A debate by Barry County politicians running for elected office filled the community room at the COA July 12 with potential voters. This segment is on the drain commissioner candidates, other parts are on clerk and drain commissioner candidates.
Incumbent Russ Yarger, Mark Doster and Jim Dull are running for the post.
Yarger, drain commissioner for almost eight years, said the commissioner’s work is complicated with extensive work with the public, an intercounty board making decisions on many issues, and the DEQ and Environmental Protection Agency providing rules and regulations local officials have to abide by.
Most of their work is repair of drains to reduce flooding and considering petitions for drain improvements from citizens. “It’s meetings and number crunching; and it’s going to get way worse with the EPA rules and regs,” Yarger said.
Doster, chair of the Southwest Barry County Sewer and Water Authority for 11 years, said he learned a lot while in that position; he would balance drain work with tourism and recreational interests and protection of the environment with erosion and storm water control.
Dull, an excavator since the early 1980s, said he works on an overall project by understanding of all the moving parts. “I deal with the DEQ, it’s a little slower, but typically they are easy to work with.” Daily hands on inspections to prevent mistakes by others and being accessible to the public are important, he said. //
All three said the public is part of the solution.
The public needs to know what is being done for the commission to be effective, and they need to “pull together,” Dull said.
Success “comes when you come up with a plan with people who have the same feelings,” Doster said.
“Any success was from people pushing you up from behind and pulling you up from above,” Yarger said.
Dull had the last word: “Any one of us would do a heck of a job for you. Vote”