Op-Ed: New Commissioner plays

Olney voters will elect more than a maintainer of roads when they head to the polls this week for early voting in the May 28 runoff election for Precinct 3 County Commissioner - they will be choosing the person who will help decide the fate of several vital issues facing Young County. That person should be Scott “Scooter” Philipp.

Mr. Philipp, a U.S. Marine veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and his wife Maranda are raising three children in our community.

He worked as a hand for the current Precinct 3 Commissioner Stacey Rogers, and now raises cattle and sells hay with his father, George Philipp. Mr. Philipp is often out and about in the community - talking to fellow members of St. Luke Lutheran Church each Sunday – and making deliveries around the County.

Mr. Philipp said he was inspired to run for the post because “it’s time for my generation to step up.” It seems fair that Mr. Philipp and his generation get to decide how to handle issues that deeply affect them and will for many years to come.

The Precinct 3 Commis- sioner will help shape the finances of the Olney and Newcastle Independent School Districts and Olney Hamilton Hospital through the County’s management of its relationships with wind farm and hydrogen plant owners who pay into those tax districts. The decades-long bond issues that are funding the new hospital and school facilities should be managed by people who will repay the debts and manage those facilities.

The new Commissioner will help decide whether people with mental illness will continue to land in jails and hospital emergency rooms or receive the care they need to live healthy, productive lives. Mr. Philipp is familiar with combat trauma and says he will support efforts to create more effective, less expensive solutions to the County’s lack of care.

The new Commissioner will help solve the County’s lack of access to juvenile detention facilities. He will help decide on how the County spends its budget to meet changing demands of the criminal justice, infrastructure and governmental service sectors in the best interests of all citizens of Young County. He will help the County plan for emergencies - wildfires, tornadoes, droughts - and decide on the best use of our combined manpower.

To do the job effectively, the new Commissioner should be among his constituents on a daily basis and subject to the decisions he and his fellow Commissioners will make on these critical issues, now and into the future. For those reasons, voters should consider supporting Mr. Philipp for Precinct 3 Commissioner.