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Commissioner candidates talk plans

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Posted: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 9:05 am

MOSES LAKE - Candidates for Grant County commissioner presented their views on economic and social issues facing the county during a public candidate's forum held Monday night at the Moses Lake Museum and Art Center.

Incumbent Grant County Commissioner Carolann Swartz highlighted the importance of economic development and tourism in the area during the forum.

Her opponent, James Liebrecht, was out of town on a prior commitment. However, he had his son James Liebrecht Jr. read a statement on his behalf.

According to the statement, Liebrecht will focus on the county's public defense system and balancing the budget if he is elected.

"I want to make a difference," he said in his statement. "I think I can bring a connection between city and county."

Liebrecht said he will make public defense a priority if elected. Taxpayer money is often wasted when trials get deferred or criminals receive lighter sentences, he said in his statement.

When those convicted of crimes end up back on the street to commit crimes again, the county's residents are at a disadvantage, Liebrecht said.

"We have to ensure our citizens have justice," said Liebrecht.

Liebrecht also said overtaxing Grant County residents wasn't the solution to balancing the county's budget.

"I'm deeply rooted in our community and only wish to see its people prosper," read Liebrecht's statement.

Swartz said she is very interested in continuing to work on developing the county's economy if she is re-elected.

Creating a larger, more diverse job sector will benefit the county for years to come, she said.

"We're exporting our greatest resources, our young workers and our children," she said. "If we don't have jobs for them, they are going to go to Seattle, to Portland and elsewhere, where there are jobs."

Swartz stressed the importance of attracting new businesses to the area, as well as enhancing the agricultural community that is already here. She said the biggest challenge the county has is attracting new and diverse businesses.

"Our challenge is to make the world know that we are open for business," she said. "I'm enthusiastic about it."

Tourism can also play a role in improving the area's economy, she said.

"We have such assets in our county, so many waterways, so many vistas and so many wonderful towns and venues," said Swartz. "We're wide open for business."

She said facilities like the Gorge Amphitheater have the potential to draw visitors to Grant County. Money they spend while they're in the area benefit the entire county, said Swartz.

"It's an industry that's huge, and I encourage it," she said.

  • Discuss

Welcome to the discussion.


  • Aristotle posted at 12:02 pm on Thu, Oct 11, 2012.

    Aristotle Posts: 280

    I note that Katana is closing its Ephrata wind tower facility and laying off 80 people on Nov 1st. I wonder if the county commissioners could buy it as economic development, and use their management skills at running it profitably and expanding it.
    Or would that simply mean they would find jobs for their family,friends, Canfield & Associates, and their campaign supporters?

  • Beelzebub posted at 1:06 pm on Mon, Oct 8, 2012.

    Beelzebub Posts: 118

    Here are some facts.On 9-28-2012 in the CBH there were 4 pages of legal notices listing 188 names totaling $337,522 worth of foreclosures/liens on properties in Grant County that are overpriced, overassessed, and the owners cannot pay. Is this the economic development the incumbent commisssioners are talking about?
    When I asked a commissioner this was the response:What has this to do with us? We have a government to run!

  • medodo posted at 3:55 pm on Thu, Oct 4, 2012.

    medodo Posts: 62

    Talk about platitudes! Here is a real politician - I, personally, me, will put all the criminals in jail (even though I have no control over those elected Judges, and they have manditory "guidelines" from the Legislature) and lower taxes for everyone. I'll make sure Santa visits every house and there is a chicken in every pot. Anything else you want, you got it.
    At least Our existing commissioner has fact based hopes for the County

  • K McLeod posted at 7:40 pm on Wed, Oct 3, 2012.

    K McLeod Posts: 293

    Grant County GOP chairwoman states:

    "we have two candidates from the same party competing for one position,” says Dani Bolyard, Chair of the Grant County Republican Party. “Since both are qualified Republican candidates, it must be left up to the voters to choose which one is more qualified for the position"

    How come they endorsed Schwartz then? Hmm...........

  • K McLeod posted at 7:37 pm on Wed, Oct 3, 2012.

    K McLeod Posts: 293

    These commissioners are idiots. They don't "develop" squat (that matters).
    They DO play legal games with law abiding citizens that they have a problem with though.
    These two bit politicians could only make it in lil ol Grant County [wink]

    When they take credit for things that they don't have much to do with, it reminds me of Obama claiming "you didn't build that".

  • Amarshel posted at 11:07 am on Wed, Oct 3, 2012.

    Amarshel Posts: 51

    It sad that Leibrecht didn't attend, but even more sad was the jay Inslee like incumbent. Taking credit for economic growth has very little to do county policy and more to do with cheap operating costs. "Facilities like the Gorge Amphitheater have the potential to draw visitors to Grant County. Money they spend while they're in the area benefit the entire county, It's an industry that's huge, and I encourage it." This statement is the equilent of saying roads move people and I encourage it " Wow, amazing, but we'll ignore that you guys limited the amount of concerts that can be held there by not allowing sufficient security funds through the sheriff's office. This you had an affect and it was negative. I'm not on board with Jim, but at this point I think anyone is better than the incumbent and her defense of our embarassment Prosecuter Angus Lee.