Voters have two choices on the Republican ballot for Marion County Western District Commissioner in this Tuesday’s Primary Election.
Eddie Bogue, of rural Palmyra, is challenging the incumbent, Steve Begley, of rural Palmyra, for the office.
The winner will move on to the November election and face the lone Democratic candidate, Bill Goellner, of Palmyra.
Both candidates filled out a candidate survey submitted to them by the Palmyra Spectator.
The following are their responses.
I have lived in Marion County since 1969. I am a graduate of Hannibal High School and a graduate of Hannibal LaGrange University with a bachelor of science degree in Administration of Justice.
I retired from the Hannibal Police Department after 20 years of service in 2008. Shortly after my retirement in 2008 I was hired as the police chief for the city of Palmyra.
I am married to a wonderful, supportive woman, and we live in rural Palmyra. Between the two of us we have eight children and 10 grandchildren. We both enjoy gardening and managing our little 10-acre hobby farm.
My hobbies include hunting and fishing and being outdoors, although I have recently taken up bowling again at the newly renovated Main Street Lanes.
Why are you running?
I have been a police officer, public servant, for over 32 years. It has been my long-range goal to retire from police work and serve as Marion County commissioner.
Public service is what I know and is what I have worked hard at. Through experience I also feel it is something I can claim to be good at. I am ready to retire from police work, but still want to remain in public service and serve the residents of Marion County.
A police officer is nothing more than a problem solver, likewise, so is a commissioner (without a badge of course). Problem solving and community relations is something I excel at and feel I would be able to work with the residents of Marion County on any issues they may have.
I also feel it would be my duty to work with and assist the employees and elected officials of Marion County in any way I could. I have always been pro employee and will work just as hard for them as I would for the residents of Marion County.
What are the most important issues facing the county?
One of the issues facing the County is the Marion County Highway Department has had several retirements this year. It is important the retirees are replaced as soon as possible with qualified personnel.
In addition to that, it should be the county’s goal to have the best roads and bridges possible for the residents of Marion County. In order to achieve this goal, the county must have adequate manpower and equipment.
Also, in order for the Highway Department to effectively do their job they must be able to keep their equipment up to date. In addressing this issue as western district commissioner, I would manage county money wisely to ensure the highway department had the resources and manpower to maintain the roads and bridges in the county.
Issues facing Law Enforcement:
Thankfully, so far, we have not seen the effects in Marion County as the rest of the country is experiencing with mass retirements and citizens calling for the defunding of the police.
What we are experiencing here is not receiving qualified applicants. It is very important to have enough deputies on patrol to ensure the quality of life the citizens of Marion County deserve and are accustomed to.
It is also important for our sheriff’s department to remain transparent in community relations.
Domestic violence is a major issue usually precipitated by the use of drugs and alcohol. This has a trickle-down effect on our children.
Social services, namely the Department of Family Services, has recently had significant budget cuts. These cuts, although not seen directly by the general public affect our county and residents.
As Western District commissioner I would gladly assist the sheriff’s department on legislative issues that affect our county on law enforcement issues.
Issues in general:
Marion County is starting to experience growth with people moving here from Illinois. I feel as Commissioner it would be my duty to work on improving infrastructure, namely roads in the area around Palmyra.
With a possible influx of people, we need to be prepared to provide services to them. Working closely with the IDA, (Industrial Development Authority) and Mark Twain Regional Council of Governments is paramount to bring more good paying jobs to Marion County, which in turn would increase our tax base making funding easier for county employees and equipment purchases.
As a full time commissioner, I would seek out any grants and other monies that may be available to improve and assist our county.
It is my goal to continue to make Marion County safe place to live and raise a family.
It is also my goal to help provide the residents of Marion County the best quality of life possible.
I am born and raised in Marion County and have lived my whole life in and around Palmyra.
I’m a lifelong member of Zion Lutheran Church and have been involved with the youth for over 40 years as well as deacon for over 20 years.
I have been married to my wife, Karen, for 46 years and have raised three daughters, two of whom live in Marion County, and I have all six of my grand-kids living here as well.
I worked for the county highway department for 39 years before running for commissioner four years ago.
This experience has served me well in understanding our road and bridge needs, as well as dealing with the needs of the public.
Since being elected, I have been on the Mark Twain Regional Council of Governments as an executive board member.
I am on the regional solid waste committee in the capacity of secretary.
I am also on the Transportation Advisory Committee, and the Marion County Extension Council.
I have also been a 4-H volunteer leader for 35 years currently serving as a shooting sports instructor.
Why I am running?
I am running for re-election because with my experience and dedication to the needs of Marion County and the people living here, I can continue to serve as a commissioner to do what’s best for the future of the county.
Since I have most of my family living here, I have a strong desire to keep Marion County moving forward.
I have a good relationship with all the elected officials and have worked well with them to keep the expenses down, while also providing good wages and equipment for them to do their jobs.
What are the most important issues facing the county?
The most important issues facing us are illegal drugs and the problems that arise from them.
Our jail would almost be empty, our child protection services, and juvenile justice system would be almost non existent if it weren’t for illegal drugs.
Since we are at a major crossroads between Chicago, Kansas City and St. Louis, we have a lot of outside traffic coming through this area.
I do my best to see that our sheriff has the manpower and equipment to use against this problem while also being fiscally responsible.
Maintaining our roads and bridges is the second most expensive budgeted item after the sheriffs department. I will continue to work with the road supervisor to keep the roads in Marion County some of the best in this area.
You don’t have to venture far into a surrounding county to appreciate the roads we have here. To keep them in good shape requires good workers, as well as good equipment and I will continue to strive to see that we get the best we can afford.
I also work with the emergency management director to do our best to meet the needs of Marion County citizens and businesses when we have flooding up and down the Mississippi River.
We need to continue to work toward bringing new jobs and to support the jobs we have to promote a good future for our citizens and youth. I have worked with the regional economic director in doing what we can to promote jobs in this area as well.
I look forward to continuing to serve the people of Marion County and I appreciate your support.