The Record-Herald recently sent a list of questions to both Republican candidates for county commissioner at the March 17 primary election — incumbent Tony Anderson and challenger Donald Fleak. The following are Fleak’s emailed responses:
In your own words:
Define the duties of a Fayette County Commissioner:
Work for the best interest of all of the citizens of Fayette County. To work with new and existing businesses. To work with the budget, contracts, grants, and the personnel of the county.
Define what transparency means to you:
To have information available to all of the public so they can be informed of what is going on in the commissioner’s office. To be open and honest about every situation.
Explain what this community means to you:
I have lived in the county almost my entire life and most likely will live here the rest of my life. Fayette county citizens are the best and I enjoy talking to them. This is where my family has grown up and I want my child and grandchildren to live. I appreciate the citizens of Fayette County. Our family business started here 40+ years ago and this is home to me.
Define public servant:
Public service is to work for the citizens of Fayette County and to work for their best interest and the best interest of the county. When elected you are there to represent them and the concerns they have.
Do you have experience working with policy, grants or government programs/committees? Please name a few.
Council member for the Village of Bloomingburg for 12 years. Acting mayor for one year and I am now the current mayor starting in 2020. I have worked in different aspects of the village with government grant projects, most recently the playground equipment at the park. Worked on the finance committee and also the water/sewer committee. I was also on the personnel committee and was involved in many different parts of the village’s day to day operations.
What other experiences do you have that are beneficial to being commissioner?
I own my own business and work with the planning and the budgeting of the business on a daily basis. I deal with clients and work out projects with them and come up with a solution to complete the job.
What are your strengths that will help working with the public?
I am very good at dealing with the public and being able to talk to them about concerns. I like to work with them to come up with solutions to their problems or concerns. I am not better than anyone and I am concerned about everyone’s problems.
What are your weaknesses that you could address to better work with the public?
Weakness is I am not good at getting up in front of a large group of people and talking.
Do you think Fayette County is healthy and successful? If not, what would you do to change that?
I think the county is healthy. We do have some areas that need improvement. I would like to see more businesses come to the county.
What aspects of the county would you focus on as commissioner in the coming term(s)?
I want to see more growth with the businesses and would like to see infrastructure to improve. I would like to see help going to different parts of the county and not all of it going to the same area. I would like to try to improve things for the youth of the county. I would like to try to bring in different things in order to keep the citizens here.
What do you think of the current situation with drug abuse in the county, and what do you believe is the best way to approach it or not approach it from a government standpoint?
I don’t like the drug problem in the county. I support the authorities to have every resource available to them to address the issue. It is something that the professionals need to address; I don’t know how to handle the situation.
How do you foresee yourself making choices to best benefit the whole county and not specific groups such as political party, religious affiliation, home owners, business owners, farmers, specific townships, etc.?
We need to listen to the different situations that are brought before the commissioners. Look into each one and find the necessary information that will help to make the correct decision. Talk to those who know and make the best informed decision. Don’t make it just based off of what I want. I am there for the people that put me there.
What are your opinions on the Fayette County Land Bank?
I have worked with the land bank as a village mayor and it worked out good for the village. Cleaning up properties that we had been unable to do anything with and making the village a better place to live.
What kind of businesses do you think should come into the county, why?
Any kind of business that makes the county better. More business, more monies, more jobs, better communities, better schools, better infrastructure, a better county.
What are your plans for the 35/71 mega-site?
I want to see the mega site go like it was intended to do. I want to work with businesses to encourage them to come to Fayette County.
How do you feel about the transportation options currently available in our county?
I don’t know much about the transportation of the county so I therefore don’t feel I can answer that question as one informed.
Do you believe your opinion on individual businesses should or should not affect how you work with businesses that are considering moving into the county or altering their existing structure(s)?
I would be there to represent the county and its citizens. I am there to work for the citizens and the best interest of the county. I want to represent the citizens and what they want.
If voted in as a new commissioner, what would you believe to be your main responsibilities to focus on? Why?
To be responsible with county money and to make decisions that work for the best interest of the county and all of its citizens. I would like to work with the hospital situation and to work with the fairgrounds and their needs that they have.
Where are your favorite places to spend time in our county?
I enjoy visiting the different restaurants in the county. I would like to see more things come here that we all can enjoy and to stay in the county.
Do you have any pressing comments you would like to share with the public?
It’s time for Transparency and for all of the citizens to have a voice. It’s time for a change. I want to work for the people and I want to be their commissioner. I would like to ask for their vote on March 17, 2020.