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The Lake News Online
  • Our view: Celebrate July 4th by becoming an active citizen

  • Many of us will gather with family and friends this weekend to celebrate Independence Day. A holiday that tends to resonate all that is good in America. It is also a time for reflection about the rights Americans enjoy.
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  • Many of us will gather with family and friends this weekend to celebrate Independence Day. A holiday that tends to resonate all that is good in America. It is also a time for reflection about the rights Americans enjoy.
    Now, more than any other time in recent years, Camden County voters are facing a critical election for presiding commissioner. Who will represent Camden County for the next four years and what his agenda will be?
    The Independence Day holiday is a good reminder that we should not only remember those who have fought for and made our freedom possible but also a time to make a conscientious decision to exercise our right to vote.
    As the race unfolds, incumbent Kris Franken appears to be focusing on his track record and the state of the county while challenger Greg Hasty is running on a platform of what he describes as 'incompetence' in county government.
    The difference between incumbent Franken and challenger Hasty may, in reality, be only a matter of a few degrees.
    Both candidates have supported moving towards the county ending the moratorium on acceptance of new roads. Neither Franken nor Hasty see the county commission taking a role in actively promoting the lake area as a vacation and retirement destination.
    Where we have noticed the two Republican candidates diverge — slightly — was on how to support the economy of Camden County.
    Franken takes a more center right approach to government's role in development, while Hasty is just a step or two farther to the "right."
    In a recent forum sponosred by the Lake Sun and Camdenton Area Chamber of Commerce , the incumbent supported the use of government incentives to promote development and specific projects — as he has done during his tenure in office.
    Franken also supported the use of tax increment financing (TIF) districts for commercial developments as they are currently the county's only "tool in the toolbox" for incentives.
    Hasty's comments leaned to a more limited use of incentives, instead seeking to promote development through ensuring an environment conducive to growth.
    Hasty's position was TIFs should only be used if the proposed development was a "game changer" for the area and for the Lake of the Ozarks. The challenger's focus was more on reforming planning and zoning — creating a level playing field for all applicants and people within the P&Z district and relaxing regulations on infrastructure to promote growth in outlying areas of the district.
    As the campaign progresses, it will be interesting to see where the views of the candidates differ and if there continues to be a trend of similarity.
     
    Page 2 of 2 - Editor's note: Throughout the month of July on Wednesdays the Lake Sun will be running a series of articles with the candidates' answers in their own words on topics of interest and importance to Camden County. Our goal is to provide readers with the information that they need to make an informed decision.

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