Candidates for Bourbon County Commission In August 2024

The following is part of a series on candidates for the August 2024 Primary Election.

This is the first in the series profiling Bourbon County Commission candidates.

Leroy Kruger. Submitted photo.

Leroy Kruger,51, Fort Scott. and is a graduate of Fort Scott High School GED. He is running for the District 3 position.

“I have a background in finance and law enforcement and currently work for the city of Fort Scott in the code and zoning enforcement,” Kruger said.

In his spare time, “I coach my grandsons in baseball basketball, and football,” he said.

“The primary role of a commissioner is to be the voice of those whom I represent,” he said.

He sees as pressing issues: a five-man commission,  shared services, and cutting the cost to recoup the carryover from year to year.

“They (the current commissioners) lowered the mil without cutting the budget,” he said. “So less money coming in with the same going out. To make up for this mistake they paid the overage with a carryover slush fund and have depleted it to the point that next year there won’t be any money to cover the cost without raising taxes or cutting a lot of jobs.”

Steve Houston. Submitted photo.
Steve Houston, 44, lives outside of Fort Scott on a farm that has been in his family since 1957. He is running for the District 3 position.
He is a 1998 graduate of Nevada High School, attended one year at Fort Scott Community College, and completed welding school at Missouri Welding Institute in Nevada, MO in 2001.
“I have no political experience,” he said. “My father was Third District County Commissioner for 12 years so I have a basic understanding of what is required and expected.”
“I’m not currently involved with any community activities because I am busy trying to raise my children,” he said. “The oldest is 11 and the youngest is 4-year-old twins. They keep my wife and I busy during any time we are away from work. I have a full-time job as a truck driver and equipment operator for Skitch’s Hauling and  Excavation, I am currently a substitute bus driver for USD 234 and hoping for a full-time position when school resumes. I’m no different than any other family man in Bourbon County. I work hard, I try my best to provide for my family, and I want to ensure a future for my kids in Bourbon County long after I’m dead and gone.”
“I believe the primary role of ANY elected official should be to represent, address, and voice the desires and concerns of the people that elected that official,” he said.
“As far as pressing issues, I don’t think any issue facing the county can be singled out. It depends on what group of people you are addressing as to what the pressing issue will be. Not every resident will view issues in the same order of importance. We are facing multiple issues and all are equally important.”
David Beerbower. Sumbitted photo.

David Beerbower, 60, Fort Scott has a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He is running for the District 2 position.

He has 16 experience years with the Fort Scott Police Department, 32 years military service with the United States Marine Corps and Kansas Army National Guard, serving one tour in Iraq. He has also worked 22 years for Evergy.

He is a husband and father of seven daughters and 19 grandchildren.

He is a top contributor to the Facebook site; Concerned Citizens of Bourbon Co. Citizens for Property Rights.

Beerbower says the primary roles of county commissioners are leadership, teamwork, and stewardship.

“A county commissioner is one of the top decision-makers for the county,” he said. “You need to be a motivator and provide the support that gives your people the best opportunity for success…, look for alternative ideas and solutions to continuously improve operations. Because you are one of three or five, being a team player is vital to the overall success of county operations. Finding common ground and looking at the big picture is essential for the success of projects and development. The most important role of a county commissioner is being a good steward of our citizen’s tax dollars… managing this money and finding efficient ways to reduce costs is one means of reducing this burden.”

Reestablishing trust between commissioners and citizens is the most pressing issue, he said.

“Elected representatives need to be straightforward in their decisions, humble in their dealings with their citizens and they need to take ownership of action. Service to others should always be the mindset. My campaign slogan is Can Do!…a positive attitude having the mindset that you can achieve anything. Being proactive, taking on all challenges, and facing difficulties with the attitude that it can be solved. All the issues this county faces; taxes, economic development, and infrastructure takes involvement from everyone. If you don’t have the trust that you are working for them, then your answer will always be ‘There’s nothing we can do, or our hands are tied'”.

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