Barbara Albright is a Republican running for Bourbon County Commissioner (2nd district) in the upcoming election. Here are a few interview questions with her answers.
1. Please tell readers a little bit about yourself and your background.
I am Barbara Albright, a life-long resident of Bourbon County. My educational preparation includes Fort Scott High School, Fort Scott Community College, and my focus in teaching & learning/administration was from Pittsburg State University. My 35-year career in public education included numerous positions: school secretary, first grade teacher, middle school teacher, middle school assistant principal, and middle school principal. My husband Ron Albright and I are parents to three adult children and six grandchildren. I am a salesperson in the family real estate agency, belong to several local civic and community organizations, and attend Diamond Community Church.
2. Why are you running for office?
In addition to fulfilling my desire to serve the public, as Bourbon County Commissioner of District 2, I will bring the right mix of energy, ideas and understanding to an important position that can greatly benefit us all.
3. What do you feel is the single most important issue facing the county?
To provide services for the people of Bourbon County, it is important to be aware of property taxes, our primary source of revenue. Increasing our county’s tax-base becomes the issue at hand. Economic development and growth within our county/city would bring additional employment opportunities, increased population, and more homeowners – all factors in the collection of additional property taxes.
4. Why do you think you are a better choice for voters than the incumbent? (If you are the incumbent, why do you think you are a better choice than others who are running?)
As a commissioner I will strive for transparency in local government, improved city-county relationship, economic development opportunities, and the more efficient use of our taxpayer dollars. You can count on my energy to find creative solutions to complicated issues. This is a role I will take on with the necessary vigor and commitment to make a positive difference.
5. What is the single most important skill you would bring to the office?
My twenty-one years of administrative experience, coupled with my positive approach in working with people, will be demonstrated in my collaborative leadership style when facing the needs and future of Bourbon County.
6. If elected, what would your top priority be during your first 90 days?
My commissioner preparation and commitment actually began the day I filed to have my name placed on the primary ballot. Next, I began reading, asking questions, and attending commission meetings. As for the first 90 days, I would definitely welcome additional training to better serve my district and county, i.e. Kansas Association of Counties provides learning opportunities for county leaders. Additional preparation would include bringing a clear and concise understanding of the 2013 budget, thus ensuring more efficient use of taxpayer dollars as financial decisions are considered.
7. Health insurance is one of the fastest growing expenses the county is facing. What are some ways you’d recommend the county deal with this issue?
Currently the county employees have health insurance benefits through the state plan; the large pool of participants makes the state plan desirable by offering three different companies and numerous plans meeting the needs of the employee/employee’s family. When analyzing salaries of county workers, it is apparent the health benefit is a factor in hiring and maintaining effective, dedicated county employees. Please note, health insurance benefits are an expenditure that must be looked at closely each year as circumstances change. In 2014, we could see major changes with health insurance requiring further analysis and consideration. Promoting opportunities for each county employee to receive a thorough informative explanation on the different health insurance options/plans, i.e. HSA (Health Savings Account), prior to plan selection at enrollment, could result in a cost savings to both the employee and the county.
A Candidate Forum will be held on July 31 in the Theater of the Ellis Fine Arts Center on the Campus of Fort Scott Community College. Forum begins at 6 pm. Doors open at 5:30. The Public is encouraged to attend. This event is sponsored by the Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce.
Be sure to vote on August 7!