Dist. 2 County Commissioner Candidates Q&A
October 22, 2020
As is our tradition, The Countywide & Sun asked the candidates for the Dist. 2 County Commissioner to respond to the same questions to help readers decide how to vote. The candidates are Democrat Norman Smith and Republican Randy Thomas, the incumbent. The election is Nov. 3.
If elected as Dist. 2 County Commissioner, what will be your top priority?
SMITH: Integrity, honesty, respectful treatment of others. If you want an issue of county activity, it would have to be roads, which I'm told take 25% of a commissioner's time. Roads are vital and the single most important part of the county's needs in everything.
THOMAS: Over the last year we have had added approximately 350 new addresses in District 2, which has put an additional strain on our infrastructure such as more traffic, roadway wear and maintenance. I will continue to work to acquire funding for roadway improvements, stabilizing our infrastructure while maintaining a budget that can withstand any future emergency.
To do this, I am consistently working with the state and other agencies, reviewing conventional practices, identifying gaps, policy options, and other issues relevant to addressing the challenges we face.
What areas of county government do you feel need more attention than they are currently getting?
SMITH: Integrity, honesty, respectful treatment of others. Political favors need to be set completely aside. I've been informed about corruption (personal desires requiring the signature of a judge to correct for instance). There needs to be better management of county needs.
THOMAS: With our accelerated growth in District 2, we will soon be the new "East Metro." We will need more law enforcement presence in the county. We need to continue to support our law enforcement and first responders such and React, fire and emergency services.
Economic development in rural areas. We see economic growth in the larger cities, but that needs to extend to the rural areas of the county. Having more opportunities closer to home, while still maintaining that country feel.
Why are you the best choice for Dist. 2 County Commissioner?
SMITH: Integrity, honesty, respectful treatment of others are chief characteristics of mine.
I'll listen to anyone regardless of the persona without correction or telling them the DA said to not call me.
If my web site (pottcocomdist2.com) is read you will see a list of management skills for up to 160 people. That management covered every aspect of an operation including home and a job (military action) taking 24 hours. You will see promotion of nongovernment events to even an international level.
I was raised building roads. I know that water flows downhill. Bar ditches aren't filled in 60 feet from the culvert. Oh yeah a culvert is always put at the bottom of the grade (hill).
My management style is debt free. I'm debt free.
THOMAS: My focus is to care for the residents of Pottawatomie County. I am accessible to all of my constituents and try my best to meet their needs. With the current pandemic and unrest, we are living in times of uncertainty and instability. I am experienced in dealing with all types of critical situations with the proven ability to handle the demands and pressures. I strive to maintain a calm demeanor and respectful professional attitude towards the residents of Pottawatomie County District 2.
I will let my record speak for itself. We have been through tornados, floods and ice storms and have done the necessary repairs after each event. I have a good working relationship with the state and have worked with them to acquire funding for projects such as the Hardesty road intersection. We have many projects in the works to include two bridges in District 2 scheduled to be replaced.