Name: Doug Peck
Political affiliation: Republican
Personal biography: Native Kansan, married for 51 years to Jane Peck, local business owner, father of two daughters, both of whom are ESU graduates, and grandfather to 4 grandchildren. Lyon County resident and homeowner for past 42 years, graduate of Barton County Community College with a degree in criminal justice.
Occupation: Retired Master Trooper KS Highway Patrol
Campaign address: 2920 Hidden Lakes Drive, Emporia, KS 66801
Campaign phone: 620-481-6718
Campaign email: email@example.com
Education: Assoc. Degree, Criminal Justice, Barton County Community College; Graduate KS Law Enforcement Training Center; Graduate, KS Highway Patrol Training Academy; Graduate, Federal Law Enforcement Training Center; Graduate, FBI Firearms Training Course; Graduate, NRA Firearms Training Course; Graduate, Dept of Energy Training Course
Community/Public Service: Member of KS Peace Officers Assoc and Past President and Board of Directors; Member American Legion Post #5; Member KS Masonic Lodge; Volunteer Special Olympics of KS
What skills and experience do you bring to the position of County Commissioner?
I was raised in the ranching/farming community of Matfield Green, KS. I served in the U.S. Air Force for 4 years during the Viet Nam era as a non-commissioned officer in charge of communications for Tinker AF Base, OK. I was Deputy Sheriff in Chase County and while there I started the Chase County EMT Program. Entered the KS Highway Patrol in 1978, stationed in Emporia. Established the “You and the Law” for the 5th grade classes of Emporia School District. While with the KS Highway, I was elected President of the KS Peace Officers Association, and established a training budget for the 3,000+ members. I also prepared testimony and presented it to the KS Legislature on law enforcement issues.
What are the most critical financial challenges for Lyon County, and what do you propose to address them?
1. PROPERTY TAXES: I believe that every property owner that I have talked with feel that they are paying too much for their property taxes. High taxes discourage housing and business growth. We have to lower the mill levy in order to encourage growth. There are two initiatives that are working in Lyon County right now to address this issue: Road to Recovery and Ignite Emporia. With the backing of the Lyon County Commission these initiatives will succeed in their mission to help business and housing growth in Lyon County.
2. SALES TAX INCOME: Right now sales tax receipts are holding solid but that might not always be true. With the COVID-19 virus and the effects it is having on our community, people are not shopping as they have in the past. Many are turning to online shopping rather than spending their tax dollars locally. It is incumbent on all Lyon County residents to shop locally whenever possible. As a Commissioner, it will be my responsibility to ensure that every tax dollar is spent wisely, locally and is not wasted.
How will you prioritize weighty decisions such as infrastructure improvements or capital outlay projects?
The first thing to consider is price. Before any money is appropriated, the following questions should be addressed: Is the project worth the money to be spent? Is it in the budget? Is it imperative that the outlay be done as soon as possible or is there time to look for alternative funding sources? If the price is too high, is there an alternative that will meet the same needs at a lower price. We also need to consider how many citizens will be impacted by the outlay.
What is a county commissioner’s responsibility during a public health crisis?
The first responsibility is to educate myself as to the national, state and local health guidelines. It is important to insure the health and safety of all Lyon County residents. We need to solicit and follow sound advice from our health officials, taking into consideration the fact that they are experts in their fields as we look to them for information and guidance. We need to be able to adapt the information and guidelines to fit the needs of Lyon County and protect our residents and any visitors to our community.
Where do you see Lyon County in the next 5 to 10 years? How will you make your prediction(s) happen?
I would like to hope to see a 5-10% increase in business and housing during the next 5-10 years. This may seem like a lofty expectation but if goals aren’t set there is nothing to work towards. This is not something that one person can do alone, it takes a committed community with everyone willing to work together. As I have said before, I believe there are several organizations in existence right now that can help implement this goal and they should be expanded and encouraged to grow. I believe it is important to continue to keep a tight and balanced budget and give the youth of Emporia a reason to stay and work with and for their community.