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EDITORIALS

FWCS board endorsements: Hill, Jehl

Monday, October 22, 2012 - 8:41 am

Fort Wayne Community Schools has a lot on its plate these days, and the school board's job is only going to become more complicated. For that reason, continuity and consistency are important, so we recommend incumbent board member Becky Hill in District. 3.

Hill has an impressive background of service with public boards and agencies, which she put to good use by quickly mastering the learning curve in her first term. She would have an even better second term. Also seeking the seat are former Snider High School Spanish teacher Kerry Miller and business owner Michael Davis.

The board also needs dissent now and then to ensure that new issues with significant impact get the public discussion they deserve. A board that seldom disagrees is a board likely to overlook unintended consequences. So in District 2, we recommend Glenna Jehl.

Jehl is a conservative's conservative with a lot of political experience – she managed Matt Kelty's unsuccessful 2007 mayoral campaign, for example. She would be a strong fighter against federal intrusions and advocate for local control. Also seeking the seat is first-term incumbent John Peirce. There's nothing bad to say about his service, but his views are well represented by other members.

Incumbent Steve Corona is unopposed in the 5th District, the only other one up for re-election this time around

For county offices

County government offices aren't as glamorous as some of the ones farther up the political ladder, but they are the vital providers of basic services.

– Two-term Republican incumbent Nelson Peters should be re-elected to the Allen County Board of Commissioners. He has done wonders in working cooperatively with city government and is leading a push for greater cooperation in the 10-county region. His extensive knowledge of the county's operations and financial needs will be much valued in the tough economic times still ahead. He is opposed by Democrat Gordon Anthony, former president of the firefighters union and a 2011 candidate for City Council.

– Three Republicans and three Democrats are seeking three available at-large County Council seats. We recommend incumbent Republican Roy Buskirk, former Republican Commissioner Bill Brown and Democratic challenger Gina Burgess. Buskirk has been a zealous watchdog for taxpayers. Brown's knowledge of county government and enthusiasm for economic development are invaluable. Burgess is enthusiastic and articulate and would keep the otherwise Republican council honest. Democratic candidates Sharon Tucker and Dennis Sprunger are also impressive, and incumbent Republican Robert A. Armstrong is a solid conservative.

– County offices of treasurer, coroner and surveyor should be appointive instead of elective. Incumbent Treasurer Susan Orth, incumbent Surveyor Allan Frisinger and current Deputy Coroner Craig Nelson are the obvious choices.