May 4, 2016
Two contenders are vying for the District 5 Commissioner Seat–current commissioner, Doug Luke, and challenger, Roger Harrison. Both Doug Luke and Roger Harrison attended the Chamber’s forum on 4/21/16; however, only Mr. Harrison attended the 4/28/16 forum moderated by the Citizens for a Clean Jasper County and TWG.
Remember, in the District 5 Commissioner’s race, whoever wins the election May 24th will be the next commissioner for that district unless someone runs as an Independent.
We took limited notes at the Forums, but the following things stood out to us.
At the Chamber Forum
Roger Harrison said he was back home now after having been all over the country. He wants to work together with regional, state, and all local officials, and thinks Jasper County’s best days are ahead.
Doug Luke said he serves with a fantastic group of guys (the current BOC) that have turned things around in this county.
When asked why they were running:
Roger Harrison—I care about the future. Growth will come and we can be prepared. I have training in Economic Development, Smart Growth, and clean growth skills. Growth is coming; we have to be ready for Smart Growth.
Doug Luke—The same reason I ran first time. I want to be an advocate for people that don’t have a voice. Also to bring stability to our county government, and change the direction our county is going with Smart Growth and sustainable growth.
When asked in what ways have they served this community—
Doug Luke said you don’t do anything by yourself, you work as a team–that’s what this group has tried to do. He addresses individual citizens concerns and follows up.
Roger Harrison said he works with the Chamber & the new ambassador program, as well as the Mentor program. He is still active with 4H.
At the TWG/Clean Jasper County Forum
Gene Trammell informed everyone that Doug Luke had to work until 7PM, and would not make the forum.
Following are some of the comments Roger Harrison made at that forum in answer to citizens’ questions:
- I want a better Jasper County in the future. We can reduce the burden of the taxpayer with Economic Development.
- In answer to a question about Transparency—Transparency has to be earlier on and before the time everything is done.
- There have been budget increases because the population has grown and we have to have expanded services for more people.
- In answer to a question about funding private industry—The County is not on the hook for this (Baxter, Norton, Wood Flooring Plant).
Roger Harrison was asked, “How do you prepare for growth?” after his many comments about “growth is coming.” Here is his answer:
One important piece of information was disclosed by Gene Trammell at the forum when people had different ideas about more growth for Jasper County. He said the new Comprehensive Plan will be discussed and approved in 2017. This “plan” determines how the county will look over the next 15-20 years and a new land plan map will be developed. Every Jasper County citizen needs to plan to be part of these meetings and discussions!
Early voting has already started, and election day is May 24th. Talk with people that attended the forum and heard all the discussion, call the candidates and talk to them, and then make your decision as to who will be best for Jasper County and VOTE!
Citizens, be informed and stay informed