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On November 7, the voters in District Five, (Amherst, Preble, Harmony Canton and Newburg townships) will be electing a new commissioner to replace the retiring Robert Underbakke, who served on the Fillmore County Board for fifteen years. The two candidates on the ballot are Marc Prestby of Canton and John Ryan of Harmony. The Journal sent each candidate a questionnaire to find out where they stand on the issues.
Why do you want to be Fifth District Commissioner?
Marc Prestby: After serving on the Canton City Council for the last eight years I have a real good idea of how local government could and should operate. Fillmore county has quite a few important decisions to make in the next few years and I would welcome the opportunity to share my comments, views and concerns.
John Ryan: To serve the patrons of District 5 with common sense and judgement.
Jordan Township recently passed an interim ordinance restricting both residential and feedlot development. What lead do you think the county should take on zoning issues?
Ryan: I’m concerned about passing something that will be too restrictive to agriculture. Agriculture is the backbone of this county and we shouldn’t forget that.
Prestby: Zoning is a great concern of all of us and I still believe that every situation is different and should be looked at on an individual basis. Some land is meant to be farmland and other land is meant to be residential and some is border-line but should be looked at on its own merits.
Should the county build a new courthouse or remodel the existing one? Where would you vote to build a courthouse, if the decision to build a new one is made?
Prestby: I am in favor of remodeling the present courthouse especially after hearing that two architect firms looked at the courthouse and decided that the building is structurally sound and that it could be a good project for a remodeling. With technology as great as it has ever been, I see no need for everything to be under one roof anymore, with computers linked together by modems and phone lines and fax machines working great to keep people linked together the time has passed to think that everything needs to be centrally located and in one location.
Ryan: I would consider building a new one. My preferred site would be up by the jail.
It has been said by some people that the current board micro-manages the day to day operations of the county government. What kind of management approach will you bring to the board?
Ryan: You have to put people in the position who will do the job and then either they do their job or you replace them.
Prestby: A good manager or leader is only as good as the people they have working under them and I believe that the county has very good employees. I am a firm believer in delegating authority and letting the Department Heads run their departments as to the best way they see fit but sill looking at how things are running smoothly and effectively while still keeping things under their own budgets.
Next week the candidates from District One, Don Boyum and Randy Dahl will be featured.