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Meet the candidates of District 1

Published: Wednesday, March 5, 2014 9:39 p.m. CDT

Editor’s Note – The Morris Daily Herald will feature Q & A’s with all four candidates running in the Grundy County Board District 1 Republican primary election. Today, we look at newcomers Elton Monson and Don Neushwander Jr. In Wednesday’s Morris Daily Herald, John Almer and Millie Dyer were featured.

MORRIS – Four candidates will face off in this year’s Grundy County Board District 1 Republican primary election. The candidates include two incumbents, Millie Dyer and John Almer, and two newcomers, Don Neushwander Jr. and Elton Monson. The four candidates are competing for three seats on the Grundy County Board.

Elton Monson

Monson was the superintendent of the local Veterans Assistance Commission from 1999 to 2011, when members of the commission and the county board supported new leadership. Monson continues to service local veterans through his own VAC at an office in downtown Morris. A U.S. Marine Corps veteran himself, Monson has been a veterans advocate for more than 30 years and acted as commander of several local veteran organizations. He has never served on the county board before.

Why did you decide to run for county board?

“I’ve seen the inadequacy of some of our current county board members and I would like to help correct any situations that may arise in the future. ... I believe I can help by my work, my deeds and my honesty.”

How do you feel your past experience has prepared you for this position?

“I’ve been in a position where I’ve had to be responsible and respectful and honest. I was brought up that way. Those are my goals in life and I don’t feel as though I ever want to change them.”

In your opinion, what can the county improve upon or what would you work to improve if you won this position?

“There’s unknowns. For an unknown, I would make sure that I check out the situation and see if I think the county is going in the wrong or right direction and do the things that are necessary for the people and not the county board.

“One of the things I’m aware of is there is too many members on the county board. I don’t know how I can change these things, but I’m certainly going to try – like, lowering taxes and unnecessary spending.”

You have never served on the county board before. What can you offer or bring to the county board?

“Upon any situation, you have to check everything and listen and then make the best decision for the people.”

You are currently involved in a lawsuit with Grundy County. Will that affect your ability to govern or create a conflict of interest? (Monson filed a lawsuit in December against the Grundy County Board, as well as 14 other local parties, for wrongful termination after the commission and county board terminated him in 2011.)

“Not with me. I will always fight for what is right.”

Don Neushwander Jr.

Neushwander retired from the Grundy County Sheriff’s Department in 2010 after working as a correctional officer for 20 years. He also worked full- and part-time for the local WCSJ radio station as a reporter for almost 40 years. Currently, he works part time at Greenway Motors in Morris. He has never served on the county board before.

Why did you decide to run for county board?

“I’ve always admired my father for being on the board. He took a tremendous interest in being on the county board for many, many years. I just want to follow in his footsteps and see what it’s like because I know he really enjoyed it.”

How do you feel your past experience has prepared you for this position?

“I figure I’m a man of the people, for the people and by the people. I’ve always worked for the people of Grundy County. I’ve communicated with people here in Grundy County for my whole life, and I’ve got a feeling as to how they feel about things.”

In your opinion, what can the county improve upon or what would you work to improve if you won this position?

“I think primarily, they’re working fine. I would like to see the commercialization of the Brisbin Road interchange as far as putting gas stations, restaurants or whatever needs to be. I think it’s a valuable interchange.”

You have never served on the county board before. What can you offer or bring to the county board?

“I’m a good communicator. I’ve been in the radio business for a long time and I have a communications degree. I can get the word across and I’m not afraid to speak my mind.

“I don’t like to see the politics involved that has been in effect the past few years. It’s come about that there has been some Republican and Democrat in-fighting that I’ve seen, and I don’t like it. ... I don’t believe in that type of living.”

You’re father, Don Neushwander Sr., served on the county board for several years. How do you think that will affect you if you win this position? 

“I think it will affect me good because my father was a well-respected county board member. He enjoyed his job and never missed a meeting. I just think when people see young Neushwander, I think they will respect me and be glad to have me.” 

OUTBOX

Polling information 

To vote for for your Grundy County Board District 1 Republican representative, visit your polling place on election day. 

ERIENNA I & II            White Oak School – 2001 Dupont Avenue,  Morris

MAZON I                      Township Hall – 703 Park Street, Mazon

MORRIS I, II & III         Morris Municipal Services Facility --700 N. Division St., Morris (City Hall)                

MORRIS IV & V           Grundy County Administration Center –  1320 Union Street, Morris

NORMAN I                   Township Hall – 1535 North Gonnam and Dupont Roads

SARATOGA I               Saratoga Towers – 1700 Newton Place, Morris

SARATOGA IV             Morris Fire Station 2 -- 2301 N. Ashton Road, Morris

WAUPONSEE I & II     First Christian Church – Gym - 455 W. Southmor Rd, Morris

Early voting also is open. Visit the Grundy County Courthouse at 111 E. Washington St. in Morris to cast your ballot.

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