LAWRENCE COUNTY - ( March 31, 2022) - Bill Spreen is seeking Lawrence County District 1 Seat and responded to questions submitted by Lawrence County Zephyr Subscribers
Lawrence County President Scott Smith currently holds the seat and decided to run for county commissioner. The Republican Party has four candidates seeking the party nomination which include Amy Redman, Jeff McKnight, Bill Spreen and Ryan Turner.
Each of the Lawrence County candidates were given four questions submitted by subscribers of the Lawrence County Zephyr.
1. Some candidates use the term conservative in their campaign press release, however the Lawrence County Budget is over $28 Million the highest on record. Explain to mean how you will look at the future budget process?
1. My first year as County Commissioner in 2004 our budget was about $9 million. Governor Daniels office told us we were needed to cut $800,000 from that budget. To my dismay I learned that almost 1/2 of the 9 million was state required, so we had to cut 800,000 out of 4.5 million or close to 20%. Working with the existing County Council we made it happen . There are always things you can cut , you just have to weigh essential needs and find what you can live without .
2. The recent justice study calls for a $46 million new jail to be constructed at another location, new justice center, and a fourth courtroom. As a county council member how would you pay for this proposal, and what taxes would be utilized to pay for this?
2. Our current jail is operating on borrowed time . When it was built the County Council and Commissioners built it as cheaply as possible . Most of the technology used in the jail was close to obsolete but cheap . Fast forwarding to today we are going to pay for our frugal predecessors. Although a new jail is on the horizon I would like to exhaust all options on the old jail until the current economic crisis is over and then move forward. Most of these projects usually run way over budget , so I think the real number will exceed 50 million. We would need to try and obtain any state and federal grants for the project and not raise any local taxes.
3. Why do you want to be a county council member?
3. As a lifelong resident of Lawrence County where 4 of my 5 children and their families reside I have always been interested in the well being of my county and the quality of life that exists here . My time as County Commissioner enables me to enter into the job prepared to face the current obstacles at hand .
4. How would you make sure county office holders keep within their established budget?
4. There is no one who can guarantee office holders stay within the budgets . I have surely found in the past they do try to stay within these budgets, and do not want to be the one to throw the county budget into jeopardy or into the red . My ability to work with the other 6 council members will be vital to achieve these goals .
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