As the Nov. 2 election quickly approaches, we continue our coverage of the candidates for Wapello County Supervisor, in which Jerry Parker is one of four competing for the two positions.
Parker has served as supervisor for the past 12 years.
Probably this time, more than any other time, is when I think I deserve the public's vote, he said. There [have] been some trying times; [with] unemployment and the economy the way it has been, you need officials that are very knowledgeable about budgeting and things like that. That's what I bring to the table, a real extensive knowledge of county operations, budgeting and really, probably just as much, if not more than that, is the fact that we've got a good team effort going here at the courthouse (referring to Greg Kenning, the other incumbent Wapello County Supervisor).
Parker said citizens have two options when it comes to making a decision for Wapello County Supervisor.
There are two supervisors that are in office now that have handled the budget very well, [and] they've handled the employees very well. We've had no cuts in services, and [then there are] two people who have relatively little or no experience in county government, county budgeting, personnel matters, any of those things, so the choice is: do you want a fresh face with no experience or do you want to continue with those people who know what they're doing and have proven it?
What is something Parker would like to work on, if re-elected?
You have to make sure the number one identity of the county has to be how fiscally sound they are, he said. If you make your county fiscally sound, there are no mountains that you can TMt climb; an example being economic development. If you would happen to get a developer here that needs a sewer ran or a road paved, or utilities run to an area| a lot of counties couldn TMt do that. Wapello County could because we have a tremendously reduced debt. We don TMt pass bond issues. I TMve been in this position 12 years and passed one bond issue. That means we have a lot of room, if need be, and if there TMs something that TMs going to create a lot of jobs for the community, for the county, we TMre able to step-up and financially help those entities.
Parker is proud of what he has done as supervisor.
With the economy the way it's been, and you see counties cutting services all across the state, across the nation, counties and cities laying off employees, which means less people can do the work for the citizens... you never saw that in Wapello County. That didn't happen by accident. That happened because this group of supervisors and this group of county officials, we know what we're doing. I didn't just start yesterday. I bring a good solid background of county and city finances to the office.
A candidate forum will be hosted at Ottumwa TMs City Hall, Oct. 28, at seven p.m., in which citizens can meet the candidates for Wapello County Supervisor, State Senate and State Representative.