Candidate profiles: Victoria County, Precinct 4, County Commissioner
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A rancher and businessman will take on a veteran incumbent in the Nov. 2 general election for Victoria County Precinct 4 county commissioner.
That race pits Republican Clint Ives against Democrat Wayne Dierlam, who has held the office for 12 years. Precinct 4 covers northeast Victoria County.
Ives said he has the energy, work ethic and drive to be an effective commissioner and give Precinct 4 taxpayers the strong, energetic representation they deserve.
"In many ways, a commissioner's job is what the person serving in that position decides to make of it," Ives said. "I'm not afraid to stand up for a cause that's right, and I will never forget that the taxpayers of Victoria County pay my salary."
Dierlam said he offers the voters the experience and wisdom that comes from serving in office for 12 years.
"I've been there and done that," he said. "My county work is my No. 1 priority."
Dierlam said he has demonstrated that he has credibility and integrity and that he's willing to do what it takes to serve the taxpayers.
Ives said his No. 1 goal, if he's elected, would be to improve the quality of life for all of the county's residents. He said that includes ensuring public safety agencies have the tools they need, supporting the volunteer fire departments as well as pushing for economic development.
"We have to keep taxes as low as possible and ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent effectively," he said. "As a taxpayer, I will constantly search for innovative ways to make county government do more and cost less."
Dierlam said his top goal would continue to be improving the drainage and roads in the precinct.
"We have maintained roads and we have rebuilt roads every year since I've been there," he said. "We have a lot of gravel roads, but every year I've tried to hardtop another area."
Dierlam said he will continue to work with property owners to gain access to their land to improve drainage and he will search for grants for roadwork.
"That helps stretch our county dollars," he said. "That leaves us money for our road-and-bridge fund."
Ives said the biggest problem facing the precinct is taxes. He said he talks with business people daily struggling under the burden of taxes, trying to keep their doors open.
"As a businessman, I feel their pain first hand," he said.
Ives said he'd keep taxes down by finding ways to operate county government more efficiently and by creating a climate that encourages businesses to grow and create jobs.
Dierlam said the biggest problem he sees is finding funding to improve and maintain roads and drainage without raising taxes to the point they will strain taxpayers.
"It's not easy," he said. "Every time I raise your taxes, I raise mine too."
But the precinct needs good roads to provide for the safe travel of the public, including school buses, he said.