Broadening the tax base through economic development and delivering the same level of services without raising those taxes are among the top priorities of Howard Bebout, in efforts to win his bid for a District 2 seat on the Otoe County Board of Commissioners.
As far as aiding to economic development, Bebout says, "I would bring in new businesses and invest in infrastructure, which would both create the need for more help." He then adds, "Ultimately, the prevailing wages would go up due to increased demand for workers."
In holding down taxes, Bebout says, "I will make it my job to not to be the labor. A commissioner's job is to oversee and manage, and to hold the department heads accountable, but to not micromanage them." Bebout sees himself being more of the troubleshooter. If someone has an issue, they can call him and he can solve it. He feels sometimes it isn't necessary to have to be there to make it happen. He says, "I'm only a phone call away in today's world."
Bebout, who has first hand knowledge of the county road issues due to his background in roads and bridges through his business, will be in the poll amongst three Republicans on the May 15 primary ticket. One of the three candidates to receive the top number of votes will advance out of the primary and be uncontested by a Democratic in November.
In sharing his view on roads and bridges, Bebout said, "We need to not only strive for efficiency, but to be up for more innovative ideas and techniques." He feels the county needs to try different ways to do things "besides plain removal and replacement."
Outside of economic development, Bebout said he feels the county needs to look for some efficiencies in the way things are done. "One of the biggest issues I see in the role of county commissioners is accessibility," said Bebout. "You can't get ahold of them or they don't have time." If elected as commissioner, Bebout promises to make himself more accessible and more accountable.
Here’s a bit more detail in getting to know the candidate.
Originally from Percival, Iowa, Bebout was raised just north of Nebraska City bridge on the Iowa side. He is a graduate of Nebraska City High School.
Bebout is married to Lucy Kreifels in 1977. The couple has five children who are now grown and 4 are raising their own families.
In life, Bebout feels his family is his greatest accomplishment. "My kids are hard working, good citizens that own property and pay their taxes," said Bebout. "As a father I don't know what more you can ask for?"
Bebout said he challenges himself daily to be a better person, both personally and professionally. "I've had help along the way, every bit of the way," said Bebout. "Every person in my life has been a big part of my success."
For more information, contact Howard Bebout by calling him at (402) 873-2008.
Holding down the tax levy is amongst the top priorities for Rick Freshman, if he were to win the bid for the District 2 seat on the Otoe County Board of Commissioners on the May 15 primary ballot. In talking about his platform, Freshman explains how the tax levy has dropped from .035 in 2009 to 0.30 in 2017, which was done through budgeting and overall County spending being minimized. Freshman added that property values are assessed by state statue. He said, "the Commissioners can only adjust the levy; and we've dropped it 5 basis points in the last 9 years in interest of the county." He says the county currently has an over 2 Billion evaluation.
Freshman, who has served on the board of commissioners for 9 years, will be in the poll amongst three Republicans on the May 15 primary ticket. One of the three candidates to receive the top number of votes will advance out of the primary and be uncontested by a Democratic in November. The candidate with the most votes will advance out of the primary and be uncontested by a Democratic in November.
Another priority of Freshman's would be to keep the roads department maintaining, building, and reopening bridges throughout the County. He says he has helped open up a lot of the closed bridges in the county thus far. One area Freshman feels could use additional resources are needed is county infrastructure. "There isn't enough money to fix everything, so we need to prioritize," said Freshman.
Being a part of the new 911 dispatch center upgrade process has been a huge accomplishment in Freshman's Commissioner career recently. "This new upgrade has allowed Nebraska City Police Department and the Nebraska State Patrol be able to talk to each other over dispatch. "It is now a statewide radio system," said Freshman.
In being asked what ways he plans to spend his time if re-elected as Commissioner, Freshman notes that the position is not a set 20 hours in a row. "You will be on phone calls, being on different committees, helping the roads department and the sheriffs department on daily basis," said Freshman. "Then there's courthouse maintenance, or tracking and paying bills for the county amongst many other things."
Continued education as a commissioner is important to Freshman who has attended 90% of the training sessions put on by the Nebraska Association of County Officials over last 9 years. "These sessions tell us how we can get state and federal funding such as the Goosehill Road Bridge which was 90% federally funded," said Freshman.
Freshman fears for the continuity of the courthouse and how it's employees work together due to the coming elections selecting a new clerk, register of deeds, assessor, and new sheriff in 2019. "This brings challenges," added Freshman. He feels his 9 plus years of experience will be crucial in keeping the courthouse running as efficiently as it has been over the last several years. Freshman wants to keep county employees and officials all working and communicating together for the best outcome for the county. "I have a great working relationship with the City of Nebraska City, Syracuse and surrounding villages," said Freshman. He feels that is important when being a commissioner. Freshman added, "We didn't have it 10 years ago, not even 5 years ago, so I don't want to lose it now."
Here’s a bit more detail about the candidate himself.
Freshman has been an Otoe County resident since 1979. He is a graduate of Westside High School in Omaha in 1974 and graduated from Iowa Western Community College 1976 in Automotive Technology.
He has been married to Susan Freshman for 25 years coming up May 24, 2018. Susan is employed at the Arbor Day Farms Tree Adventure. The couple has 1 child, Dylan, who is 27 that have all grown and left home.
Currently, Freshman is a business owner as well as belongs to Elks Lodge #1049, the Eagles Club #968, Western Star Lodge #2, the Otoe County Wildlife Club, and the Tangier Shrine Center. He has been on the Nebraska City Planning Commission for 25 years, and is currently on the Nebraska City Economic Development Board as Treasurer.
For more information, contact Rick Freshman via email at email@example.com or by calling him at (402) 873-5220.
Seeing more transparency from this elected position as well as the entire board is a big priority for Shane Allgood, one of three candidates on the May 15 primary ballot for the District 2 seat for Otoe County Commission. One of the three candidates to receive the top number of votes will advance out of the primary and be uncontested by a Democratic in November.
Allgood says he is not seeking this position with an agenda. He strives to grow and serve Otoe County and his family. "I would like Otoe County to be a place my children have fond memories of growing up, as well as witnessing Otoe County grow and prosper so it is a place that they and future generations will want to raise their family," said Allgood.
While contemplating putting in for this position, Allgood started inquiring and researching and noticed some areas that have raised some concern for him. Allgood assumed that finding county information would be easier, but while looking, he says you really must dig and know where you are looking. "I believe that Otoe County could be and needs to be doing a better job in the area of digital transparency," said Allgood. With the many avenues of written to digital communication, Allgood feels that informing the public of the everyday county activities should not be such a complicated process. "I believe now is a time for change," said Allgood.
In asking how Allgood plans to spend his time if elected for Commissioner, he said that his work-from-home job allows him to have the flexibility to serve the county efficiently. Some weeks will demand more of my time, and he is prepared for that. "I plan to handle all situations with the time and respect they deserve," said Allgood.
Here’s a few details about the candidate.
Apart from going away for college, Allgood is a born-and-raised Otoe County native. He is a graduate of Nebraska City High School where he married his high school sweetheart, Amy Allgood. Amy is employed as the executive director for Nebraska City Tourism & Commerce.
The couple has five daughters and one son. The oldest daughter Cloey is 19 years old and attends Iowa Western and where she is studying Communications and plays soccer. The couple also has a daughter, Macey who is 17 and a Junior, Bayley is 14 and in 8th grade, Jozey is 12 and in 6th grade and Andey is 9 and in 4th grade where they all attend Lourdes Central Catholic. Harvey is their son, who is 8 months old.
Allgood says he is a good candidate choice because he is young, energetic and vested in the community. "I am excited to be a part of growing Otoe County and making it a place families are not only excited but proud to call home," said Allgood. In his professional career, Allgood says he has been tasked with many projects and feels that he has always succeeded and exceeded expectations. Allgood said, "One of my best qualities as well as one of the toughest challenges we face is the ability to listen and compromise." Notably, Allgood has excelled in employee relation programs and at one time had handled all training in sales and merchandising for a 20-state territory. Currently, he puts together and coordinates the trade show events annually for the company he works for on both the West and East coast. Each day, Allgood is tasked with putting together, monitoring and executing marketing and sales budgets for numerous vendors he represents.
For more information, contact Shane Allgood via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling him at 402-306-9154.