|SB County commissioners’ race: Reichert to join county board in District I|
|October 09, 2014 Jerry Purvis|
Mark Reichert emerged from a four-person Republican primary battle for Scotts Bluff County Commissioner in District I and will appear unopposed on the Nov. 4 ballot. Reichert succeeds Mike Marker, who chose not to seek re-election.
Reichert has lived on a farm southeast of Minatare all his life. In addition to farming, he has been in the construction business for the past 10 years.
“I’ve always wanted to get involved in the process of government and help make positive changes,” he said. “When Mike Marker said he wasn’t running again, I though I should do what I can.”
From talking with his neighbors during the primary season, Reichert
said a big issue that keeps coming up is continuing high property taxes. Earlier this spring, the Nebraska Department of Revenue reported an overall hike in property valuations of just over 12 percent. And ag land valuations jumped by more than 29 percent, based on property tax assessments filed by county assessors in the state’s 93 counties.
“Increased ag land valuation raises our cost of production for the producers, and it does noting to improve our bottom line,” Reichert said. “Last year, farm prices were better so we could absorb some of that. But farm prices are down again this year. It’s tough when we have money one year and not the next.”
Reichert said his neighbors often asked why government officials made a particular decision. He said the only way to know what’s going on in government is to get involved.
“That’s why I got involved, to help make smart decision for the people,” he said. “We deal with the taxpayers’ money, so we need to spend it wisely and manage as best we can.”
Reichert said he realizes how tight budgets can be from his service on the board of several irrigation districts. That experience, he said, taught him how to get results while also spending the least amount of money.
Another big issue Reichert found during his campaign was the need for ongoing maintenance of the county’s road and bridge system, which is essential for producers to get their crops to market.
“I want to look at all the options before I come to a conclusion,” Reichert said. “That’s how I solve all the problems in my own life. The county is a big part of that life, so I’ll consider all its problems as my responsibility to bring about solutions.”