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1/24/2013 Commissionersí goals for 2013:

Budget oversight, a user-friendly airport, upgrading county roads among the ambitions

County commissioners Lynn Attebery, Allen Butler and Kit Shy contemplate what they hope to see transpire in Custer County in 2013, and all three agree that for the year to be a positive one they must work together as a team.

“We all bring strengths to the table,” said Butler, “and I believe that when you work on those strengths then the weaknesses disappear.” Butler just started his third year in office as district one commissioner.

Attebery, who just began his second four-year term in office as district two commissioner, agreed saying, “I think we are all pretty much on the same page. I look forward to us working together.”

Shy, who was sworn into office earlier this month, is not new to the job as he was district three commissioner from 2004-2007 and chose not to seek a second term. “I want to bring a little humor to the job,” said Shy. “We can still get the job done without being so serious all the time.”

The three also agreed that being fiscally responsible when it comes to the county’s overall budget is important.

“Budget oversight and keeping the budget balanced will always be my priority,” commented Butler. “We have to make every dollar count and keep it balanced,” said Butler.

Part of being fiscally responsible, said Shy, “is to examine the relationships we have with other agencies to make sure they are beneficial to us.” Shy also noted it is important to carefully review state mandates that are also often expensive to counties and not beneficial.

Attebery said he would continue to encourage county department heads to find ways to save dollars. “They’ve been doing a great job,” said Attebery.

All three commissioners also said they were committed to listening to the concerns of constituents.

“I encourage the public to come to our meetings,” said Shy. “We are available to the public to hear their concerns and answer their questions,” agreed Attebery.

Another thing the three commissioners agreed upon was that continuing to upgrade all county facilities was important. Those upgrades, said Attebery, include energy efficiency, and safety and public access upgrades.

“There are a lot of fun things in the works for this year,” said Attebery, “changes with the courthouse annex and a park in Wetmore.”

“We have to maintain and improve our services and facilities in a fiscally responsible way,” said Shy. Shy proved that comment by sharing the chairs located inside the courthouse he just refurbished. Shy recently took the parts from broken chairs that were in storage and put the usable parts together to make new chairs. Three of those recycled chairs are now housed in the commissioners’ room.

Moreover, said Shy, “I think the people will find that the airport will continue to be user-friendly to pilots and it will be more accessible to the general public.”

Butler said he is excited about working with the newly created airport advisory board. “I look forward to working with this highly qualified board,” said Butler. He noted that Bob Jolley remains on the board and will be the manager and quality fuel control supervisor.

And, said Butler, the crack seal/fog coat taxiway/runway maintenance project is a go for 2013. Butler said he recently met with the state aeronautics division in Denver regarding the $125,000 grant for the project and the division has agreed to allow the county to put in very few cash match dollars.

Additionally, said Butler, the county road and bridge department will be able to do the runway/taxiway crack seal work. “Division said they didn’t expect anybody else to do it,” said Butler.

Continuing upgrades to county maintained roads is also on the commissioners’ to-do list for 2013. “Dollars for the road and bridge department come from various sources,” said Butler, “and those dollars seem to be dwindling because costs keep rising,” said Butler.

Butler also said he would like to see three county residents qualify for the Upper Arkansas Area Council of Governments Mutual-Self Help Housing program so three such homes could be built in Custer County. “I am going to do all I can to see that happen,” said Butler.

Working with the local Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion organizations is also important to Butler. “I want to see our veterans get the good quality health care and other services they deserve,” said Butler.

Attebery also said he would continue to work toward easier access to public lands without disturbing the natural environment.

Shy said he thought it was important for the commissioners to get more involved in the local 4-H program because youth are the future.