Hach, Small, Christensen: A rematch in District 1 BV Supervisor Campaign
An unusual set of circumstances has brought three Republicans into a rematch of sorts as voters prepare to decide the hotly-contested Buena Vista County Board of Supervisors races in the Nov. 7 general election.
Bill Lanphere is retiring from the board, creating a vacant seat for District 1.
When the primary was held in June, Ken Hach was the winner but did not have enough percentage of the votes to carry the Republican nomination. Through special convention, Hach was awarded the nomination, but Gary Small and Willard Christensen, who also ran in the Republican primary, declared themselves as independents and have reentered the race, making district one the only race of the three supervisors contests without a democratic candidate.
Hach's campaign is now starting to get into full swing with signs starting to appear around town.
"I have been attending a lot of Board of Supervisors meetings and outside meetings, especially economic development meetings to see different ideas," Hach said.
Hach sees economic growth for the county as a top priority.
"There are some European companies that are looking at locating manufacturing plants for the wind energy industry and that would provide a lot of good paying jobs for the area if it comes here," Hach said, explaining one of his hopefully economic expansion projects.
Hach has been speaking with many different organizations and said leadership is a concern that keeps coming up.
"One thing I have seen is that a lot of people are happy with the board of supervisors that we have and I support them and think they do a marvelous job as well," Hach said.
Nothing shocking has emerged for issues, the local wind energy developer notes. Instead, it has been a process of learning people's interests and concerns.
"I've been having discussions with (retiring board member) Jim Gustafson and I feel that I have an understanding of some of the business but I don't think I can learn it all," Hach said. "I don't think you'll ever stop learning on the board."
Hach, like many other candidates believes that with three new supervisors, having experienced members Lorna Burnside and Herb Crampton continue will be important.
"I think both Lorna and Herb are great," Hach said. "Lorna is a part of the different groups and attended I believe some 270 meetings last year and is a very smart and intelligent lady. I have been getting to know Herb and I see him as such a caring person as well."
Hach believes that his positive attitude and good record will aid him in the race for Lanphere's spot.
"I see this as a chance to give back to a community that has given me so much," Hach added.
Willard Christensen is one of the two candidates running as an independent for the district one race. Christensen admits his campaign is going a little show but has been very visible with many of his signs dotting the community.
"Someone has already been complaining about the signs saying they are in the wrong place, but I'm legal with the signs on the property lines," Christensen said.
Christensen has been in the area for 70 years and feels like he understands the county business.
"I have experience on both side with working with the roads since 1961-62," Christensen said about some of his experience.
Christensen previously ran against Storm Lake Mayor Jon Kruse in a write in campaign and he feels ready to take the mantle of public office.
Christensen hopes to work with the different road projects around the county as well as help the board control the finances of the county.
"I believe that if we work on the roads and make them nice that people will not complain and be willing come into town - and other things will fall into place as well," Christensen said.
Christensen feels that having new people come onto the board, along with the experience of Crampton and Burnside - but feels that working together will provide good results.
"It is something that will have to see how it goes, if you can work with some that's great but if you can't then that's a different story," Christensen added.
Gary Small is the third candidate for District one Supervisor running as an independent as he gears up his campaign for the November 7 election.
Small has been getting out into the community meeting with different people to learn about the issues.
"The main issue is taxes and keeping the spending down," Small said. "People in the community have a certain level of expectation with taxes and the biggest thing is not to over-tax, and then let the people see what is being provided for the community."
Small has not had as much publicity as some other candidates with signs and other political tools but he does feel "comfortable" and ready to serve the public. He has been attending some meetings to get a feel for the needs.
"I'm familiar with the issues and feel that if elected that I'll be able to fill the position," Small said. "I have a good feel of expectations of the job and am comfortable with the time needed to fill the position."
A five-member board will make the transition easier.
"There is a group of people to fall back and discuss what should happen and it's not just one person making a decision," Small said.
Small also agrees that Burnside and Crampton will be a great asset to the new members.
"They have such a knowledge of the issues and the new members will be able to turn to them for advice," Small said.
Small also looks at the new members as to being able to aid the county with possible new ideas.
"New people on the board will be a good thing because there is a chance for new ideas to come out as well," Small added.