*Editor’s note: Paul Ellison is the editor of the blog “American Spring.” He posed a set of ten questions to Camden County Commission candidates for district two on his blog.
Several things were apparent in Eddie Emery’s answers to the questions posed to the two candidates for Camden County Commission. First, Eddie took the time to respond to ten questions solicited from the community. He wasn’t afraid to address issues directly and his answers reflected a confident consideration of each issue. Second, the unique perspective he offers, through years of work in Camden County, as a Firefighter, a Police Officer and the administration of county budget responsibilities, has the ring of experience. His background with the Camden County Road Department, working as a laborer, truck driver and asphalt machine operator gives him, in his own words, “the experience to make common-sense decisions regarding our roads.” He has the taxpayers of our county first in his mind when attracting new business.
Eddie suggested the county make budget, salary and other information available to the taxpayer at no additional cost, utilizing the county’s web site as a vehicle for transparency. Eddie Emery brings an informed, educated point of view to the county’s decision to out-source County Coroner and Medical Examiner to a Springfield firm.
He has been a longtime member of our community, raising his family here, working in our County’s various departments and agencies. He has forged a well-earned perspective, tempered while laboring on our roads and serving us as a fireman and policeman. He brings valuable knowledge as a State Certified Fire Inspector and Investigator. Not only does this experience add value in planning and zoning issues, but, as concerns remain about our docks, electricity, permitting and other issues, Eddie’s will be a leading voice on technical and practical safety measures.
You can find Eddie’s answers on www.americanspring2011.com in full. The answers were neither edited for content or length. They appear as they were received. I would encourage you to get to know Eddie Emery. He is a fresh breath of air in a stale room.
Cliff Luber was invited to participate as well, and chose not to. It would appear that Luber does indeed know a thing or two about ‘Chicago-style’ politics. He already appears adept at avoiding answering his critics and sidestepping questions.
Thanks again, Eddie. It was a pleasure to read your thoughtful answers. I appreciate that you weren’t too ‘busy talking to Camden County residents to find out what they expect from a Commissioner’ to answer questions from folks in the County. Eddie wasn’t busy on the phone at his register, talking state and national politics. He has been busy living, working in and serving our community.
Page 2 of 3 - When asked about the elephant in the room, Mr. Emery running his second campaign for a second office in an election cycle, he answered the question head on with a refreshing frankness. He was also asked what things he would like to address upon taking office, should his campaign be a success. His answer appears below, unedited for length or content.
"I had not actually planned on running for 2 different offices in the same election year, I am not sure if it has ever been done before. I ran for sheriff because I felt I could improve the services the sheriffs office provides to our citizens. After losing the primary I figured I would spend the next 3 years preparing to run for sheriff in 2016 . I then received a couple phone calls asking if I would consider running for the 2nd district commissioners seat as a write in candidate against Luber . I began to put a lot of thought into running and while doing so I began asking people what they thought of the out come of the 2nd districts commissioners race. Most of those folks admitted they wanted a change but were not happy with the out come. I decided to run because of a lack of choice. I am giving our citizens another choice and another chance to pick who they want representing them.
There are several issues I want to address if elected. At the top of my list is representing our citizens. Too many times our citizens have questions or concerns and they get the run around. I will listen and I will do whatever it takes to answer their questions and address their concerns. The budget is also a big concern for me, for a couple different reasons. 1st we must continue to provide our citizens with the services they have become accustom to. We must do this in the most efficient and effective way without costing them any more in taxes. The 2nd is our county employees. As the economy took a downward spiral some of our employees had their hours cut and most have not had as little as a cost of living increase since 2008. We have to assure our employees we are doing everything we can to improve their wages. The health insurance is another budget item we need to look at. The county pays for the employees health insurance which our employees appreciate, but under the current plan our employees can not afford to have their spouse and or family on this plan. As a current county employee I would have to spend almost half of my monthly pay for insurance for my family. In general we have to do whatever we can to provide the services to our citizens and take care of our employees without becoming any bigger burden on our tax payers. Having grown up in Camden County I have watched a lot of our better paying jobs leave this county. We have to do what we can to prevent any more of our jobs from leaving. I believe we must identify what resources our county can offer that no other county does. We can then market those resources and hopefully bring those jobs to our strong and willing workforce.”
Page 3 of 3 - Eddie Emery has common sense answers for Camden County. He is a breath of fresh air.