I’m not personally acquainted with any of the eight candidates for Douglas County commissioner position 1. So I felt it imperative that I educate myself as to their qualifications for the job. This is no entry-level position, but rather a daunting job requiring proven managerial skills and financial know-how. The commissioners set policy, approve budgets, oversee spending, administer county-owned lands and are responsible for providing services to the citizens of the county. Current Commissioner Tim Freeman has compared the job to that of CEO of a company with many employees — in this case, close to 800 — and a multi-million dollar budget.
To begin my research, I went online to the Douglas County Clerk’s Office website to view a copy of each candidate’s filing form, which details his or her education and employment history. To supplement this information, I visited the candidates’ websites, Linked-in sites, and Facebook pages to learn more about the candidates personally and about their views on the important issues facing the county.
To get a firsthand look at the candidates and to hear them speak, I attended a commissioner candidate forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters.
Here is what my research convinced me of: Although we have a fine slate of candidates competing for this position, one candidate, Tom Kress, stands out as most qualified. Tom has the relevant education (bachelor’s degree in accounting), the relevant work experience (finance director, CEO, long-time business owner), and the right motivation (to see Douglas County and its citizens thrive) to tackle the challenges facing the county today. Tom was born and raised in the county, and he and his wife Sasha raised their three children here. Tom is vested in Douglas County and will be ready on day one to serve it as commissioner.