There are two County Commissioner seats up for grabs this year and the incumbents in both of them are facing primary challenges.

In District 1 David A. Frushour is seeking the seat currently held by Alan Hunt.

District 2 incumbent, Larry West, is a primary contest against Brenda Meadows Weaver.

No Democrat challenger has filed to run in District 1, but the winner in the primary between West and Weaver will face off against Jason Bowman in November.

The Tribune recently asked the primary candidates to fill out a brief questionnaire about their histories and their views on how the county is doing.

Their answers are below:

County Commissioner – Dist. 1

David A. Frushour

Age: 71

City: Peru

Education:

1967 graduate of Peru High School, 1967-1970 Indiana University Kokomo majoring in Criminal Justice, 1970 graduated form Metropolitan Police Department Academy in Washington, D.C. and continued my education at American University, George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and Montgomery College in Maryland.

Current place of employment and past three jobs:

Retired after being employed by Peru Community School Corporation for 29 years. During my tenure there I started as a bus driver and retired as Transportation Director. In 2014 I was instrumental in starting a Student Resource Officer program that in 2017 was transformed into Peru Community School Police Department and was appointed as the Chief. During that period, I was also employed by the Miami County Sheriff’s Department as a part time Dispatcher and Jailer. 1970 thru 1990 I was a Police Officer with the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, D.C. working in various capacities as street patrol Officer, some undercover assignments, and administrative staff.

What is your priority if elected to office?

My number 1 priority if elected will be to represent and serve the citizens of Miami County. I will be visible and approachable in each of our small towns and communities. I want to also make Miami County attractive to potential businesses and companies that might want to settle in our county. I have a real concern about fire fighting protection in the outer reaches of our county.

What are three things the county is doing well?

Miami County is doing a great job of keeping our citizens safe and making it a great place to live.

Our Court House is to be envied by other counties.

What are three things you think the county needs to improve on?

Infrastructure needs a lot of work.

Finding ways to lure and keep industry and business in our county.

Have a more user friendly and up-dated web page for Miami County.

What sets you apart from your competitors?

In the past 30 years I have worked with local government officials in securing funding for various needed projects while also having working relationships with several local businesses and their owners. In my prior job experiences I have learned that listening to all sides of a situation and then weighing and not making any snap decisions is the best and most prudent way of handling any situation and I will never make a decision that is biased, spiteful or show favoritism. I know what is needed to be done based on facts and make those decisions as it benefits those involved and how it reflects on the community and county as a whole.

In your opinion, what is the financial health of the county and how would you improve this?

From what I can tell by all accounts Miami County is in pretty decent shape financially but being a good steward on spending is essential in the up-coming days and months. I am afraid that with tax dollars being cut because of the Covid-19 lockdown we will need to be penny wise and look at every request and all budget items the Commissioners are responsible for.

How will you address economic development? What goals do you have in this topic?

Our economic development in Miami County seems to need a boost and a good hard look needs to be done. I know that a couple of businesses have been added and that was a plus for all of us. We need to be mindful when approaching companies and businesses that handing out tax abatements might be a big draw but there are some drawbacks. Once again I am talking about those entities not paying for any taxes for fire protection.

Alan Hunt

Age: 68

City: Rural Peru. From rural Amboy.

Education: High School, Oak Hill 1969

Current place of employment and past three jobs:

Farmer. Truck driver. Retired, 30+ years, Miami County Highway Dept.

What is your priority if elected to office?

Serve All areas of Miami county.

What are three things the county is doing well?

1. We have good cooperation between all area governments.

2. Good cooperation with all agencies and departments.

3. A solid workforce.

What are three things you think the county needs to improve on?

Perception

What sets you apart from your competitors?

I am well known in All areas of the county, and accessible.

In your opinion, what is the financial health of the county and how would you improve this?

Currently, the finances are solid. The County Council is conservative enough to keep us balanced. I don’t know what is going to happen with plant closings and Covid – 19 effects.

How will you address economic development? What goals do you have in this topic?

We have a responsible EDC. They work hard on our behalf. The competition is fierce, but they continue to work at it.

County Commissioner – Dist. 2

Brenda Meadows Weaver

Age: 69

City: Peru

Education:

1968 PHS graduate

One year IUK

Completion of all AIC Continuation Education Classes

Current place of employment and past three jobs:

Retired from 29 years of public service to Miami County

What is your priority if elected to office?

No micromanagement

To restore the confidence in the Board Of Commissioners by the public

To restore a healthy working relationship with other elected officials and employees

What are three things the county is doing well?

1. The elected officials have worked hard to keep their offices operational during the pandemic

2.The dedication of the employees whether working at home or in their respective offices

3. Trying to comply with our Health Department regulations are this time

What are three things you think the county needs to improve on?

1. Transparency to the public

2. Example-the Commissioners set on several boards. There has not been any information shared in their meetings of what each board is doing. This is something that should be shared with the public to restore the confidence in the Board by the public.

3. A healthy working relationship with all offices and departments

What sets you apart from your competitors?

My 29 years of Miami County Government experience

From working as a deputy to elected Recorder and Auditor

I am a proven public servant with no personal agendas

In your opinion, what is the financial health of the county and how would you improve this?

Precarious

I would hold a meeting of all elected officials and department heads. The only way to keep us afloat is if we all work together. I welcome discussions and ideas.

I have worked during hard times and good times In Miami County Government, and it takes everyone working together to get through difficult years.

How will you address economic development? What goals do you have in this topic?

Our Economic Development has been left as the sole responsibility of that department.

Miami County economic development is the responsibility of us all

If elected I would set up a task force of a cross section of people from all parts of the county. Businesses, employees, students, housewives. All walks of life to brainstorm

There are so many great ideas by our citizens that could be nurtured into reality

Larry West

Age: 76

City: Peru

Education: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Suma Cum Laude 1998

Current place of employment and past three jobs:

Miami County – Commissioner, District 2

Square D/Schneider Electric (retired), Manager of Quality Assurance

(Forty plus years at Schneider so no other substantial prior employment).

What is your priority if elected to office?

Work on attracting business to Miami County. This will be done in coordination with the following groups:

County Commissioners

County Council

Peru City Mayor

Peru City Council

Miami County Economic Development Authority (MCEDA)

What are three things the county is doing well?

1. Financial control. We have a terrific auditor that has a great understanding of the financial aspects of the county. 2. She keeps the commissioners and council well informed of the finances and budget status.

3. Improved the highway department equipment and facility that will enable continuing road improvements.

The commissioners and council have an excellent working relationship with each other.

What are three things you think the county needs to improve on?

1. Improvements in the courthouse, particularly superior court II, as well as the annex and Health Department.

2. Court Street is in need of renovation.

3. Courthouse security needs to be upgraded

What sets you apart from your competitors?

I am open to listen to anyone with a concern.

I get along well with my co-workers.

I base my decisions on facts rather than emotions.

When the courthouse elevator was down I accepted the role of coordinating the repair or replacement. The cost would have been approximately $400,000 plus building modifications and taken 4 to 6 months to engineer, order, receive and install a new one. I worked with the elevator maintenance company and got it fixed for no charge and it is essentially as good as new.

My business experience allows me to look at customer service from a business perspective. I have not been entrenched in a career of living off of tax payer dollars.

In your opinion, what is the financial health of the county and how would you improve this?

The financial health is currently excellent. However with the loss of some businesses and reduced income taxes due to the pandemic we must continue to scrutinize our spending levels very closely.

How will you address economic development? What goals do you have in this topic?

I sit in on the Miami County Economic Development Authority board meetings each month to coordinate with the commissioners and what we can do to assist with business attraction.

I am also on the North Central Indiana Regional Planning Council and the Region 4 Workforce Investment Board. Participation on these boards is vital in keeping existing businesses and attracting new business to Miami County. The Workforce Investment Board works with employers and provides training for unemployed and underemployed people.

I participated with MCEDA when Miami County received a $250,000 small business grant to help small businesses with wage losses during this pandemic.

Our immediate goal is to see the Arizona Isotopes Research Corporation achieve a successful startup in the U. S. 31 shell building at the Grissom Aeroplex. This will provide opportunities to attract more high tech medical companies to co-locate in this area.