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Weiss emphasizes roads, taxpayers in commission campaign

Gerald Weiss, Republican, running for Davison County Commission District 3.

Gerald Weiss says he's not one to forget who he's working for.

"Well, I enjoy working for the taxpayers of Davison County," he said. "The taxpayers pay the bills. We've got to remember we're spending their money."

Weiss, 74, said his health is in good condition and he's energized for a third term as a Davison County commissioner.

"You're as old as you feel," Weiss said. "Right now, I'm in good health. I like to work."

He faces Leon Baier, of Mitchell, in Tuesday's Republican primary election. With no other challengers for the seat, the winner of the primary will get District 3 term, starting in January 2015.

Weiss has commonly made roads a primary point of focus during his two-term tenure on the county commission. He likes to makes recommendations to highway department employees on roads that could use work, saying county citizens shouldn't have their cars beat up because of poorly maintained roads.

"We need to get those holes fixed," Weiss said. "People drive over them and if you got a new car or any vehicle and you hit them, that's no good for your front end or your tires."

Weiss said he would like to see an emphasis on creating hauling roads in the county to get to the state highway system and Interstate 90.

He also would like to see the county keep a snowplow in the Ethan shop during the winter. The county decided earlier this year to shutter facility after nearby townships decided they would no longer employ the county's highway department to take care of their roads.

When asked if the snowplow would be put in Ethan this winter, Weiss said "I'll push for it."

On the issue of the $72,000 purchase of a new vote-counting machine earlier this year, Weiss said he would have liked to see the county use the previous machine again during Tuesday's primary. The purchase of a new machine was made in March following the botched election counting in the 2012 primary.

"I would have tried things out first," he said. "We don't get that many votes in June and I think it would have been a good time to see if it would work."

Weiss supported the move of county offices to the former Central Electric building on North Main Street, but said he'll miss working in the courthouse, primarily because of the convenience of being near other county departments.

District 3 consists of all of the western and southern townships in the county, including Blendon, Mount Vernon, Badger, Beulah, Union, Lisbon, Prosper, Baker, Tobin and Rome. The district includes the cities of Mount Vernon and Ethan and parts of Mitchell township to the west, south and east of Mitchell city limits.

Weiss wouldn't be in the Republican primary if not for switching political parties about a year ago. He said the change comes in part because he doesn't agree with everything going on in Washington, including the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.

"I got tired of what was going on in Washington," he said. "I'm not 100 percent Obamacare."

He's mostly against pay raises for the commissioners. Weiss said he would like to see that money go toward the county's part-time workers because they don't get benefits.

Weiss has had careers in farming and in law enforcement and lives with his wife, Roene, near Ethan. He works as a greeter at Walmart, as well.

"I enjoy working with the people," he said. "I care about the people and I feel I want put something back in the community."