is.
Contact information for voters: 738-3183 or e-mail [email protected]
Rhonda J. Rhoads
Address: Corydon
Spouse: Les Rhoads
Children: Derrick Delaney, Wendy Delaney, Danette Rhoads
Occupation: Retired teacher, county council at-large
School and year graduated: North Central High School, 1968
Additional education: Associate of Arts, Freed-Hardman College; Bachelor of Science degree in education, Indiana State University; Masters of Arts degree in education, Indiana University
Political affiliation: Republican
Previous political experience: Seven years on the Harrison County Council
Duties of position sought: Commissioners are the legislative branch of county government. They are policy makers; they oversee the maintenance of county buildings; they place people on boards that have a direct impact on the taxpayers; and they oversee maintenance of roads and bridges.
Why are you seeking the office? Being on the financial side of the county’s affairs helped me see areas where policy making impacted the county budget. I would like to be able to have an impact in making policies. I feel I have the common sense and intelligence to think out long-term effects before making those policies.
What qualifies you for the office? I am a proven leader. I tackle hard issues and I don’t abandon principles of truth, integrity and hard work. I research areas that have potential to save taxpayer dollars. I look for long-term affects instead of short-term advantages.
What do you consider top issues in the campaign? Creating an environment to attract entrepreneurs to our county (economic development). Entrepreneurs are the people who create jobs.
What do you think Harrison County officials should be doing in preparation of Kentucky expanding its gaming industry? Keep a close eye on our expenditures out of the riverboat account; encourage non-budget entities to look for other sources of income to fund their budget; investigate other opportunities to lower our health insurance costs to our employees.
What changes, if any, should be made in the way highway department funds are spent? We need to assess our bridges and make sure we are repairing any major problems each year as we can. Look into a possibility of a connector road across the southern part of the county.
What actions should the county, specifically the county commissioners, take to promote and foster economic development? We need to move away from targeting manufacturing jobs and move toward more service jobs that use high-tech skills. We need to focus on attracting retirees, tourists and entrepreneurs to our county. We have a good quality of life to be attractive here in Harrison County.
What one major change needs to be made in the work of the county commissioners? Why? When policies are made, researching the long-term affects of the policies is a must. Doing what seems best at the present time is not always the best way down the road. It can be very costly!
How can county government be improved for the taxpayers? Each department needs an updated inventory of items used that could be bought in bulk from a business who would need to bid each year for our business. Encourage suggestions from employees on time saving or money saving ways to improve.
Other comments: I feel I have been blessed to have served the taxpayers the last eight years.
Contact information for voters: 738-1162 or e-mail [email protected]
Kenneth R. Saulman
Address: Corydon
Spouse: Naomi R. Saulman
Children: Pam Siepel and Pennie Yates
Occupation: Retired from Clark County REMC; served there as right-of-way supervisor
School and year graduated: Corydon Central High School, 1960
Additional education: Certified arborist of International Society of Arboriculture
Political affiliation: Republican. After elected, party should not make a difference. I would be there to serve all the people.
Previous political experience: Harrison Township Trustee, 1967-1982 (16 years); Harrison County Council, 1983-1986 (4 years); Harrison County Council, 1989-1992 (4 years); Harrison County Commissioner, 1993-1996 (4 years); Harrison County Council, 1999-2006 (8 years); 36 years of experience.
Duties of position sought: Auditing and authorizing claims against the county; receiving bids and authorizing contracts; controlling, maintaining and supervising county property including courthouses, jails and public offices; supervising construction and maintenance of roads and bridges; exercising appointive powers including both the selection of members to fill positions on boards, commissions, committees and appointments of certain department heads; planning and implementing strategies for solid waste handling as member of solid waste district boards; serve on the County Board of Finance with county treasurer.
Why are you seeking the office? I was born and raised here in Harrison County. I am 65 years old and have held political offices for 36 years. I have been happily married to my wife, Naomi, for 46 years. We have two daughters and four grandchildren. I love Harrison County and the people in it. I am interested in the future of our county and I believe I can help make that difference.
What qualifies you for the office? I have worked with the public for more than 45 years. I drove a gas truck for 14 years and delivered gas and fuel oil in Harrison County. My brothers and I owned and operated a tree trimming business for over 20 years. We dealt in many areas maintaining a large workforce and securing and negotiating work contracts with rural electric and phone companies. I have had many years experience in preparing yearly budgets. For the last 13 years, I have been the line clearing supervisor for Clark County REMC. In all the years of my experience making budgets, working on a daily basis with people and formerly serving as county commissioner qualifies me for this position.
What do you consider top issues in the campaign? Moving the annex and health department. What is going to happen to the old hospital? Renovate, sell or tear down?
What do you think Harrison County officials should be doing in preparation of Kentucky expanding its gaming industry? Watching our expenditures and making sure we do not put an extra tax burden on the residents of Harrison County.
What changes, if any, should be made in the way highway department funds are spent? (Did not answer)
What actions should the county, specifically the county commissioners, take to promote and foster economic development? (Did not answer)
What one major change needs to be made in the work of the county commissioners? Why? I feel there are issues that people in the county have but do not have the knowledge of how county government works. It would be good to have a commissioner or county administrator available to answer questions and take care of problems. Recently, I attended a meeting where this person sat for two hours with a problem that could have been taken care of by talking to a commissioner and county administrator.
How can county government be improved for the taxpayers? By securing more industry to come into our county, which would help unemployment and create more assessed valuation.
Other comments: If elected, I will serve all the people of the county when making decisions. I will look into the facts pertaining to each issue.
Contact information for voters: 738-4961

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