Scheperle and Stella face off for Cole County Western District Commissioner
Democrat cites public safety, as well as ambulance service, roads, bridges; Republican says county needs open government, creative ideas
Sunday, October 28, 2012
While he describes himself as politically conservative, Republican candidate for Cole County Western District Commissioner Kris Scheperle says he would be very aggressive in areas that could benefit the county, if elected to office Nov. 6.
Scheperle said there are several skills he would bring from his years of experience as a businessman.
“I am a good listener and this is part of why my business has been so successful,” he said. “I own and operate equipment, so I understand the needs of the public works department. I also cut my fuel costs by 50 percent with propane conversions on some of our equipment. Creative ideas, listening to the public, being familiar with various departments and growing a business in a down economy are just a few reasons why I should be the next commissioner.”
In looking back on recent issues the commission has had to deal with, Scheperle said, “It is always easy to second-guess decisions, but I believe I would have not accepted Renns Lake and possibly would have done something different than breaching the dam. The surtax issue with Blair Oaks and Jefferson City should have been resolved without lawsuits.”
Scheperle said his political platform is open government, creative ideas and no new taxes.
“Citizens deserve to know how their money is being spent,” he said. “If we can be creative with cutting expenses, we can continue to provide exceptional roads and services to all Cole County residents. The taxpayers of our county have continually voted down tax increases, and we need to listen. Costs are rising, employees need raises, and we can accomplish this with creative ideas.”
When asked if he would support any tax increases, Scheperle said, “I will look at every issue objectively, but strongly oppose raising taxes.”
If elected, Scheperle said rising costs for goods and services, along with rising health care costs, will be some of the major issues he anticipates he will face.
“The county has aging buildings in need of $2 (million) to $3 million in repairs,” he said. “We have to be more efficient. We need employees to help us with efficiencies, manage rising costs and create a maintenance plan to bring our buildings back to good condition.”
Democrat Len Stella describes himself as a conservative with an open mind.
In running for the Cole County Western District commissioner’s seat, Stella said, “I like to listen to both sides of the issue, get as much input as I can and then make a decision.”
Stella feels his past experience in government and as a businessman will help him if he is elected.
This includes two terms as a member on the Jefferson City Council and 25 years in the restaurant business.
“This will be a full-time commitment for me,” he said. “I won’t have any other jobs.”
In looking at what decisions have been made by the commission in recent years, Stella said, “Judging decisions that have been made is hard to do because conditions at that time were different than now. I don’t like to place blame. I’d rather try and fix the problem.”
Stella said public safety, “not just catching the bad guys,” would be a top priority for him if he was elected as well as roads and bridges and ambulance service.
“Anything that would ensure a person’s life on a day-to-day basis is what I’m interested in,” he said.
When asked about his political platform Stella said, “I can give your platitudes about no taxes, that’s nothing new, and making things better for everyone, etc. That’s all trite, and we all know it. Hardly anything is good for everybody. When an issue comes up, I’ll get as much information as possible, then make a decision. What’s best for the county as a whole. That’s the way I’ll vote.”