Candidates speak up
By CHERYL ODDEN
Five candidates who are seeking election to two county seats fielded questions from the public Monday evening.
The forum, sponsored by McLean County Farm Bureau, was in conjunction with the organization’s annual meeting.
Daryl Lies, Douglas, served as moderator and, with the flip of a coin, determined that candidates for McLean County Commission seats would be heard first. Questions posed to the candidates originated from the floor – both Farm Bureau members and others who attended the forum.
Pam Link, Washburn, was appointed to the commission two years ago to fill the seat of Julie Hudson-Schenfisch who moved out of the county. Doug Krebsbach, also of Washburn, is challenging her for the District 1 commission seat. Steve Lee, Turtle Lake, has been a commissioner since 2002. He represents Distrct 3 and is running unopposed.
When asked if they favored increased signage in the county to aid emergency workers and law enforcement personnel to find addresses more easily, all three gave a thumbs up.
Quizzed about the need to restrict jake brakes at the intersection of N.D. 37 and U.S. 83, the candidates noted that, since the two highways are not county roads, the county has no jurisdiction. The road east of Hwy. 83 is a county roadway so that area could be discussed with County Road Superintendent Ron Wagner.
Lee suggested that concerns could also be taken to the state. He said, "I think the public has more influence with the state than we (commissioners) do."
When asked about the possibility that a fly ash pit (Falkirk Mine) could be converted to an oil waste disposal site, Link said, "I don’t think the county should provide a waste disposal site." She noted the low incidence of oil activity in McLean County and projections that point to "very little activity" for at least a decade. Krebsbach said he didn’t know much about the issue but offered, "I understand the waste would not be hazardous."
All three candidates said they support use of a truck enforcement program that is being used in the county. Calling it a "win-win," Krebsbach added, "It’s necessary, very necessary, to protect the roads."