Candidate: John Richards
Party Affiliation: Republican
Office sought: Decatur County Commissioner, District 3 (incumbent)
Q: What drives you to enter/remain in/return to the arena of elected public service?
A: As a United States Armed Forces veteran, I feel this service has helped me serve as your commissioner and given me a foundation to improvise, adapt to and overcome a variety of obstacles and having the ability to keep the county moving forward.
During my time in office, I have established a working relationship with governmental agencies at the federal, state and local levels, and also with private entities. This, I know, is very important to the future of Decatur County.
Additionally, I feel I have good business judgment. I do not like to create issues; I’d rather help find a solution to them. I feel I am successful in any position that requires dealing with the general public because I am diplomatic and tactful, with a firm but easy-going nature that puts people at ease without compromising my position or the integrity of the county.
Q: As someone who may be serving Decatur County in office next year, what one thing, more than any other, do you want to see accomplished?
A: I would like to see the relationship between the City of Greensburg and Decatur County nurture as both move forward to help each other, while utilizing the resources we already have between the two entities, thus saving tax dollars. We all benefit.
The City of Greensburg is a vital part of Decatur County, and with every project we work on together, I am reminded of the strides we have made to do so and how proud I am of the leadership of both of our entities to work together diligently, side-by-side, to reach a common goal.
Q: Describe your experience with business. Have you ever owned or managed one?
A: I own my own gas and water well drilling and service business. I know the hard work and dedication it takes to keep a business going and growing in the good times as well as the bad.
Richards Resource Development has built its business and its reputation on three small but powerful ideas: Service, Quality and Commitment.
That goes along with my more than 30 years experience in the construction field, in all aspects of construction, including heavy highway construction. I will continue to use my experience and dedication to help Decatur County continue to move forward by serving those residents and saving tax dollars in the process.
Q: Do you believe city or county government should contribute to charitable causes? How should this act be determined?
A: I feel they should not, unless the organization has at least a 501C3 status. I know some of these organizations do a lot of good for the community, and most of us contribute as liberally as we can. However, in some cases, the city and county still do contribute. In most cases, it is determined by the level of impact to the community the organization has.
Q: Have you previously campaigned on behalf of another candidate or cause? If so, please identify the candidate or cause.
A: My family and I have helped campaign for (Republican Gubernatorial candidate) Mike Pence and numerous local candidates.
Q: Do you believe repercussions should be reserved for elected officials who intentionally violate the Open Door Law or Public Records Act?
A: Yes, however, I feel that there is more of an issue with board-based entities where there is no oversight or control by an elected official to make sure someone is held accountable. Even then, the board can go against what they are advised by that elected official. In that case, who should be held accountable?
Q: Do you support expansion of the Greensburg Municipal Airport? What is the primary reason for your position?
A: I think an airport is vital to the growth of any area and would have an economic impact to this area. I feel that where the Greensburg airport is, it is in the wrong place, especially for an expansion of the magnitude that is being proposed.
Q: How would you increase transparency and accountability in the position you seek in Decatur County government?
A: I feel the Commissioners are very transparent. We’re always willing to talk to anyone, including the media, about what the Commissioners discuss within the parameters of the law. We try to explain answers to questions anyone may have. Unfortunately, there are people that we would rather have ask for clarification about something they may have questions about. But they speculate, and that is where we have issues. We are continually held accountable for all of our actions. We always work with County Attorney Peg Polanski to assure the public we are working within the parameters of the law. She is not afraid to voice her opinion, and I’m glad she does.
— Daily News