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County commissioner candi-dates discuss economic devel-opment

 

Democrat Mary Mynhier will face Republican John (Jac) Price for the District 2 seat on the LaGrange County Board of Commissioners. Both answered questions concerning the county and its future in a questionnaire sent out by the LaGrange Standard-News recently.

Mary Mynhier

1. Describe your personal background. I have been married to Patrick for 30 years. We have five grown kids. I am a member of St Joseph's Catholic Church and Delta Theta Tau, a philanthropic sorority.

2. Professional background. I received most of my education in Whitley and Huntington counties. I have owned my own business here in LaGrange County for 30 years. I served on the Board of Zoning Appeals for eight years. I also served on the CASA Board. I am a graduate of Leadership LaGrange 2002.

3. Why are you seeking this office? I truly believe that I can make a positive contribution to LaGrange County government.

4. Do you see ways to improve how this office is currently working? New ideas and a fresh prospective. We are hopefully heading in an upward economic cycle. I believe we can turn things around and bring jobs, new opportunities, and a more positive outlook to LaGrange County.

5. Should LaGrange County government do more to be more transparent to the public? Always, ALWAYS, there should be transparency in our government. In fact we need to involve more county citizens in all that we do. Encourage participation, such as board appointments. Each town has an association or group that gets together to brainstorm, etc. I would love to see more participation in every corner of our county.

6. 7. 8. How do you feel the county has done recently on economic development? Does the county need to do more economic development, less, or is it currently working as is? Are there things the county can or should do to assist companies looking to expand or move to LaGrange County? The last 10 years have been very trying for our county, as well as many other counties. Some of the directions that our local officials have decided to take during that time have brought some positive, but unfortunately some negative too. We have an industrial area by the toll road that is very much underutilized.

I had the pleasure of meeting with Keith Gillenwater, director of the LaGrange County EDC, and his associate, Lora Tornamen. We sat and discussed what their role is here in our county. I was surprised at what they do, from trying to bring businesses here to our county, but also trying to figure out ways to finance such moves. It is essential for those entities to work together with our elected commissioners and council.

 

 

 

 

 

9. How much control should the commissioners have overother departments that have their own elected officials or appointed boards? Commissioners and council are the executive branch. Their function is to make directional decisions and figure out ways to finance them, and if they are a good fit for our citizens and the county. All elected officials should make their own decisions about how they want to run their offices. I do understand the need to make budgets work for each department. But I do not understand cutting services to our citizens by the elimination of, for example, a chief deputy position, or eliminating all employees of one office, leaving only the elected official to work the office. Morale is very much down between all the different departments. That should be remedied immediately.

Jac Price

1. Describe your personal background. I am married to Madonna (Atwater) Price and we have four grown children. I am a lifelong resident of LaGrange County and a member of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. I am a member and past board member of the LaGrange County Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Parkview LaGrange Hospital Board, and member of the LaGrange County Economic Development Board. I am also a member of the LaGrange County Council.

2. Professional background. I am a graduate of LaGrange High School and received an Associate’s degree in accounting from International Business College. I have 22 years of work experience with Duo-Therm as a cost accountant and manager of data processing. I have owned Price’s Laundry, Inc., a commercial laundry and dry cleaning business, for 32 years.

3. Why are you seeking this office? After serving six years on the LaGrange County Council, I believe that I have an understanding of both the financial (county council) and the administrative (county commissioners) sides of county government. Also, I have attended most of the commissioner meetings for the past 10 years as a representative of the LaGrange County Chamber and as a councilperson.

4. Do you see ways to improve how this office is currently working? There are always ways to improve any operation, but it is my opinion that the commissioners are very open and sharing of information and data that they use to make their decisions. I would be open to any suggestions that the public would want me to consider in improving the current process.

5. Should LaGrange County government do more to be more transparent to the public? I believe that at the present, the commissioners are very open and transparent. I would be willing to listen to any suggestions from those who feel there is more that can be done to show transparency.

6. How do you feel the county has done recently on economic development? LaGrangeCountyhas moved forward over the past few years with the formation of the LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation (EDC). The EDC has hired an individual to guide the forward movement in both business retention and expansion and in attracting new businesses to the county.

7. Does the county need to do more economic development, less, or is it currently working as is? I believe we can never do too much in economic development, but having said this, I think that at the present we have about the correct mix we need.

8. Are there things the county can or should do to assist companies looking to expand or move to LaGrange County? As stated above, our present EDC is working with existing businesses on retention and expansion and has worked very hard on attraction of new businesses. I believe that when asked, county government has been willing to participate with the EDC with incentives and we should continue to do this.

9. How much control should the commissioners have overother departments that have their own elected officials or appointed boards? The only control that the council should have would be in regard to the financial aspect of any office or board. The commissioners’ responsibility is to be sure that the county ordinances are being followed. Each office has their own elected officials who are answerable to the public for their day-to-day operations. For boards appointed by the commissioners, the commissioners should oversee their operations.