Q&As, District 2 County Commissioner
June 11, 2020
As is our tradition, The Countywide & Sun posed a set of questions to the candidates for the Republican nomination for Pottawatomie County District 2 Commissioner. The candidates are Jason Evans and Randy Thomas (incumbent). The winner will face Democrat Norman Smith in November. The candidates' answers are reprinted here as submitted, except for obvious spelling and grammatical errors. Unfortunately, Evans did not respond despite repeated attempts to reach him.
What are the county's three biggest needs?
THOMAS: Increased funding, increased growth and infrastructure (continue to improve roads and bridges as they are the main arteries of commerce and commerce brings economic development), continue to support and grow core services, such as fire, emergency and law enforcement.
What are your thoughts on balancing the county budget next year in light of greatly reduced revenues because of the pandemic?
THOMAS: The General Fund budget may require all of the areas to cut back a bit and/or not receive requested increases. We have a good group of elected officials and we all work well together to make this happen. It's a give and take; some are willing to give if the need is greater in another area. As for the road projects, this funding comes from sales tax (which has dropped significantly). We will utilize our equipment and supplies in the most efficient manner; we may have to cut back in other areas to supplement the road maintenance.
What specific plans do you have for road maintenance in 2021?
THOMAS: We are going to continue with the big projects we have scheduled with the state and/or tribes, but due to significant budget shortfalls we won't begin any new large projects until funding stabilizes.
Why are you the best choice to be Dist. 2 Commissioner?
THOMAS: Due to the current pandemic, a lot of what will happen in the next four years will come down to funding. As the current county commissioner I am committed to providing the safest possible roads and services for the residents of District 2. I have the experience managing crews with limited budgets, which will prove crucial in the current economy. I am familiar and actively involved with the legislature and diligent about defending counties rights. Being a good steward of the county's resources has always been a number one priority for me and I would be honored to continue with this goal.