Friday, July 25, 2014
   
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Focus on District 5 Candidates


(Le Mars) -- We focus on the candidates with the race for County Supervisor representing District 5.  Jim Henrich of Akron is the incumbant candidate, seeking a third term as a supervisor.  Henrich is a former teacher of the Akron-Westfield school district, as well as a former Akron city council member.  He is also a farmer.  Dan Smith of Merrill is a contractor by trade.  He is a former member of the Le Mars Community School Board, a former member of the Merrill City Council, and a former director of Life Skills Training Center.
Henrich points to his experience as a supervisor for reason for re-election.  He says that under his direction as chairman of the board of supervisors, the group of supervisors have been able to work within a tight budget, lower taxes, cut expenses, save money, and expand facilities during a time when there wasn't a lot of extra available funds.

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Smith says supervisors need to work with many groups within the county and he sees a need for some changes.

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The Local Options Sales Tax was implemented to help pay for the law enforcement center, but it has also provided funds for several Plymouth County communities and organizations.  In nearly three years time, Plymouth County voters will decide whether or not the Local Options Sales Tax should continue.  Smith says he favors the program, and would like to see it help reduce property taxes.

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Henrich says the Local Options Sales Tax is a good program because everyone contributes and everyone benefits.

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We have discussed the virtues and the criticisms of the Tax Increment Financing Program with other supervisor candidates.  TIF has been utilized in Plymouth County, primarily to help the Plymouth County Ethanol at Merrill.  Henrich says the program, if used correctly, can help with economic development.

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Road repair and the funding of road repair is always a concern for any county government board member.  Smith says the county needs to establish priorities when it comes time to address road repairs.

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Smith also has a goal to have at least some of the supervisor meeting scheduled in the evening so daytime workers will have the opportunity to address the supervisors without having to miss work.  

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