I reside in Jackson Township with my wife, Andrea, and two sons, Aidan and Alex. Aidan is a first grader at Jackson Township and Alex will be attending kindergarten this fall.
I have filed my candidacy for County Commissioner for several reasons, one of which is expanding my public service. I have been a police officer for over 16 years, six of these as Chief of Police. I have been around city/county government for most of these years and I have learned a lot. I have been actively involved with the city council on many issues. I have always worked diligently to discover ways to enhance the security of the community (Clay County) while utilizing very little, if any, of our taxpayers' money. I am very proud of the programs that were established (at the Brazil Police Department) as a result of council members and the community. I have worked with the City Council in establishing ordinances that maintain revenue locally, instead of being sent on to the state. I feel that this can be done at the county level as well.
I have always been actively involved with community organizations and attend regular meetings, not just to represent the community, but because of my personal desire to be involved. As a Commissioner, this would continue. A Commissioner must be involved with the many organizations in this community so that he/she stays informed of the issues that directly affects every citizen, provide government support and feedback, plus it is an obligation to the position.
Another reason that I would like to be County Commissioner is that I believe the issues that Commissioners are confronted with should be discussed openly during public meetings, from a citizen request for a guardrail to economic development. I have never hesitated to challenge an issue, in order to obtain discussion about why we should or should not proceed with a particular program/issue. Issues, especially when it come to funding them, must be challenged and prioritized. In three years the inventory tax will be eliminated as a source of revenue, for all counties. So, Clay County is going to have to recover this money from other sources. The state may assist with a portion of this but, more than likely, not all of it. Once again, challenging issues and prioritizing them is going to be even more important. I, like many others, do not want this burden passed on to my taxes, if there is any way possible to avoid it.
I am, and always have been, driven to provide the best possible tools to our emergency service personnel, in order to better serve and protect the community. I feel that this is an area (emergency services) that could use our help. I have worked with many of these people, including or Emergency Management Director. I have written and obtained several grants for the police department, so I know that grants are great funding sources, if and when received. I believe that local government should do everything possible to assist with funding major projects that directly affect the safety of this community.
The commissioners face many more issues than have been mentioned here. So, I hope that the community will allow me to provide them with a strong drive and desire to challenge the issues and to help maintain a great community and help it grow.
Editor's note: All local candidates are encouraged to submit announcements of their candidacy as Terry Harrison has done. The announcements will be published as submitted, insofar as possible. A photo of the candidate will be appreciated.