|District I commish candidates know agriculture: Reichert seeks positive change|
|April 24, 2014 Jerry Purvis|
Mark Reichert, who has lived on a farm southeast of Minatare all his life, is among four candidates on the Republican ticket for county commissioner in District I.
In addition to farming, Reichert has been in the construction business for the last 10 years.
“I wanted to get involved in the process and help make positive change,” he said. “Mike Marker has done a good job and when I learned he decided not to run again, I thought I’d do what I could.”
Reichert said he often hears from people who wonder why government officials make this or that decision. “Unless you’re in it and making those decisions, you really don’t know what’s going on in government. The best way to know what’s going on is to get involved,” he said.
Reichert said the big issue among the people he’s talked with is continued high property taxes. Just last week, the Nebraska Department of Revenue reported an overall hike in property valuations of just over 12 percent. In addition, agriculture land valuations jumped by more than 29 percent, based on property tax assessments filed by the assessors in the state’s 93 counties.
Unfortunately, increased agriculture land valuation raises the producers’ cost of production and does nothing to improve their bottom lines.
“Last year farm prices were better so we could absorb some of that,” he said. “But farm prices are down again this year. It’s tough when they have money one year and not the next.”
He said that by getting involved in county government, he’ll have a better idea of how the systems work.
“This is the taxpayers’ money and we need to spend it wisely and manage as best we can,” he said.
Reichert said he has served on the boards of several irrigation districts and realizes that budgets are very tight. Serving on those boards also taught him how to get things done while spending the least amount of money.
Another issue that comes up in conversation with his neighbors is the need for ongoing maintenance of the county’s road and bridge system. That, along with taxes, is what he hears most often as a concern.
“I want to look at all the options before I come to a conclusion,” he said. “That’s how I solve all my problems. This county is a big part of my life, so I’ll consider all its problems as my responsibility to bring about solutions.”
Reichert will appear on the Republican ticket for District I Scotts Bluff County Commissioner in the May 13 primary. The race will be decided that day, as no Democrats have filed to run. Also appearing on the ballot are Chuck Cowan, Kirk Arnold and Ryan Reuter.