Last night, local Dubois County candidates spoke on topics to let Dubois County candidates know why they should vote for them.
Those running for the county council, as well as circuit court judge, introduced themselves at the Dubois County “Meet The Candidates” forum, which ran over Facebook Live and radio.
Dean of Vincennes University Jasper Christian Blume was the moderator of the evening.
First to the stand was County Commissioner Chad Blessinger. Blessinger is running unopposed this Election season. He took the time given to thank the community for the support they have given him.
County Surveyor Ken Brosmer was next to the stand, who is also running unopposed. He highlighted how he has been the surveyor since 1992 and spoke on what his duties are as the county surveyor.
Circuit Court Judge Incumbent Nathan Verkamp then took the stand. Verkamp is running opposed against nominee Kevin Crouse, who was not at the forum. Verkamp was asked about drug crime in Dubois County and how he balances punitive measures and rehabilitative services for offenders, what his role should be in an organization such as SWICACC, Crisis Connection, and others, and finally was asked what needs to be changed to make the county’s justice system better. Verkamp stated that while a new security center is needed, but there needs to be a way to help addicts committing crimes rather than just incarcerating them.
Next to the stand were those running for County Council, which were Matt Brosmer, Todd Casssidy, County Councilman Mike Kluesner, Atalie Schroering, and County Councilman Doug Uebelohr.
The candidates were asked about local option income tax revenue.
Councilman Uebelhor stood by being fiscally conservative.
Uebelhor believes that the financial impact COVID-19 has had reinforces his beliefs.
Matt Brosmer spoke about how it should be used towards prevention and rehabilitation but agreed with Uebelhor that there does need to be a financial plan. However, there should be a focus on citizens instead of projects.
Mike Kluesner spoke about how there needs to be a plan on what’s needed and what’s wanted.
Todd Cassidy talked about how he believes that there needs to be a way to keep locals here.
Cassidy also spoke on wages and mentioned how some businesses need to look at how some Dubois County workers may be underpaid.
Atalie Schorering mentioned how there is a lack of Internet connection in communities outside of the major cities and towns in Dubois County and she would like to see taxes used towards helping those with little connection.
Candidates were also asked about how the county needs to stay fiscally responsible ahead of a projected budget shortfall.
Kluesner believes that each individual expenditure needs to be reviewed to see how much is being spent in each area.
Schorering says the county needs to take a step back and take a look at what money really needs to be spent on instead of jumping into projects. Schroering says data needs to be collected.
Brosmer believes putting a stop to projects like the jail expansion would help with budget shortfall.
Candidates were given the option to speak on the MidStates Corridor or criminal justice in Dubois County.
Atalie Schroering spoke out against the MidStates Corridor, stating how US 231 needs to be improved on instead of building another road.
Doug Uebelhor also spoke out against the Midstates Corridor Project.
Brosmer spoke on criminal justice, reiterating his belief on the jail update. Brosmer again spoke on a focus on rehabilitation with those in the criminal justice system.
Cassidy also spoke on criminal justice, stating that more money needs to be put towards community corrections.
Mike Kluesner decided to speak on the justice system. Kluesner mentioned how the jail is overcrowded and outdated.
To view the forum in its entirety, you can view it on 18 WJTS on Monday, October 19th at 8:00 pm and Tuesday, October 20th at 10:00 am.