Question: What role, if any, should the county play in shoreline development?
Eddie Emery's response:
I believe Camden County should continue to play a primary role in shoreline development under the authority of our planning and zoning department. The changes made to the shoreline have an impact on our citizens, landowners and our local business’s. Those decisions concerning the development of the shoreline in Camden County need to be made on a local level and by the local officials who represent our citizens and their concerns.
Cliff Luber's response:
The Shoreline Management Plan should be designed to protect and preserve our most valuable resource, our lake. First and foremost, I will continue to work with our Federal officials to ensure FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) is removed from the SMP. “We The People” should have an absolute seat at the table with the multitude of state and federal agencies (FERC, EPA, DNR, MDC, FWS, P&Z, and more) prior to rules and regulations being implemented that affect our lake and private property rights.
The county must be there to remind all of these agencies that property owners at the LOZ have very different and unique property rights to almost any body of water in the country. It is important to maintain a reasonable balance between the preservation of private property rights and the ever changing demands of the lake.
I have held educational town hall forums with the citizens and Ameren officials. I have worked first hand with lake front homeowners, and personally witnessed their anguish when the July 2011 FERC Order mandated the removal of 4500 homes and structures from the LOZ. While not a lake front property owner myself, this was an unforgettable experience that left an impression upon me. Many of these property owners have owned and paid taxes on their property for decades and are being threatened through no fault of their own. As the 2nd District Camden County Commissioner, I will be a strong advocate for property owners while protecting our lake.
Question: How should the county improve the existing roadways with current funding?
Eddie Emery's response:
Camden County is a very diverse county and the roads are no different. Having worked for the county highway department for 9 years and patrolling the roads as a currant Camden County Deputy Sheriff I am very familiar with our highway system and the problems that exist. Our highway system is made up of both gravel and asphalt surfaced roads. I will address the gravel roads first. The Camden County Highway Department spends a great deal of its revenue routinely grading the gravel roads. Gravel surfaced roads work well but they have their limitations. If it is a highly traveled road the material ends up in the ditch and shortly after the road is graded it’s rough again. I feel we have a couple different options on how we can improve the existing gravel roads while cutting cost in the long run. The first is by chip sealing those roads that have the increased traffic. Chip Seal is less expensive than asphalting the road, but just like gravel it has to be maintained on a more regular basis than asphalt. The second option is to asphalt the gravel roads which is more expensive at first but will be less expensive in the long run because you want have the maintenance cost associated with chip seal and or the gravel surface. Now to address our asphalt surfaced roads. I believe our asphalt roads must be inspected annually to ensure the longevity of those roads. Once a road has been inspected and any problems identified we can then determine what coarse of actions needs to take place to resolve those issues. As your second district commissioner I will be familiar with your road situation because I plan to be out there driving those roads while representing the second district.
Page 2 of 2 - Cliff Luber's response:
Several years ago, our Road & Bridge employees’ hours were cut to 35 hours due to the recession. Their hours have been restored to 37 hours at this time. Sales tax revenues have slightly increased, and it is time to restore our employees to 40 hours a week to ensure they are in the field restoring our roads. In this continuing recession we need to be good stewards of the tax payers’ money. The county needs to be careful when leasing and buying new equipment, as they have in the past two years. The purchase of new equipment diverts from the hiring and retention of good employees, reduces funds for asphalt repairs, and prevents the continued proper application of clay and gravel to our rural roads. It is absolutely imperative that our county roads are properly maintained for the safety of our citizens.
In speaking extensively with Road & Bridge employees, supervisors, I have inquired as how to be more efficient with the current limited resources we have.
I have many questions surrounding the recent purchase of the MODOT property in Montreal with funds taken from the Road & Bridge budget, which could have been used for needed road repairs.
I am committed to restore trust and accountability to our citizens by being prudent with the funds that should be allocated to our county roads. I will make it my priority to begin the rebuilding of our county roads.
*Editors’ Note: In an effort to maintain fairness in our election coverage, we contacted all candidates running for the Camden County Sheriff's Department asking them to participate in a series of question and answer articles prior to the November General Election. The Lake Sun did not set a word limit or edit the responses in any way.