Posted Online: Sept. 26, 2012, 12:01 am

District 2 candidates agree on downsizing

Comment on this story

By Eric Timmons, etimmons@qconline.com

Name: Gary Freeman

Party: Democrat

Address: 15729 Route 84 N., East Moline

Age: 60

Education: United Township High School and Kansas State University, Bachelor of Science in Geography

Occupation: Manufacturing Consultant, retired from John Deere

Previous elected office: Rock Island County Board member since 1995

Which approach to modernizing county offices do you support: Consolidation at the Quad Cities Industrial Center, new construction or some other plan?

It would be premature to decide on a specific course of action. I question whether spending from $34 million to $45 million on the consolidation will be a cost savings to the taxpayers. Those who have provided data so far all have had a stake in the outcome. A consultant should be hired to perform an independent study.

Should the county hire a professional administrator to oversee day to day operations?

I am in favor of good fiscal and operational management. Hiring an administrator does not guarantee good management.

Do you support reducing the size of the county board?

If the board is reduced in size by 10 members, that could save the county $60,000. Hiring a good manager would cost in excess of $100,000. I don't see how spending an additional $40,000 a year, with nothing to show for it, is good management.

What are your goals generally for the county, if you're elected?

For over 180 years Rock Island County citizens have appointed or elected their leadership. For 180 years we have not deficit spent, we are not in debt, and we pass a balanced budget each year. I am in favor of fiscal responsibility but not to the point of neglecting our buildings. As keeper of the keys, we need to first properly maintain our assets before we can talk of adding to them.

Name Ron Camper

Party: Republican

Address: 909 18th St., Rapids City

Age: 65

Education: Some college

Occupation: Correctional Officer

Previous elected office: None

Which approach to modernizing county offices do you support: Consolidation at the Quad Cities Industrial Center, new construction or some other plan?

The courthouse should be renovated and brought up to code. If the court house is moved, a security issue will arise and extra monies will have to be spent to get the prisoners to court and back again. Moving the court house also would take hundreds of jobs from the downtown area.

Should the county hire a professional administrator to oversee day to day operations?

Yes, hire a professional. This may be what this county needs to get back on its feet again.

Do you support reducing the size of the county board?

Yes. Downsizing the county board will save the taxpayers about $200,000 per year.

What are your goals generally for the county, if you're elected?

I will work with the other board members and the chamber of commerce to bring good jobs to the county. The people of Rock Island County need and want jobs in the area so that they don't have to uproot their families to provide for them.