Three candidates vying for 2 seats on county commission

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN TOM STOPPEL
In next Tuesday’s primary election, voters living in two of the three districts of Marion County will cast a ballot for a new commissioner to serve a four-year term.

Only one of the two seats is contested in this primary election. Competing for the right to represent District 2, which includes Marion, are Republicans Max Hayen and Dan Holub.

Republican Randy Dallke is running unopposed in District 3, which includes Peabody.

The District 1 seat, occupied by Bob Hein of Hillsboro, is not up for election this year.

In an effort to acquaint the voting public with all three commission candidates, the Free Press interviewed them and offers the following profiles.

Max Hayen

Republican, District 2

Max Hayen, a citizen of Marion County for 63 years, has been married to wife Donna for 33 of those years and is the proud father of three children.

He is employed part-time in public relations for InfiniTec, an information technology company with offices in Hays, Topeka and Garden City.

Hayen served as Marion’s mayor for three years, but also has other life experiences that he believes will help him be an effective commissioner.

“I worked for Marion County for 27 years as the county appraiser and talked with county officials on a daily basis,” he said. “I feel like I have experience that would be beneficial to the position.

“I think my understanding of the courthouse in general should strengthen the commission if I’m elected.”

Hayen also served on the St. Luke Hospital board for 18 years and has held a position on the board of Parkside Homes Inc. for six years.

Keeping revenue flowing into Marion County is a priority for Hayen.

“My most prominent issue is economic development,” Hayen said. “I see a lot of towns across Kansas that are slowly crumbling, and we meet the criteria for that in Marion County-Hillsboro being the exception,” Hayen said.

“I see that if you’re not on the interstate system or if you don’t have a college in your town, more than likely your town is shrinking.”

Believing in Marion County and what it has to offer potential businesses is essential, Hayen said.

“The one thing I believe Marion County has that a rural community typically doesn’t have is a complete network of railroads criss-crossing our county,” he said. “Granted, most of them don’t stop. But I think we need to pursue economic development to companies that might need railroads.

“We also have a fairly good supply of water with our reservoir, although we have some environmental issues there right now,” he added. “We also have some energy in the fact that we have oil and gas in our county.”

Hayen said he feels he can be an asset to Marion County as a member of its Board of Commissioners.

“I think what I have most of all is broad experience from all sides-whether it be from an administrative position or from another elected officials position- I’ve dealt completely across the spectrum.

“I have a lot of experience behind me and I have a lot of knowledge and maybe just a touch of wisdom.”

Dan Holub

Republican, District 2

Dan Holub and wife are parents to four children-three girls in the U.S. Army and a son in the Marine Corps.

Holub was born and raised in Marion County and is himself a veteran of the Marine Corps.

Holub, who works for Deere Trail Implement in Marion, moved back to Marion County in 1988 after serving 20 years in the Marines.

Holub said revitalizing the county’s economy is a priority.

“I see conditions slowly deteriorating in this county-and by conditions I mean job opportunities, budget problems, constantly being faced with rising taxes and cutting services,” he said.

“I just don’t perceive anything being done about that in a quick enough manner,” he added. “We’re at a crossroads here, and something better start happening soon.”

Holub’s prior public service includes a three-year stint on the USD 408 school board as well as a four-year appointment by Gov. Joan Finney to the Kansas Grain Sorghum Commission.

Holub said economic development is a must for Marion County to continue to prosper.

“I just want to get a handle on financial conditions around here,” he said of county government. “The bills keep piling up and the number of people paying those bills is getting less and less so we need to produce jobs to bring more people in.

“There’s been a lot of lip service paid to economic development.”

Holub said his military service will be an asset should he be elected to the County Commis-

sion.

“I’ve learned how to make two plus two equal nine, is what we used to call it,” he said. “Consensus building, getting people together to come up with solutions, is having 80 or 90 people working on ideas instead of just three or four.”

Accessibility is a priority, according to Holub.

“I’d like to be out there and meet with people,” he said. “We, as public officials, owe it to the public to be out among the people-they wouldn’t have to come to us.

“Government needs to be accessible and make the meetings at times when people can attend,” he added.

“You can’t exclude people and then gripe about apathy.”

Holub said accessibility to Marion County is an asset that needs to be exploited. He pointed out the five highways that pass through the county-Kansas highways 15 and 150 and U.S. highways 56, 50 and 77.

“And almost all of the towns have rail service and the county has a couple of airports,” he said.

Dealing with people comes naturally to him, Holub said.

“I have experience with large groups of people, dealing with budgets in both the military, and civilian with the Sorghum Commission,” he said. “I’ve met a payroll, and people who do that think differently because you weigh expenses.

“I’m not an insider-I don’t owe anyone any favors,” he added. “I can listen and I’m not afraid to make a decision.

“I have no personal agenda other than thinking if we take care of economic development, other things will fall into place.”

Randy Dallke

Republican, District 3

Randy Dallke and wife Cynthia have been married for 30 years. Their family includes two children.

Dallke, a lifelong resident of Marion County, works for Atmos Energy and will run unopposed for the District 3 seat.

“There are a few things I feel need new ideas,” Dallke said about his reason for seeking the position. “The biggest complaint in the southern part of the county seems to be road conditions.

“I also think we need to promote some friendliness from the commissioners to the cities and on down to the public,” he said. “It seems like we read about meetings from the commission, but that’s about all we hear.”

Dallke is mayor of Peabody, having formerly served a four-year term on the Peabody City Council.

Promoting Marion County as a team and not as individual commission members will be a priority for Dallke.

“I believe we need to build teamwork as commissioners,” Dallke said.

Dallke hopes to keep the subject of Marion County Emergency Medical Services at the forefront.

“Until recently, there’s been an issue with the EMS and I believe there needs to be some addressing done there,” he said.

Promoting the amenities Marion County has to offer is vital in the counties desire to continue to prosper.

“Marion County is friendly and offers a good lifestyle,” Dallke said. “We may be lacking in industrial jobs but we’re known as an agricultural county and we need to promote that.

“I think Marion County is a good place to raise a family.”

Dallke said keeping the public informed about the work of the county commission will be important to him.

“No. 1, I would like to publicize what we’re doing and what we’re headed for,” he said. “I want people to feel positive about what we’re doing and that we’re doing it for the betterment of the county.”

Dallke said his job with Atmos Energy allows him access to a vast portion of Marion County, giving him the opportunity to meet his constituents.

“I get to see people when I work and that allows me to be about 75 percent of the county,” Dallke said. “I want to hear if there are any needs or problems.

“I feel like the only way I can make correct decisions is to see or hear what the problems are,” he added. “If you don’t get a feel for the problems, then you can’t do a good job.”

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