Deborah Major is challenging incumbent Councilwoman Charmian Klem for the District 3 seat on the Dubois County Council.
Major, who is recently retired from a career in business and project management, said she became interested in the seat after she heard the council was working on a comprehensive wage and compensation study. “I had participated in a similar study 20-plus years ago at a hospital where I worked,” she explained. “I then started paying attention to additional news from the council including the budgets, possible construction projects and capital purchases. My 38 years of management in hospitals, business and higher education has given me knowledge of all the things that come before the council.”
Prompted by this background and her free time, Major decided to become involved to see if she could help.
Klem, who led the efforts to complete the wage and compensation study, explained that in four years she has gained a good base to continue making good decisions for the future of the county. “If I would not be re-elected, the county would be losing someone who has invested an incredible amount of time into making educated decisions on behalf of the taxpayers and has saved tens of thousands of dollars by taking the initiative to lead a group that completed our compensation study ourselves,” Klem explained. “I have loads of energy and passion to give toward local government and would be honored to continue working hard for Dubois County.”
Klem said moving forward her concerns are continuing to improve the government services available to the county residents.
“I think we are doing a great job,” she said. “We have hard-working dedicated employees who truly serve our county. Many offices are implementing technology to better serve residents and make information more readily accessible and modernize how their offices’ function.”
Major said her experience with leading major construction projects and developing budgets will be important for the county with some of the projects being considered and studied like the jail update that is being mandated.
“The major concerns I have in the county include the jail and equitable uses of county resources and roads. We are fortunate in this county that we have resources to address the needs of the county,” she said. “My experiences and talent are focused on budgets and construction. I have been the person to prepare budgets during my management years and I have participated in four construction projects.”
Major said she is also concerned about the county’s tax abatement program and its continued viability for economic development as well as maintenance of the tax base.
Both candidates support the continued development of the MidState Corridor. Klem took part in the recent decision to support the Tier I Environmental Impact Study for the route with $1.75 million over three years.
“I support the effort to develop better connectivity through Dubois County north to south. Heavy truck and commuter traffic snaking along one corridor (U.S. 231) through Huntingburg and Jasper for generations to come is not a forward-thinking plan, in my opinion,” Klem said. “Our communities are growing and improved infrastructure is a natural needed consequence.”
She added that she doesn’t like the potential impact the corridor could have on farm ground and homes but said the long-term vision of connecting the community is an important consideration for the future.
“As much as I dislike the idea of farm ground and homes being covered by a road, I think of all the federally and state-funded roads we currently have connecting our communities and county to surrounding areas,” she explained. “Which one of those roads would we pinpoint and say, ‘It was a terrible idea to put State Road X through Dubois County?’ I can’t identify one state road in our great county that hasn’t greatly improved the lives of a vast majority of the people.”
Major agreed adding that the least disruptive route through the county should be considered for the MidState Corridor.
You can find more information on these candidates below.