Voters' Guide

October 18, 2012

Cass County Council candidates respond to questions

Five candidates are competing for three at-large seats on the Cass County Council.

Republicans Stacey Donato, Jeffrey LeDonne and George Stebbins will face Democrats Terry Homburg and Scott Peattie.

The Pharos-Tribune posed two questions to all five candidates. The questions and their responses follow:

Q: What do you see as the issues in this campaign?

Donato: The issue in the campaign is fiscal assets. The tax revenue generated by Cass County must be closely monitored, and constantly managed to ensure the improvement of our future, and future generations. There are some very positive attributes that we have to offer potential businesses and residence that would possibly be relocating to this area. Also, there are some desperate areas of concern that need our immediate attention. It is the job of the council to ensure that funds are available as needed for those immediate appropriations. It is a delicate balance, and at times, a difficult decision as to the long term effects that each decision made will be a positive one.

Also, I ask that you as residents make it your duty to stay informed on the goods and services that are being provided to you in Cass County. Be aware of how the funds are being appropriated to each division, and what entities are privately owned. Having a quality economy enables a quality community, but it takes everyone doing their part to establish that quality.

Homburg: These are some of the main issues that I feel will be top priority in the next four years.  We need to be proactive in finding ways to help keep the jobs here that we have in the county now, and at a minimum, sustain the tax base that we have. Finding more funding to increase the amount of road resurfacing that is done each year. Coming up with the funding to match the endless workload of ditch and tile repairs that are necessary. Being on top of receiving some of the multitude of grants that are out there. Providing the safest police and fire protection. Being ready to act on projects that will be associated with the  Heartland Highway. Providing county employees with fair wages and compensation. Actually listening to what constituents are saying and acting on it. Probably, the most important, working together with all the boards, councils, commissioners, mayor, plan commissions and townships throughout the county to provide these services and others at the lowest costs to all of us.

LeDonne: The main issues are:

1. Work harder with the existing businesses to help widen our business base to new business.

2. Our budget is a major concern, not knowing what the state is going to do.

3. It is a battle to keep providing the level of services that we provide.

4. Serving our taxpayers better.

5. We need to take more advantage of our local agricultural community.

Peattie: I see the issues as 1. Balancing the budget, 2. drainage problems with the roads in the northern part of the county, 3. bringing jobs and/or business to Logansport and Cass County, 4. building and investing in France Park to get it up and running to attract more people to this area.

Stebbins: The Cass County Council is the financial arm of the county government. The big issue is the county budget and operating under the budget that the state sets on us. Due to property tax caps Cass County has had to make cuts in positions, insurance and services. With these cuts it will position us better for the future and may prevent any future cuts. The cuts we made were true cuts and not just a shell game. We must promote growth such as wind energy to boost our property tax base. Any large growth of income should not come with a large, quick growth of county government of spending. Regionalizing on a financial aspect, not on county lines. We should be driven to create a way to bring business into Cass County, while also implementing the businesses that we now have for growth. We also need to capitalize  from our main strength; Cass County is an agricultural county, and we must utilize the products that we produce. We must keep open minds for new opportunities and not let them pass us by.

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