The League of Women Voters of Brown County sent questionnaires to all candidates who have opposition in the May 3 primary in the following races: U.S. Senate, U.S. Congress District 9, State Senate District 44, State House District 65, Brown County Council at-large, Brown County Commissioner District 3 and Brown County Recorder. The District 9 answers ran in the March 30 paper; the others will appear in the Brown County Democrat as space is available over the next few weeks. The League of Women Voters of Brown County — a nonpartisan organization — chose the questions. Answers appear in the candidates’ own words, though some were trimmed to fit available space. Candidates who do not have an opponent in the primary were not asked to complete a questionnaire yet; they will be asked before the November general election.

In the primary, voters will choose three county council candidates from each party to advance to the general election. In November, voters will choose three total candidates for county council at-large seats.

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Please describe the occupations, training and experience that qualify you for this office.

(R) David L. Critser: Successful business owner and manager in and out of Brown County for over 45 years. Member of Brown County Council for 19 years and president 10 years.

(R) Debbie Robbins Larsh: No response.

(R) John D. Price: No response.

(R) David Redding: Academic: 1985 Rose-Hulman, bachelor’s degree; 1987 Purdue School of Electrical Engineering, master’s degree; 2001 Indiana University, master’s of business administration. Professional: GE Aircraft Engines 1987-1993, Cummins Inc. 1993-2015, LHP Engineering Solutions 2015-present, engineer progressing to director of engineering. Public service: Corporate social responsibility; active in Brown County as Brown County reserve deputy; one year of county council, currently on county council and county redevelopment commission.

(R) Glenda K. Stogsdill: I have served eight years on the county council, eight years as recorder and four years as auditor. Twenty years in county government has given me the knowledge to understand the budget process. I also worked in banking for 22 years. I also have common sense about problems and I look at both sides and make a decision that I think is best for everyone involved.

How would you promote transparency in and understanding of the county budget for the public at large?

Critser: Transparency has always been upfront by the county council. Understanding and transparency of the budget for the public means they have to attend or watch online our meetings.

Larsh: No response.

Price: No response.

Redding: We will develop meeting agendas using common, understandable language and provide context on complicated agenda topics. The annual budget process is one of the most complicated council responsibilities and we should develop a process description clearly stating assumptions and constraints. We also have learned of a few best practices from other counties that we are considering.

Stogsdill: I would ensure all of the discussions and meetings are open to the public. Publish the proposed budgets in The Democrat before they are actually approved. Holding “town hall” meetings in each of the townships once or twice a year would give the taxpayers an opportunity to attend and voice their ideas and concerns.

What are the top “must fund” priorities for the county that you would support?

Critser: Better infrastructure.

Larsh: No response.

Price: No response.

Redding: Continuity for current county employees in the face of increasing costs defined benefits — key to maintaining acceptable service levels of our local government. Health and safety of county residents and visitors. For example, continued efforts to improve county roads, support critical safety services of law enforcement and fire protection. Support economic activity and increasing Brown County revenues over the long term.

Stogsdill: The roads in the county should be top priority. We should make sure the infrastructure is intact and strong. Working people, local business, fire departments, school buses, law enforcement and our tourists all need good roads to travel in and out of the county.

How can the county council better oversee the use of county funds for competing initiatives and needs of boards and departments?

Critser: Did not answer this question.

Larsh: No response.

Price: No response.

Redding: The council should consider working more closely with each department leader. Each department leader does a great job individually but we appear to struggle with a method to compare and prioritize the master list. The council has the leadership role to make sure we fully understand all the needs before we prioritize. Secondly, department leaders should visit council meetings more frequently to provide the status of their department. A greater understanding by the council of each department will provide a more complete data set for council decisionmaking.

Stogsdill: The council works hard to prepare a balanced budget. The officeholders are responsible to use their budget in a conservative manner. The council should look at the budgets every quarter to make sure the officeholders are using their budgets appropriately. The commissioners also approve all expenses before they are paid. This provides a double-check on all expenses.