Election 2020: Get to know the candidates

Posted

Enterprise Media Group mailed questionnaires to candidates to provide voters with information about who's on the ballot for the general election Nov. 3.

Some candidates in those races did not submit responses; their names are noted by each race.

No responses were received from candidates in the Herman Village Board of Trustees, Kennard Village Board of Trustees, Blair City Council Ward 1 and 4 and Washington County Board of Supervisors District 1 and 5.

Two candidates have filed for the Herman Board of Trustees: Jason Christensen and Nancy Peters. Voters will elect two.

Two candidates also filed for the Kennard Board of Trustees: Clint Pearson and Brian Nielsen. However, while Nielsen's name will appear on the ballot, he told the Enterprise he has withdrawn his candidacy and will decline the position if elected.

Blair City Council's Ward 1 and Ward 4 races each have one candidate — Chris Jensen and Marty Shepard, respectively. They are running unopposed.

The county board's District 5 race has one candidate, Jay P. Anderson, who defeated Mike Mackie and Herta Bouvia in the primary. In District 1, Supervisor Steve Dethlefs is running unopposed.

2020 General Election candidate questionnaires

Arlington Board of Education

Vote for 3

Did not respond: Matt O'Daniel and Erich Meyer

Name as it appears on the ballot: Chase Kratochvil

Address: 1040 Cady Drive, Arlington

Occupation: Director of military and veteran affairs for U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer (Have been employed in Senator Fischer's office since 2013)

50-word bio: After growing up and graduating from Arlington High School, I went on to receive my BS in criminal justice and my master’s in public administration from the University of Nebraska. Previously, I served in both the Nebraska Army National Guard, as well as the Lincoln Police Department as a street officer.

50-word reason for becoming a candidate: I decided to become a candidate for school board because I know, firsthand, the quality of education that Arlington Public Schools provides to its students. Graduates leave with the tools that they need to be successful upon completing their education there, and I want to ensure that continues.

What would be your priorities for the school district if elected?

My reasoning and top priorities in running for the school board include: (1) to ensure that current and future students continue to receive a quality education, (2) to ensure that the school district has the tools they need to be successful while balancing fiscal responsibility and (3) to adapt clear policies in regard to option enrollment and to address option enrollment as that is a very clear issue that has been brought up in community meetings and in conversations with residents of the Arlington School District. Success for me will be defined in achieving the three priorities that I have previously discussed.

What do you believe are the biggest challenges for this position?

 A member of any board of education has a great responsibility as they play a part in the education of students in a particular locality. In addition, a board of education oversees and approves things such as teacher contracts, budgets, purchases and possibly votes to put bond issues on the ballot for a public vote. A bond issue is an extremely important decision that a board member may have to make throughout their term, and any discussion of a bond issue needs to be in relation to needs and not wants. It is important to gather all information needed to make a decision like this. This would include talking to teachers, administrators, students and the constituents in the school district to assess particular needs and also to garner their opinions and beliefs as taxpayers always pay for a bond issue. The Arlington school district is an agricultural community and it is important to recognize that agriculture is the state's leading revenue generator. It is also important to recognize that with any bond issue, it is going to impact any commodity producers in the school district proportionally higher due to not only total land but also land values, as well. These are all important things to keep in mind whenever discussing or voting to put a bond issue on the ballot

What do you believe is the school district's biggest immediate priority it should address?

I believe that the board of education serves three main purposes; to set the budget, to hire and evaluate the superintendent, and finally, to provide long-range direction for the school district. As mentioned above, the clear issue on the mind of many residents is that of option enrollment. I believe it is imperative to be very open and honest with the community in regard to what Arlington Public Schools option enrollment policies are. In addition, I believe that option enrollment needs to be addressed to ensure the future long-range direction for the Arlington school district.

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Name as it appears on the ballot: J.J. Mastny

Address: 620 N. 6th St., Arlington

Occupation: Recruiter

50-word bio: Born and raised in Fremont. UNO grad. Lived in Arlington for three years.

50-word reason for becoming a candidate: My wife is an educator and our son started in the district this fall. This is my opportunity to oversee and help ensure our family and friends continue to get the best from our school.

What would be your priorities for the school district if elected?

With enrollment constantly rising, I think facilities are a huge point of emphasis. Capacity and amenities will need constant review and oversight.

What do you believe are the biggest challenges for this position?

In my experience so far, there is a bit of a divide between rural and townspeople. Anytime improvements are proposed, the question mark of funding is a big point of contention. I want to learn more about these situations and see how we can do what is best for our kids without putting as much pressure on those rural residents.

What do you believe is the school district's biggest immediate priority it should address?

Facilities without question. Not just due to capacity. There are areas where we lag behind other districts for sports and activities. It won't be a fast process, but we can start laying ground work now so that things can be addressed in 5- to 10-year plans.

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Name as it appears on the ballot: Shanon Willmott

Address: 640 W. Eagle Street, Arlington

Occupation: Middle school teacher in Omaha Public Schools

50-word bio: I have a BA in education, master’s degrees in curriculum/instruction and administration, and am currently working on my doctorate in educational leadership. I have been a teacher for 17 years. I have two children in the district — fifth and eighth grades.This is my sixth year on the Arlington School Board and my second as board vice president.

50-word reason for becoming a candidate: I am running for the Arlington School Board again because I am passionate about education. I have a great depth of knowledge and experience in the educational arena. Because I am a parent in the district and an educator, I believe I am uniquely positioned to provide valuable input and guidance.

What would be your priorities for the school district if elected?

If re-elected to the board, I would continue to work to make sure the district makes prudent decisions which maximize the educational benefit of each dollar spent. As elected representatives, board members are expected to be good stewards of taxpayer funds; this is especially true as we face uncertain times. The board needs to do everything within its power to keep the property tax burden as low as possible.

I also believe that it’s important that the board, administration and staff foster and improve effective communication with the community. It is paramount that the board does everything it can to seek greater input from the community when planning and making important decisions. To that end, I think it would be beneficial to establish advisory committees which leverage the wealth of expertise that our community members possess. By doing so, we can, not only engage with the community, but also ensure we are making properly informed decisions.

What do you believe are the biggest challenges for this position?

The biggest challenges for the position, in my opinion, are the unknowns with regard to school district funding at the state level, staying on top of the ever-evolving technology needs of future ready students, and positively positioning our district to where we are able to successfully recruit and retain our high quality teachers and support staff.

What do you believe is the school district’s biggest immediate priority it should address?

The school district’s biggest immediate priority is monitoring the current COVID-19 situation. We need to be doing everything we can to keep students in class, while ensuring that both they and staff members are safe and healthy. Making sure that students can remain successful with in-person learning is paramount.

At the same time, the district needs to make sure our technology and remote learning options are robust, in case we would ever be forced to pivot and transition to virtual learning for any reason. Focusing on these issues now could lead to situations where we deploy these remote learning options in a way to further enhance student learning (i.e. summer programming, tutoring, etc.).

Blair Board of Education

Vote 5

Name as it appears on the ballot: Kari Loseke
Address: 12686 County Road 27, Blair 
Occupation: Assistant manager, Mathiesen Grain Company
50-word bio: I am a lifelong resident of Blair and graduated from Blair High School in 1990. I went on to receive my bachelor's degree from UNL in 1994. I worked in college admissions at Dana and UNL before coming to work with my family at Mathiesen Grain Company. My husband, Kurt, works for Cargill SweetBran and we have two daughters.  Kelsey is a junior at UNL and Kendra is a senior at Blair High School.    
50-word reason for becoming a candidate: It has been an honor to serve on the Blair School Board for the last eight years. I’m proud of the progress the district has made in the time I have served. I am pleased with the vision and direction the Blair schools are headed in currently and would like to continue to see through the projects that are currently in progress. 
What would be your priorities for the school district if elected?
Giving the students a top notch educational experience will always be the top priority. Everything the district does comes back to ensuring we are fulfilling our motto: “Where all students learn.” I don’t have a personal agenda. My priority has been and will continue to be to support the district as we continually try to improve learning opportunities, facilities, and find ways to better support staff, all while being good stewards of taxpayer dollars.  
What do you believe are the biggest challenges for this position?
Balancing student needs with available financial resources has been the biggest challenge for me personally.  Working in agriculture, I know first hand that property taxes are too high. I believe the state of Nebraska relies far to much on local property taxes to fund schools. I have testified to this and will continue to advocate for change, but in the meantime, I also know that our school district has needs as well.  I am proud that the district was able to lower the levy this year, but I know that growing needs for improved transportation, curriculum and activity facilities, as well as increased rates for insurance and staff pay will keep finances a challenge for some time to come. 
What do you believe is the school district's biggest immediate priority it should address?
Unfortunately, the biggest immediate priority the district will be continuing to address is the pandemic. As the seasons change new practices will be put into place. Everyone is doing things differently and we know that, unfortunately, many students slipped back academically after school closed in March. The district is prioritizing core academic learning and is working diligently to close the gap.  All teachers and staff are working above and beyond the call of duty right now to help ensure our students are getting the academic, social, and emotional support they need. My priority is to do everything we can to keep our schools open and keep students engaged in learning new material.

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Name as it appears on the ballot: Deb Parks

Address: 2618 Mad Hatter Lane, Omaha

Occupation: Homemaker, volunteer

50-word bio: Married to Tom, daughters Sarah (junior at USD) and Rachel (senior at BHS)

50-word reason for becoming a candidate: When I first became a candidate in 2012, I was elected to that four year term and re-elected to a second four year term in 2016. I wanted to be involved as much as I could while my children were attending Blair schools. I am seeking a third ter, to continue the involvement with the schools.

What would be your priorities for the school district if elected?

Continued success in building and maintaining the academic programs in all of Blair schools using funding to prioritize building and maintenance projects to the best of our ability.

What do you believe are the biggest challenges for this position?

It's always about funding. Unfortunately, lots of that is out of our control. I feel we are in a good position financially.

What do you believe is the school district's biggest immediate priority it should address?

We are currently updating curriculum. Due to financial problems in the past, the priorities shifted.

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Name as it appears on the ballot: Brandi Petersen

Address: 910 Southfork Rd, Blair

Occupation: Banker

50-word bio: I grew up in Blair and the Blair school system. We moved back to Blair when our kids started school to allow them the same opportunity to grow up in a close-knit community and strong school system and we are glad we did. I have been a school board member for 10 years now.

50-word reason for becoming a candidate: I decided to run again for school board as I believe there are still areas to work on and I believe my background and experience with school related matters would be beneficial. I am continually learning and evolving as a school board member.

What would be your priorities for the school board if elected?

I believe a priority the next few years will be to improve and expand the district’s curriculum at all grade levels and areas. Also, the board needs to continue to find ways to fund and improve our facilities while maintaining costs. Additionally, we need to continue to work with our community and its leaders to make the City of Blair and our school system a place of choice.

What do you believe are the biggest challenges for this position?

School funding and deciding what is in the best interest of our students when dealing with financial limitations is always difficult. Also, the time commitment needed to be an informed and dedicated school board member is challenging and is not likely fully understood by the public.

What do you believe is the school district's immediate priority it should address?

Appropriately dealing with the pandemic is an obvious priority, but we must remain vigilant in reviewing finances and improving our curriculum.

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Name as it appears on the ballot: Denise Ray

Address: Blair

Occupation: Strategic director, Washington County Food Pantry

50-word bio: I am a lifelong resident of Blair. I enjoy traveling, hiking, fishing, disc golf and most things outdoors.

50-word reason for becoming a candidate: I am running for my second term on the school board. I enjoy serving on the board and giving back to my community in this way. I have learned much about school board policy and the manner in which a successful board operates. I decided to run for another term as there are goals we have set as a board that I feel I can help accomplish.

What would be your priorities for the school district if elected?

I believe we need to focus on academic achievement and academic opportunities offered to our students. We need to address the curriculum in all areas to ensure we are meeting state standards and teaching to all learners at all abilities. We have begun the process of adding dual credit courses and adding more technical courses; both of these we can expand upon.

What do you believe are the biggest challenges for this position?

The biggest challenge is trying to see all sides of a situation. Teachers, staff, administrators, parents and the general public all view things differently and all of their opinions are equally vital. At times it is difficult to make decisions when everyone is impacted. Immediate

What do you believe is the school district's biggest immediate priority it should address?

The immediate priority is keeping our students in the classroom during COVID. Our students learn best in-person and our teachers work best with in-person teaching. We must keep everyone as safe as possible while moving education forward. As a board, I believe we need to understand the impact remote learning has on students and teachers and find a solution that benefits the vast majority.

Fort Calhoun Board of Education

Vote for three

Did not respond: Tony Knight

Name as it appears on the ballot: Mike Bonacci

Address: 1520 Betts Circle, Fort Calhoun

Occupation: Retired retail manager

50-word bio: Grew up in the district at the North Omaha Airport and graduated in 1989 from Calhoun. Graduated UNO with a bachelor's in aviation. Recently retired 25 years with Baker’s. Currently enrolled with Kearney University Masters of Education program. Married to wife Becky; son Ben class of 2018, son Nate class of 2020.

50-word reason for becoming a candidate: I want to continue to give back to community that has given me so much. I am proud of our school and want to see the campus completed for future generations. The pay day is big for me; it is seeing every graduate walk across the stage in May.

What would be your priorities for the school district if elected?

Preparing our children for their future. I am a believer on the “3 Es” after graduation. “Enrolled. Employed or Enlisted.” We need to make sure the kids have the proper tools to accomplish this.

Also, it is important to continue to give tax dollars back by lowering the tax levy each year as revenue from tax valuations increase from growth, optimizing State Aid, and from taking advantage of refinancing current bonds.

What do you believe are the biggest challenges of the position?

Keeping our school growing with keeping our identity of a small town. I am a believer of if you want your children to go to school here; you need to move here; but also I believe with our limited district size we need to take advantage of the current state option enrollment program to fill our school, and help fund the facility improvements for the future of when we are filled from within the district.

What do you believe is the school district’s biggest immediate priority it should address?

The immediate priority, in these uncertain times, is to keep the district financially sound while completing the footprint of the campus. In the short term, with our facilities plan almost complete, we can focus on increasing/improving programs, and technology. Our school is now considered a Top 10 school in the state. I do not see any reason we can’t be No. 1.

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Name on Ballot: Josh Christensen

Address: 5535 Daylily Lane, Fort Calhoun

Occupation: Manager at Abe’s Trash Service, owner of Christensen Hop Farm

50-word bio: Fort Calhoun Schools alumni. Married to Ronee. Father of three elementary and high school students; Carter, Alex and Cami. Bachelor’s degree in business management from UNO. FCYSO baseball director and coach. Member of Pioneers for Education, FC Booster Club and FC Presbyterian Church.

50-word reason for becoming a candidate: My children have gone to FC schools for 10 years. There has been rapid growth and several construction additions during their time here. I’d like to be involved in the decision-making process and work with school administrators and board members to ensure the schools will thrive for decades to come.

What would be your priorities for the school district if elected?

Quality education, responsible growth, class size and management, and smart spending are my top priorities.

What do you believe are the biggest challenges for this position?

I believe the biggest challenge would be balancing the educational, staff and financial needs of the district to keep the district viable.

What do you believe is the school district’s biggest immediate priority it should address?

A top priority should be making sure the district doesn’t rely too heavily on state funding. We need to ensure the buildings could maintain if state funding structure were to change and state funding is reduced, in part by doing new construction and additions only when financially responsible and necessary for district growth.

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Name as it appears on the ballot:  Adam D. Neumann

Address: Fort Calhoun

Occupation:  Environmental consultant

50-word bio:  I attended Chadron State College where I received a BS in geosciences and a MA in education.  I currently work for an environmental consulting company that specializes in petroleum remediation. Throughout my career in geology, I have volunteered time to teach interactive physical science lessons and work with youth groups.

50-word reason for becoming a candidate: I was raised in Fort Calhoun with my three siblings, where I graduated high school, as well as found my (soon to be) wife.  I'm running because I want to give back to the community and help the next generation of Pioneers receive the same great experience that I had. 

What would be your priorities for the school district if elected?

My number one priority is keeping Fort Calhoun Community Schools a small town school.  I want to ensure that Fort Calhoun will never have to consolidate with other schools in the district to stay viable.

What do you believe are the biggest challenges for this position?

One of the challenges that all school board members have to face is trying to determine what's in the best interest for the students, faculty and the community as a whole, both immediately and for the future.

What do you believe is the school district's biggest immediate priority it should address?

Our biggest priority right now has to be keeping the students and faculty safe, while also ensuring that the students are getting the same exceptional education that is expected here.

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Name as it appears on the ballot: Kelli A. Shaner

Address: 225 N 7th Street, Fort Calhoun

Occupation: Agriculture producer and substitute educator for Fort Calhoun School District (Bachelor’s degrees, elementary education and special education; master’s degree, master’s in education-technology)

50-word bio: My husband, Jeff, and I have been married for 23 years and we have three sons. Cameron is in his first year of college in Texas, Ethan is a junior, and Morgan is a freshman, both at Fort Calhoun High School. We farm along the Missouri River and raise corn, soybeans, poultry and cattle. 

50-word reason for becoming a candidate: I am running for the Fort Calhoun School Board for my third term because I have a true passion for education and our community. It has been exciting to see the growth and success of our school district.  I look forward to helping lead our school district to greatness for another four years.

What would be your priorities for the school district if elected?

Each year our Fort Calhoun’s School Board and Administrators create goals for the upcoming year. I find this extremely valuable, especially with a new superintendent and leadership in Fort Calhoun. For the past several years, it has been exciting to be able to lower our district’s bond levy for the taxpayers and I look forward to continuing this trend.

What do you believe are the biggest challenges for this position?

COVID-19. Along with the rest of the world, our school district strategized and is taking on COVID-19 in the best possible way. Secondly, with new leadership and a building project underway, I will strive to guide and complete our building projects.

What do you believe is the school district's biggest immediate priority it should address?

Fort Calhoun Community Schools are amazing. As a Fort Calhoun School Board member, I will enter with an open mind to current and future issues our district faces. As a parent and member of our community, I look forward to listening and leading our district in keeping our students safe, meeting the individual needs of our students, and advancing toward our district goals.

Blair City Council

Elect 1 for each ward (1, 2, 3, 4)

Did not respond: Chris Jensen, Ward 1; Marty Shepard, Ward 4

Name as it appears on the ballot: Robert W. Pearson (Ward 2)

Address: 2113 Washington St., Blair

Occupation: Painting contractor

50-word bio: I moved to Blair from Omaha in 1975. I graduated from Blair High School in 1980. I married my wife Bernice Pedersen in 1987. We have two sons who work for Pearson's Painting. My oldest son Jason is a project manager and estimator. I started Pearson's Spray Foam and Fire Proofing with my youngest son, Chase.

50-word reason for becoming a candidate: I care for my community and have brought much tax revenue to Blair. As a taxpayer I want to know how our tax money is being spend and where, why and what it is going to.

What would be your priorities for the city if elected?

Listen and evaluate my decisions for the good of the entire city, not just a few. Another priority would be evaluating our rising property taxes and how to slow it down or decrease it. I will work to help and encourage good small businesses to be successful and stay in Blair. Create positive relationships with the city and the community.

What do you believe are the biggest challenges for this position?

After talking to residents and my personal experience with the city administration, I heard more negative comments and ill feelings than positive ones. I will work with the city administrators to communicate and restore and resolve issues and concerns that our residents have with our city.

What do you believe is the city's biggest immediate priority it should address?

The city's priority should be getting the enormous amounts of truck traffic coming from all highways including Highway 91 and Highway 75 north and Highway 30 and diverting it around the entire city. Being a longtime resident of Blair and living on Washington Street and Highway 91, the traffic has greatly increased over the past few years. Now, with the new daycare at the old West School and the amount of trucks and speed is a major concern of mine. The State Patrol has come in and now the Blair police to try and slow them down. I believe the proposed bypass by Walmart is a Band-aid, not a true solution to the problem.

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Name as it appears on the ballot: Andrew Schank (Ward 2)

Address: 2025 Colfax Street Blair

Occupation: Owner of The Washtub, pastor of Great Commission Baptist Church, Mechanic at C&R Automotive

50-word bio: Married (Shilo) 21 years; father of five; follower of Jesus Christ 28 years and have been engaged in ministry 27 years; resident of Blair since October 2010; Currently serving as a Blair Planning and Zoning commissioner; 2017 Housing Taskforce Member.

50-word reason for becoming a candidate: Blair is our home and we consider it a privilege to live here. I want to become a city councilman in order to give back to this community. I have experience with our city’s government and know how things work. I want to help shape Blair’s future!

What would be your priorities for the city if elected?

I have three major priorities. First, I want to help bring about the completion of the southern bypass. This project has been going on for a long time. We need to get across the finish line and move on to other projects.

Second, I would like to keep working on getting more affordable housing in our city. People want to move into our community and there are not enough homes in inventory. While Blair typically sees about 30 homes a year built in its jurisdiction, that is not enough. We need homes that have a more affordable price range. The city has been proactive in this, but more can be done.

Third, I would like to help other sitting councilmen bring in a lower operating budget. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could keep our projects as a city moving, and, at the same time, work from a smaller budget? I know for a fact that the city staff works extremely hard with the finances and endeavors to get the most for the least. This will always be a challenge and is an issue that every member of the council takes seriously. I aim to do all that I can to bring in a lower budget.

What do you believe are the biggest challenges for this position?

There are many projects which the city needs to complete. These cost money. How can you continue to maintain current obligations and still progress into new projects and not raise taxes? As previously stated, a lower operating budget needs to be an attainable goal. The challenge is the balance between doing this and still move forward on new things.

Another challenge I see is getting our citizens more involved. I know that this may not be popular, but when was the last time a city council meeting was well attended? The only time I have seen a crowd in the last four years, or so, is when there is a controversial issue on the agenda. I want to see our citizens be more proactive. Regular attendance serves to inform and motivate. I know that the more you know about your local government, the more you appreciate the liberty we enjoy as citizens of the United States.

What do you believe is the city’s immediate priority it should address?

By far, the number one priority our city faces is the completion of the bypass. Other projects hinge on this. Future business will be aided by it. We have more to do to get across the finish line.

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Name as it appears on the ballot: Mind Rump (Ward 3)

Address: 1663 Washington St., Blair

Occupation: Director and teacher at Washington Street Preschool

50-word bio: I am a small business owner, mother and active citizen. I have served on the Washington County Chamber of Commerce for six years. Also been a board member for the MCH Auxiliary for six years. Also on the MCH Foundation Board of Directors and Early Childhood Advisory Committee.

Husband, Marty, and sons Morgan, 17, and Maxwell, 13.

50-word reason for becoming a candidate: I serve and volunteer in my hometown of Blair out of a sense of duty and pride, and from a desire to continue working toward bettering our community each day.

What would be your priorities for the city if elected?

To continue to work with fellow council members and city staff to solve problems in fair ways, implement practical solutions and consider new ideas and proposals brought before the council.

What do you believe are the biggest challenges for this position?

Making sure to listen to my constituents with a sensitive ear so that conversations are productive. Getting the best value from our tax dollars to provide infrastructure and services for the citizens of Blair.

What do you believe is the city's biggest immediate priority it should address?

Continuing the progress on the truck bypass to route heavy traffic away from downtown and working to make downtown development a priority.

Blair Airport Authority

Vote for two

Name as it appears on the ballot: Marty Rump

Address: 1663 Washington St., Blair

Occupation: Senior Designer, Railroad division, Alfred Benesch and Company

50-Word Bio: I have been a resident of Blair for over 15 years where I made a home with my wife Mindy and boys Morgan and Maxwell. During his time in Blair, I've served as a member of the Blair Historic Preservation Alliance, Blair Library Board, Blair Library Foundation and First Lutheran Church Council.

50-word reason for becoming a candidate: I consider it a civic duty to serve my community in some capacity and work to improve it when possible. I have also had a lifelong interest in flight and aviation and believe that my skills and training may aid the Blair Airport Authority in serving the citizens of Blair and users of the airport.

What would be your priorities for the airport authority if elected?

Priorities include continuing maintenance and ensuring efficient operation of airport facilities, providing oversight for ongoing improvement projects and working towards responsible implementation of the current capital plan. It is important that the Blair Airport operates as 24-hour, 365-day facility to serve the public and business operations based there.

What do you believe are the biggest challenges for this position?

Operation and improvement of the airport property requires coordination between various federal, state and local agencies. It is a challenge to comply with the various requirements and procedures of these agencies while serving the businesses and private citizens who use the airport.

What do you believe is the airport authority's immediate priority it should address?

The immediate priorities appear to be completing maintenance and lighting projects for angers and closing out ongoing construction projects such as tarmac/taxiway work, access road improvements and hanger construction. It will be necessary to continue coordinating government and grant funding for future projects.

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Name as it appears on the ballot: David E. Johnson

Address: 1368 Prospect, Blair

Occupation: Veterinarian

50-word bio:

50-word reason for becoming a candidate: I am seeking my third elected term. I have also served an appointed term. I have an excellent understanding of how the airport business runs.

What would be your priorities for the airport authority if elected?

To continue moving forward in a solvent manner.

What do you believe are the biggest challenges for this position?

A balance between growth and budget.

What do you believe is the airport authority's immediate priority it should address?

Maintenance of what we have coupled with steady growth.

Washington County Board of Supervisors

Elect 1 in each district (1, 3, 5, 7)

Did not respond: Steve Dethlefts (District 1) and Jay P. Anderson (District 5)

Name as it appears on the ballot: Bob Frahm (District 3)

Address: 1133 Park St., Blair

Occupation: Recently retired owner of Frahm's Stump Removal

50-word bio: I have lived in Washington County my entire life. I have been married to my wife, Peggy, for 47 years. We have two grown daughters and four grandchildren. We enjoy camping, fishing, golfing and attending our grandchildren's sporting events.

50-word reason for becoming a candidate: Washington County has shown growth and progressive development throughout the past several years. Currently, there are many matters being discussed which serve to maintain that trend. I would like to continue being part of the decision-making process by offering my input to the board using a commonsense approach.

What would be your priorities for the county if elected?

Priority one would be keeping the county growing and moving forward without putting a burden on the taxpayers of the county. Another top priority would be ensuring that Washington County is a safe place to live.

What do you believe are the biggest challenges for this position?

One major challenge would be keeping my constituents satisfied with my decision-making. Another challenge will be keeping property taxes from increasing while continuing to better our county.

What do you believe is the county's biggest immediate priority it should address?

Now that the new justice center is nearing completion, I feel the board needs to ensure that it runs as smoothly and safely as possible.

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Name as it appears on the ballot: Kevin Barnhill (District 7)

Address: 861 S 16th St, Blair

Occupation: Small business owner

50-word bio: I grew up on a working ranch in North Texas, my family also owned meat markets. I have been married to my wife Amy for 32 years and we have three sons. I had a 25-year career in agribusiness. I started my own business six years ago. We have been Washington County residents for 18 years.

50-word reason for becoming a candidate: Local government can have the biggest impact on people’s day to day lives, through local taxes, roads and infrastructure. I want to serve my community and help people where it will make the most impact.

What would be your priorities for the district if elected?

I believe the main priority of a supervisor is to be a good steward with the dollars we collect. We must be fiscally conservative in everything we do. It is important that supervisors and residents cooperate to get things done and projects moved forward.

What do you believe are the biggest challenges for the position?

Washington County is growing, it is critical that we manage and bring growth, but also preserve what makes Washington County attractive and so special.

What do I believe is the county's biggest immediate priority it should address?

Planning and zoning for the growth of the county. The planning, zoning and comprehensive plan need to be completed as we prepare for the future.

Fort Calhoun City Council

Vote for 2

Did not respond: Andy Bowser and John R. Kelly

Candidate Lori Lammers is running as a write-in candidate

Name as it appears on the ballot: Brian Lasher

Address: 210 South 9th Street Fort Calhoun

Occupation: Construction superintendent

50-word bio: I have a bachelor’s degree in construction management. Currently, I am a superintendent for Constructors INC. I continuously oversee high value projects funded by the State of Nebraska. Being raised on a local family farm, I was taught the value of a strong work ethic and the sense of community.

50-word reason for becoming a candidate: My wife and I purchased property in Fort Calhoun in 2016. Our children attend Fort Calhoun Community Schools as third generation alumni. I take pride in being a member of our community. It would be an honor to be a member of our city council and help influence the development and future of our community.

What would be your priorities for the city if elected?

My priorities for city council if elected would be:

Small Business Development

More options for safe crossing on the highway for our children

Improved maintenance of our city streets and utilities

An added emphasis on community events

Increased fundraising events for community recreational space

What do you believe are the biggest challenges for this position?

I think the biggest challenge of this position is growing Fort Calhoun while sticking to the budget in addition to improving communication within the community.

What do you believe is the city's immediate priority it should address?

I believe the city’s biggest immediate priority should be to encourage small business development. The city would benefit greatly from the revenue of new business and the new jobs these businesses would bring.

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Name as it appears on the ballot: Lori Lammers

Address: 120 N 14th Street, Fort Calhoun

Occupation: Retired from a business career. I currently serve on the Fort Calhoun City Council, the Fort Calhoun Enhancement and Christmas in Calhoun committees.

50-word bio: I graduated from Fort Calhoun High School. My husband and I relocated with his job and we experienced living in several areas of the country. In addition to working at different types of businesses, I enjoyed volunteering in each community and co-founded Kits & Kats Rescue in Roseville, Calif., that still finds homes for over 500 kittens/cats a year. We returned to Fort Calhoun after we retired in 2011.

50-word reason for becoming a candidate: I am running for a second term as a write-in candidate. I have brought my business and personal experiences to my position on city council. We have improved our water and sewer system, streets, parks and now creating a new splash park. I will continue to support maintaining our city infrastructure and beautification, to represent all the citizens and be open and transparent in all my actions.

What would be your priorities for the city if elected?

I will work to help prepare our community for the future. We need to continue to plan for the city with decisions today that will position us for the greatest future benefit for our citizens.

What do you believe are the biggest challenges for this position?

To thoughtfully develop our city with its best future in mind and pursue what can make Fort Calhoun an even better community.

What do you believe is the biggest immediate priority it should address?

We need to support our business community and promote job opportunities for our citizens. Fort Calhoun is a beautiful, historic area. I believe that if we continue to improve our overall appearance, in keeping with the strategic plan, that economic development will be enhanced.

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Name as it appears on the ballot: Kris Richardson

Address: 601 Sunset Drive, Fort Calhoun

Occupation: Irrigation consultant – 21+ years

50-word bio: I grew up in a rural Virginia community and my family moved here 11 years ago. This town quickly became our preferred home for the long term. Volunteering and joining community groups here has become a way of life for us. For more details: www.krisrichardson.weebly.com

50-word reason for becoming a candidate: When I joined the Parks Board, I gained insight into the importance of small government and its immediate impact on our quality of life. This experience created a desire to become more involved and at a higher level.

What would be your priorities for the city if elected?

I feel that city infrastructure should be a priority. While utilities and streets are not exciting ways to spend, they are the basis for long term sustainability. I strongly believe steady planning and maintenance is a far better and more economical approach than neglect and then replacement. I would also like to see the council focus on utility options and affordability for citizens. For example, reliable and affordable high-speed internet has become more important than ever and I would like to support improvement for us.

What do you believe are the biggest challenges for this position?

The greatest challenge in representing the residents falls in maintaining a balance of everyone’s interests. My career has given me a great deal of experience in research and long term planning. I hope those skills will help me navigate opposing perspectives and make the right choices for our future. We have an amazing community identity here and considering that each step of the way is important.

What do you believe is the city’s biggest immediate priority it should address?

I would like to support more small business growth along the highway. My interest would be in growth that fits in with our community dynamic. For example, as a town full of busy and hardworking people we could really benefit from a small store that focuses on providing the basics.

Arlington Village Board of Trustees

Vote 2

Only one person filed

Name as it appears on the ballot: Scott Pokorny

Address: 625 N 7th St Arlington

Occupation: Service Manager (AKRS Equipment, Elkhorn)

50-word bio: My wife, Mandi, and I have been residing and raising our family in Arlington since 2010. Originally from Howells, I spent eight years as an employee for the village as a state certified water, wastewater and pool operator as well as streets and parks manager. I have been a service manager at AKRS Equipment for the past thirteen years.

50-word reason for becoming a candidate: As a village board trustee, I have the opportunity to represent the citizens of Arlington. This must be done in good faith, and in an impartial, loyal and ethical manner. I will do my part to ensure we live in a safe environment and make Arlington a hometown everyone can be proud of.

What would be your priorities for the village if elected?

Continued focus on nuisance properties. Property owners and residents must be held accountable for maintaining their property within the village, and build community pride. Will also continue focus on street maintenance and also ways to improve services provided by the village.

What do you believe are the biggest challenges for this position?

I feel the three biggest challenges are balancing competing interests when addressing concerns and enforcing ordinances. The second challenge is the focus on the annual budget to ensure we allocate funds appropriately. The third, is ensuring that our decisions on policies and ordinances do not conflict the general laws of the state.

What do you believe is the village’s immediate priority it should address?

The first priority is to address is the concern of parking detached trailers and vehicles on the village streets for long periods of time. We will have to come up with a logical solution. The second is to increase attention to our water and waste water system. We will need to explore options to reduce infiltration into our sewer system to reduce the amount of flow to Fremont.

Washington Village Board of Trustees

Vote for 3

Did not respond: Andy Dundis

Name as it appears on the ballot: Connie Cheek

Address:

50-word bio:

50-word reason for becoming a candidate: We moved to Washington 45 years ago. We have seen many changes in our small village; some good, some bad. But we will always be dedicated to our village. It is where we have our roots.

What would your priorities be for the village if elected?

We all have wells in Washington. But we can't drink the water from a lot of the wells because of contaminates. We would really like to get water in Washington.

What do you believe are the biggest challenges for this position?

As a member of the board, we would really like to see more people get involved in the village improvements.

What do you believe is the village's immediate priority it should address?

Water. We have tried for many years and would like to find a way that is financially acceptable.

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Name as it appears on the ballot: Louis L. Kologenski

Address: 1297 Co. Rd. P25, Washington

Occupation: Plant Manager, Cedric Hartman Inc.

50-Word bio: With 45 plus years of continuous service, I began as a volunteer firefighter for the Village of Washington, finally serving as Chief and Captain. For many years, I served as “Santa” for various public functions. Married for 56 years, we have two sons, nine grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

50-word reason for becoming a candidate: I have served as Clerk for over 45 years, working hard for the people of this village. I’ve spent a large part of my life caring for and volunteering for a town I believe in. I would like to continue.

What would be your priorities for the village if elected?

I think the next priority should be to get water into the town. That will be expensive, but we must look at it! We must look at our options, look at the costs involved and how to balance them with the benefits, and how to make them as fair as we can while trying to help the town remain viable as we move into the future.

What do you believe are the biggest challenges for this position?

Maintaining a balance is one of the biggest challenges to being clerk. You have to balance people’s perceptions and conceptions of what you do with the realities of the position. I am a volunteer. There is no stipend. Finding the balance between what someone wants and how to balance that with what is best for the town, or even within the legal bounds or my authority. Sometimes I have to be the “bad guy” and say no, it’s not possible.

What do you believe is the immediate priority it should address?

Getting water into the town is an immediate priority. The longer we wait, the higher the costs and the more hoops we will have to jump through to get it done.

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