Editor’s note: Mike Hansen is Democratic candidate from Newton running for the Jasper County Board of Supervisors. He is one of four Democrats seeking the party’s nomination in the June 5 primary. The top two Republicans and to two Democrats will compete for two Supervisors seats up for grabs in November. The following is the first of nine Q&As with the Supervisors candidates. The full Q&As can be found on our Election Central page at newtondailynews.com.
1. What do you feel is the most important issue Jasper County will be facing during your term as a supervisor? What suggestions do you have to deal with that issue?
Property taxes — the delicate balance of providing quality services the taxpayers want and need and that’s no easy task. The statewide county average tax levy is $11.788 per thousand and Jasper County is currently at $11.636. If you examine and average the two counties above us and below us in population, their countywide tax levy would be $10.212 per thousand. Now I realize each county has a unique set of issues and priorities, however, we owe it to the taxpayers of Jasper County to continue to examine our own budgets. I will take a close look at the entire budget and determine where we may have opportunities for more efficient and effective use of taxpayer dollars.
2. What are some important principles county supervisors should keep in mind when determining how taxpayer dollars are spent in Jasper County?
What comes to mind when I think about this question is accountability, common sense, efficiency, growth, investment and quality. Supervisors must be good planners with a keen eye for cost savings and better results when using tax dollars. We must keep our citizens informed and seek their input.
3. What can be done to address Jasper County’s infrastructure needs to keep ahead of maintenance needs?
We must develop a plan to address the infrastructure needs of all of Jasper County in a manner that devotes the necessary financial resources and then take the next steps to get the project done! Both sets of my grandparents made a living and raised my parents on their family farms, so I know the importance of maintaining high quality rural infrastructure and roads.
4. The future of the Jasper County Annex building is still undetermined despite discussion by the current board. What do you think should be done with the structure?
Since I’m not currently a member of the Board, I don’t have access to all the details I need to offer an informed solution. As a taxpayer, I am disappointed the Board appears to have come to a standstill and there is no leadership on this issue. For the good of everyone, I hope the Supervisors reach a resolution before the next Board is seated in January. I will tell you if I am fortunate enough to be elected as your next Supervisor and the annex issue is not resolved, it will become a priority and will be handled in a manner that’s in the best interest of the taxpayers of Jasper County.
5. Why do you think voters should support your candidacy for supervisor?
The people I speak with throughout Jasper County are saying they believe there is a lack of leadership, clear and concise direction for the future, budget concerns and the ability to work together to get the business of the county done. I believe the duties and responsibilities of a Supervisor mirror the decision-making role of a city council member, the executive leadership of a Mayor, and the administration and oversight of a manager. I offer the citizens of Jasper County over 16 years of successful governing experience and leadership, and a FULLTIME commitment as your next Supervisor ready to work for you on day one! I am a good listener, a consensus builder and someone that gets business done; that’s my record as a council member and Mayor. I have always believed and my record shows, as your elected official my only agenda is that I work for you! I’m very pleased to have the support and endorsement of my candidacy for Jasper County Supervisor by our current state senator and representative, the clear majority of the current Jasper County elected officials, multiple former county and city elected officials, as well as many others. It would an honor and privilege to serve you as your Supervisor. I ask for your vote in the
Democratic primary election is on June 5. If you would like to visit with me, you may text or call me at 641-521-6755. Thank you!