Fleming declines second term as commissioner

FlemingRoger Fleming, who represents the Hillsboro area in the Marion County Board of Commissioners, said he will not seek relection in November, citing personal reasons.

No other candidates filed for the position before the June 2 deadline.

Clerk Tina Spencer said this is an unusual situation her office hasn?t seen for many years.

?If it ever happened (in Marion County), it has been a long time?but I can?t say it never happened,? she said. ?Most of the time, someone steps up, even at the last minute.?

Even with the absence of a candidate for District 1, Spencer said, someone could still be on the ballot in Novem?ber. The primary election ballot will have a write-in line for a Demo?crat or Republican.

?It?s not about whoever gets the most votes,? she said.?There is a caveat there. They have to at least get 5 percent of the votes from the district.?

At last count, Spencer said, District 1 had 2,705 registered voters.

If so, someone would need 136 write-in votes to be nominated on the primary ballot, she said. But that number could change between now and close of registration July 1.

Spencer said if someone does get the minimum write-in votes needed, that person also would need to be willing to have his or her name placed on the November ballot.

?If nobody gets the minimum, it would still be a blank line in November,? she said.

The primary election will be Aug. 5 for state and national candidates.

?We also have township clerks up for election and those will move on to general,? she said. ?It is a little different scenario because it takes less votes to nominate them.?

Precinct committee people also are up for election; those positions are elected at the primary.

?They are not on the general ballot (in November),? she said.

Rally interest

According to Spencer, it would be good if someone is still interested in rallying some votes.

?Of course, we would always like to have a candidate file, but unfortunately that didn?t happen,? she said.

Spencer said wants to make sure people understood the issues related to expenses.

?If someone does go ahead and do a write-in campaign, they would still be subject to campaign finance reporting,? she said.

In other words, the potential candidate would need to track expenses and file campaign expense reports even as a write-in.

Hard decision

Fleming said his decision to not re-file was difficult.

As his first four-year term draws to a close, Fleming said it was ?an eye-opening experience? and something he won?t forget.

?The most challenging situation for me was when I was first elected and also appointed chairperson,? he said. ?We had the jail to deal with and get everything in place with the sales tax and bond payments.?

Yet, he was quick to acknowledge most of the credit should go to fellow commis?sioners Dan Holub and Randy Dallke, Sheriff Rob Craft and the jail committee.

?I helped get it accomplished as being one of the players,? he said.

As for the future, Fleming said he sees many projects looming.

?We need to do something regarding our county?s transfer station, health department building and storage (problems) at the court house,? he said.

Fleming said the transfer station?s tipping floor is having problems and there?s a noticeable increase in recycling.

Another concern is the health department building in downtown Marion, which has structural issues.

Fleming said he believes someone interested in the position needs to be able to analyze situations.

?Communication is the key,? he said.

Fleming said what helped him in many ways was the knowledge provided by employees.

?I think Marion County should be proud of our employees,? he said. ?They do a great job.?

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