Name: Bob Kmiec

Age: 62

Political party: Republican

Hometown: Walnut

Political Experience: 12 years on the USD 248 Board of Education and 12 years as County Commissioner

Name: Bob Kmiec
Age: 62
Political party: Republican
Hometown: Walnut
Political Experience: 12 years on the USD 248 Board of Education and 12 years as County Commissioner

1. What are your thoughts on county’s budget and what specific changes would you support?

Every year we spend hours scrutinizing the budget. We review every budget thoroughly and seek input from elected and appointed officials. We are somewhat limited to our sources of revenue. The two main sources of revenue are real estate and personal property taxes. Therefore we must learn to live within our means or raise the mill levies. That is not something we should even consider in our economic times. What we need to do is look at downsizing county government and continually look at reducing spending. Another area to look at is jobs and industrial growth. Industry depends on reliable ways to transport their products so we must continue to push for improvements to both 69 and 400 highways which are our two main transportation arteries.  This will help to bring about industrial growth and create more jobs within our area and county which in turn will increase revenue and promote economic growth.

2. Crawford County Commissioners are responsible for overseeing the county’s Road and Bridge crews. Would you support any change to the current structure. If so, why and if not, why not?

Change or ways to improve what we do is something we look at constantly. While attending state commissioner conferences I have had the opportunity to visit with other commissioners throughout Kansas and was very interested in learning how other counties manage their road and bridge crews. There are townships that are still responsible for road maintenance. Others are divided into two or three crews and some have road supervisors. The county engineer positions are very limited due to cutbacks in budget. There are also counties that manage their crews just as we do in Crawford County. My district is comprised of approximately 700 miles. The road foreman stays in constant contact and keeps me apprised of road conditions and maintenance requirements. With this type of management we are able to achieve closer contact with employees and constituents. We have always shared equipment and worked and planned on major projects together. I am not against change if it can make things better or be more efficient. I do not believe a county engineer would be a big improvement as my opponent states. In the first place, we have an engineer available to us at all times. Secondly, we cannot afford to create another high paying job when we need to be trying to reduce spending.  The cost of an engineer would be equal to six or seven hundred loads of rock or one hundred loads of asphalt. Which would be most beneficial to the county?

3. Would you support a 3 percent deference to local companies on bid process?

We are already following that concept. Although our normal policy is to accept the lowest bid, we have at times varied from that policy. We have to make sure we are getting the best products for the taxpayer’s dollar. Therefore if a bid does not meet our specs or is of lesser quality we have taken another bid within a reasonable percentage point. Common sense tells us this is the most practical approach for bidding. Also we try to keep bids in the local area as much as possible in order to keep our tax dollars close to home.