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Letters to the Editor

Roads, laws and leadership

As the November election is quickly approaching, I would like to take this opportunity to cover some issues facing Jasper County. One of my main concerns is the state of the rural roads. I feel the engineer needs to stick with the five-year plan in place when considering yearly road projects.

For example, the Christian Conference Center road has been neglected for years while other roads were resurfaced. This continued neglect has caused soft shoulders and sometimes dangerous situations when oncoming vehicles meet.

Another issue is the placement of rock on our gravel roads. For twelve years the engineer’s office chose to sparingly place rock only on roads that have trouble spots. That practice created more issues than it solved and allowed our gravel roads to become nearly impassable in certain situations. We also have an issue with rock quality. The northwest quarter of Jasper County was covered with a mixture that was composed mostly of sand. A quarter-inch of rain caused rural residents and school buses to muck through their routes and roads causing damage to vehicles and, at times, dangerous situations. To me, that was and is unacceptable.

I also feel we need to ensure the sheriff’s office has the necessary funding to patrol and deter crime. Rural crime has increased. The sheriff and his staff have done a great job with the resources available. I believe they need more help to maintain the level of safety and security we all deserve. I pledge to continue to fully fund the sheriff’s department in order to help lower the crime rate in Jasper County.

My last point to consider is leadership. We need constant cooperation and steady leadership on the county board of supervisors. I served in the U.S. Army and spent two tours in Iraq as a sergeant and squad leader. I had to sometimes make tough decisions but always did so with the best interest of my squad in mind. I would bring that same mindset to the board of supervisors. We may not always agree, but we should always work together in a polite and professional manner. At the end of the day, every decision should be made in the best interest of all taxpayers. I pledge to do that. If you have any questions I can be reached at talsma4supervisor@gmail.com.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Brandon Talsma

Newton

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