Meet the Candidates Kicks Off at Local Market

Candidates Gerald Fink (left), Nathan Williams, Bill Novotny and Betsy Willoughby shake hands and relax after the Meet the Candidates Debate. Photo By Hannah Stepenoff
Candidates Gerald Fink (left), Nathan Williams, Bill Novotny and Betsy Willoughby shake hands and relax after the Meet the Candidates Debate. Photo By Hannah Stepenoff

Commission candidates debated last week at a local farmer's market. Hannah Stepenoff has the story.


The second week of the Buffalo Farmer's Market,held every Wednesday in Crazy Woman Square, featured the same handmade food and wares, but thanks to the Johnson County Republican Women, citizens of the county were able to hear from their local candidates while enjoying the market.

The Meet the Candidates series runs through July, and will feature candidates for different political offices as they debate on important issues.

Last week, candidates vying for the two open spots in the
Johnson County Commission sounded off on issues like what to do with Lake DeSmet, how better to run the commission, how to handle tax funds and how to improve emergency services to rural parts of the county.

Those who participated in the debate are former commissioner Gerald Fink, Donald Paulson, Nathan Williams, Bill Novotny, Rich Hall, Betsy Willoughby, Linda Greenough and current commissioner John Gibbs.

Novotny had a lot to say about misused tax funds.

Greenough stated her opinions on Lake DeSmet and taxes.

Gibbs had this to say about how to run the Commission more smoothly.

Hall had a few on his own opinions on taxes.

Paulson had a strong opinion on water use and Lake DeSmet.

Fink had much to say on his years of experience..

Willoughby had strong opinions on how to better run local government and to how to avoid overuse of tax money.

Williams had this to say about emergency management in rural areas.

On Aug. 19, the public has a chance to vote for two of these candidates in the primary election, and if no one decides to run in the actual election they will fill the two open commission spots for four-year terms.

This week's debate will feature county sheriff, clerk of district court and county attorney candidates.

Below you will find full sound on some of the debate questions asked:

Here is what the candidates had to say about their qualifications.

Here is what the candidates had to say about emergency management in rural areas and cost of living raises for county employees.

Here is what they had to say about county-owned Lake DeSmet.

Here are their closing statements., beginning with Willoughby.

Here is the schedule for the coming debates:

July 9, 2014 5:30pm
Sheriff Candidates
County Attorney Candidates
Clerk of District Court Candidates

July 16, 2014 5:30pm
Buffalo Mayor Candidates
City Council Candidates

July 23, 2014 5:30pm
Uncontested Candidates [Assessor, Clerk, Treasurer]
House Representative Candidates

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Linda Greenough. Photo by Hannah Stepenoff.
John Gibbs. Photo by Hannah Stepenoff.
Donald Paulson. Photo by Hannah Stepenoff.
Bill Novotny. Photo by Hannah Stepenoff.
Nathan Williams. Photo by Hannah Stepenoff.
Rich Hall. Photo by Hannah Stepenoff.
Gerald Fink. Photo by Hannah Stepenoff.
Betsy Willoughby. Photo by Hannah Stepenoff.