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The Lake News Online
  • Forum presents Camden County presiding commissioner candidates

  • With about 150 residents in attendance on Tuesday night, the two candidates running for Camden County Presiding Commissioner spoke about their hopes for the county and tackled various other topics.
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  • With about 150 residents in attendance on Tuesday night, the two candidates running for Camden County Presiding Commissioner spoke about their hopes for the county and tackled various other topics.
    During the candidate forum hosted by Lake Sun and the Camdenton Area Chamber, both Kris Franken and Greg Hasty answered ten questions each posed to them by moderator Sam Fluery.
    The forum set the stage for what is best described as a contentious race. In opening remarks, Franken focused on his past experience prior to being elected to his first term in office and he feels the county has accomplished since then.
    Hasty also highlighted his past accomplishments and lifelong residency in Camden County, he made it clear in his opening remarks that he views the current Camden County government as incompetent.
    The presiding commissioner's race will be decided on Aug. 5. Franken and Hasty are both Republicans. There are no Democrats running for the seat.
    Here is a look at two of the questions posed to the candidates during the forum.Each candidate had three minutes to answer each question.
     
     
    Q: How do you, as a candidate view political action committees organized to support and/or oppose local candidates and do they serve a purpose on the county level? 
    Franken
    A: “Well as far as I know this is the first time I am aware that there is a PAC on a local level. My thinking that I would say regarding this is that at least you do know who is doing what. The PAC is transparent, they are filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission, they have to disclose contributions, they had to disclose any money they spend and where it is spent, they have to disclose where that money came from, unlike anonymous websites that have circulated in our community over the last, I'm going to say, four to six years, where people hide behind internet, spend money to host those things, and don't disclose who they are. So, in my opinion, if you want to be involved in the political process that's the way it needs to occur. No different than a candidate has to disclose or they should disclose the sources of their income and where their expenses go. So, I do not always agree with everything everybody does but I am respectful of the process that anybody that is willing to move forward in that process follow the rules whether they are for me or against me, I think it is good that they are involved.“
     
    Hasty
    A: “Well, to be honest with you I never thought that I would be in this position of running for office, but that being what it is I am amazed that a political action committee has been formed for apparently the primary purpose of defeating me. None of these people have ever asked me my views. None of them have ever sat down and talked to me. Ya know, they have their political views that they hold that they have never disclosed what they are. My views are pretty plain and pretty clear. Also, regard to disclosure, you know I publish my report and I described everyone that supported me and in my next report coming up there is going to be some other people supporting me. One of those will be a guy that I have worked for for 25 years doing land development and the other one will be the Lake of the Ozarks Board of Realtors and the Missouri board of realtors who just endorsed me. So, Political Action Committees, they are just a part of our society that what we uphold with our rights and each action committee has stated purpose. I am thankful for this board, the board of realtors, and a man that I regard as my second father.” 
    Page 2 of 3 -  
    Q: What is your position is on the proposed transportation sales tax and what  is your plan or vision for infrastructure improvements that are needed in Camden County over the next four years if the sales tax passes?
    Hasty
    A: “Simple statements... If the sales tax passes, and I'll be honest with you, we need roads in this county. Our state is behind on  infrastructure. If we do not do something soon, we are going to be really in desperate shape. I am just telling you that I'm for it and I'm also telling you this much, the most important thing that we need to do if that sales tax passes before anything else occurs is to fix the debacle at the Key Largo Intersection. Not only is this killing people, but it has cost unbelievable destruction to our entire Lake of the Ozarks economy. Drive down there and look and see what is going on. I was down there this Sunday at 9 o'clock and drove through there for two and a half miles and what did I see? Counting my car, I only seen six cars on the entire stretch of that way that used to have thousands of cars running through there. Lots of people all over the lake count on Osage Beach and we have just destroyed a big part of that area. We have to do everything we can as a county and a group of citizens to support them and to really go after MoDOT. This needs to be fixed and it needs to be fixed now.”
     
    Franken
    A: “Well, I do sit on the transportation advisory commission for Camden County which is a direct conduit for MoDOT for projects and proporitizatidons and we were involved, deeply involved in a lot of meetings and it was a rushed job to get a list prioritized to MoDOT for the projects. It is correct--- we do need to do something about infrastructure here in the county. I'm not happy with the project list the way it came out. Camden County and the Lake Ozark Council of Local Governments as a whole did not fair as well as I would have liked for us to. The bulk of the dollars are going to be spent on I-70, Route 63 and Route 50. While those are important routes, the lake would have liked to have seen some additional projects in our area. One of the things that needs to be noted is that five percent of those funds that are generated by that sales tax will come to the county. In round dollars that will be somewhere around $450,000 of extra money that Camden County is going to have in its coffers to go to Road and Bridge at their discretion. They can use those on Road and Bridge Projects if they want to. So, that's an extra 4.5 million dollars to do that work over the 10 year life of that tax. So, when you are evaluating your vote based on that 3/4 of a cent sales tax, don't just look at those projects, keep in mind that whoever is working in the commission office is going to have some additional funds at their disposal to move forward in paving roads, building bridges and doing things that need to be done. I want to address the Key Largo issue, the reason the Key Largo was not on the list is because the city of Osage Beach is engaging with MoDOT in the cost-share program. In order to fix that, they need to get an outer road put in and try to create some connectivity and fix that issue. MoDOT has suspended that cost-share program while this 3/4 cent sales tax is on the table. Now, I'm not really sure why they did that, but I think they are probably trying to encourage people to vote for the sales tax. That is the fact of the matter regarding Key Largo. It was not thrown at the bottom of a list, it wasn't ignored. Further, it's a city issue. That interchange is located within the city limits of Osage Beach and is not within the jurisdiction of Camden County and while we have been supportive at the county level — I've come to the hearings and have done what I needed to do at the request of Mayor Lyons and other people that are in leadership at Osage Beach---it is still a process that we have to work through and we have to work with them and MoDOT. Ultimately, Osage Beach needs to be at the helm, driving the ship that gets that project fixed and makes it safer and does the things that it needs to do. Once we get passed the sales tax, we have been told that the cost-share program will re-instituted and we will be able to move forward then with that mode to fix that issue. Thank you.”
    Page 3 of 3 - The Lake Sun and the Camdenton Area Chamber will be hosting another candidate forum on July 10 featuring the candidates running for Camden County Prosecuting Attorney. The forum will be held at the Camdenton Middle School Little Theater at 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public
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