Editor's note: The Brazil Times encourages all candidates to submit a written announcement of their candidacy. The announcements will be published as submitted, as much as possible.
My name is Bill Morthland. I am a Republican Candidate for Clay County Commissioner, First District, which includes Posey, Dick Johnson, Van Buren, and Brazil Townships. I was your Clay County Auditor from Jan. 1, 1999, through Dec. 31, 2002.
There are three county commissioners. Two are now running for a four-year term, starting Jan. 1, 2005.
Each commissioner has a district, but jointly the three commissioners, are the executive branch of county government. County Commissioners share legislative powers with the Clay County Council, which has seven members. Three at-large County Council members are now up for election. While Clay County Commissioners have the primary responsibility to plan for the future development of Clay County, it is the responsibility of the Clay County Council to either appropriate or withhold money for projects approved by the commissioners.
My qualifications for county commissioner include a Bachelor of Arts degree from Valparaiso University, three years teaching music in public schools, and 34 years handling insurance claims.
I served the insurance industry as an adjuster, as a property loss manager, and as claim manager of the Indianapolis office.
While serving as your Clay County Auditor, I was the secretary to both the Clay County Commissioners and the Clay County Council. I recorded the minutes of their meetings. There is no better on the job training to become a Clay County Commissioner, than to have served as Clay County Auditor.
Clay County is located along highways U. S. 40, S.R. 59, S.R. 42, S.R. 46, S.R. 246, S.R. 157, and I-70.
We are about 20 miles east of Terre Haute and about 50 miles west of Indianapolis.
Our population is about 27,000, and we have mostly an agricultural community.
Farms are getting larger, and with larger modern equipment, there is much less need for farm labor.
Our county desperately needs jobs. We must provide more good paying jobs before we can remove people from welfare rolls.
Our Commissioners should develop a master plan to pave and build new roads, to establish proper drainage, to prepare infrastructure to handle water and sewage needs, to establish minimum subdivision codes including size of streets, paving, sidewalks, electric service, etc. This must be done in cooperation with cities and towns from the City of Brazil, and cities or towns including Perth, Carbon, Harmony, Knightsville, Staunton, Poland, Center Point, Bowling Green, Cory, Saline City, Clay City, and Coalmont.
The City of Brazil and the Town of Center Point have accomplished some planning for the future.
Our county government should work with existing plans and help develop new plans to help all Clay County residents.
It is time to enable Clay County to attract new industries to relocate to our county.
We are very proud of the good, state of the art industries that are now operating in our county. We need to add new sources of employment. Achieving this is, "Economic Development."
Our local State Representatives are trying to promote economic development in our county. We must help them make Clay County a prosperous community with a comfortable standard of living, and with very little unemployment.
We need to take advantage of all available Federal and State grants that will help us achieve our goals.
We have an excellent public school system in our county. Our state has some of the best colleges and universities in the nation. We cannot afford to lose our fine Indiana graduates to other cities, counties, states, and nations
If I am elected, I pledge to encourage my fellow commissioners to pull together to make Clay County, Indiana, a better place to work and live.