October 9, 2008

Short list of issues this year

Usually crowded, this year’s Mercer County general election ballot will be relatively bare come Nov. 4. But that doesn’t lessen its importance in the least bit.

Lyle Latimer, chairman of the Mercer County Commission, is running unopposed for his third four-year term on the County Commission.

Latimer and his wife of 43 years, Lil, have three daughters and seven grandchildren. Now retired, Latimer, 73, was an operator at UPA – now Great River Energy – for 16 years, before working 14 years as the utilities and yards supervisor. He also spent four-and-a-half years early in his career with Central Power, Velva. He is a member of English Lutheran Church where he is a past council member. He is also a treasurer for the Hazen Fire Department for approximately 20 years. A resident of Mercer County for 42 years, Latimer is a veteran of the U.S. Army and a member of the American Legion. He served on the Hazen City Commission for 16 years and is a Hazen Rural Fire District Board member.

Why run again?

"I just enjoy the people," Latimer said, "and I feel the commissions I’ve been a part of have done a good job."

In previous terms, the issue standing in his mind’s forefront is Mahto Bay. The area is a subdivision with cabin sites in the northwest area of Mercer County. Lately, the cabin owners have expressed their desire to the county for adequate road access. Part of the land travels across tribal land, however, and the commission is attempting to meet with tribal representatives before taking action on the matter.

"The residents definitely need road access, but we need some clearance with tribal representatives before we take any action on their land," Latimer said.


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