Archive for Wednesday, March 8, 2000

Commission race attracts local official

March 8, 2000

At least one Leavenworth county commissioner will face opposition in the August primary election.

Pat Albert, Tonganoxie, said this week that he plans to seek the Third District commission seat held by Wayne Eldridge since 1996. Both men are democrats. Eldridge, who often is on the losing side of many of the commission's 2-1 votes, said he will seek a second term.

"Win, lose or draw, you want somebody in there who will fight for the taxpayers, and not these coalition groups," he said.

Albert, currently Tonganoxie Chamber of Commerce president and a city council member, said he would like to see more efficiency in county government.

That could mean, Albert said, hiring a county administrator. "There's just no way in the world that those three men can run that business and run it efficiently," he said.

The commissioners' $37,877 annual salary could become an issue if an administrator were hired.

"For me to do the job, I'm going to have to be paid because I'm going to have to pay someone to run my store," Albert said.

And even if an administrator were hired, it would take that person time to get up to speed, Albert said. So he doesn't believe commissioners' workloads would immediately decrease.

Albert said he believes the county must address the road improvements and how they will be funded.

"The county has, over time, basically avoided the road issue, and they're going to have to face up to it sooner or later," he said. "We're going to have to build up our road system. Overall county services are going to have to improve."

Albert said he would resign from the Tonganoxie City Council if he were elected.

So far, Bob Adams, who represents the county's second commission district, has no opposition. Adams, a Republican, is in his first term in office. He said he initially ran because of Don Navinsky, who represents the First District.

"He was the type of individual who was wanting to work with people, and I thought it was a real challenge," Adams said.

He's pleased by his tenure.

"I think we've come a long way in three years in rebuilding the employees' trust with the commissioners," he said. "I'm real proud of it. I feel like we have a ways to go yet, and I'd like to be a part of it."

These other elected county officials say they, too, will seek re-election:

Linda Scheer, county clerk since 1990, is circulating a petition, seeking 362 signatures. Scheer, a Republican, worked in the office for 10 years before becoming clerk. The county clerk's annual salary is $43,796.

Janice Young, a Republican, also is carrying a petition seeking 450 signatures, so she can file for election as county treasurer. Young worked for 18 years in the office 11 years a deputy treasurer before she was appointed treasurer in August 1998. The county treasurer's annual salary is $43,796.

Stacy Driscoll, a Democrat, who was appointed register of deeds in January, will seek election. Driscoll previously worked for 14 years in the abstract and title industry. The register of deed's annual salary is $43,796.

Sheriff Herb Nye, a Democrat, will seek re-election to a third term. He plans to pay a filing fee. "Although I'd like to get out and meet the people by circulating a petition, I just don't have the time," he said. Nye joined the sheriff's department in 1970 and ran for election in 1992. The sheriff's annual salary is $53,177.

Frank Kohl, county attorney since 1984, will circulate a petition. Kohl is a Democrat. The county attorney's salary is $64,296.

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