Paul DeGeest, candidate for the Mahaska County Board of Supervisors and former sheriff, is asking that question in relationship to the county's need for a new communication system to serve first responders, law enforcement, fire districts and residents.
If elected, Paul would advocate for a digital system to provide coverage for 100 percent of the county, including areas that are typically underserved. Is it acceptable to have partial coverage in the event of a fire, a caregiver needs help, an accident occurs on one of our roads, or a domestic situation occurs?
Paul's opponent Steve Wanders believes it's fine to put 10 percent of our residents at risk by saving money on a communication system.
As a former sheriff, Paul De Geest has traveled every mile of Mahaska County and knows from first-hand experience what it's like to need a police back-up, a fire truck or ambulance, and not have adequate communication service. There are many situations which simply don't allow for an officer to use two hands to call on a cell phone if radio equipment fails.
In Paul's own words, "as sheriff, my primary job was to investigate situations and gather information from all sides."
In addition to his service in law enforcement, Paul has proven his ability to manage budgets. In 12 years of leading the Sheriff's Department, Paul developed multi-million dollar budget and 12 years out of 12 came in under budget.
Willie Van Weelden is also working to improve emergency communication on behalf of residents and public safety professionals in the County. He is working to gather information on digital systems and learning how they function so we have the best system possible.
If you want supervisors who are fiscally responsible, listen to all sides and have decades of experience protecting the lives of Mahaska County residents, join us in voting for Paul DeGeest and Willie Van Weelden on June 5.
Josh Johnson, Adam Haroldson, Shane Glandon, Tim Nance, David Christenson, Daniel Hoy, Mark Neff, Taelor Huffman, Lewis Opheim, Missy Neff, Steve Gerard, Chris Arkema, Alicia Arkema, Brad Labehan, Ruth Moore, Dale Moore, Kelly Mick, Josh Crouse, Chris Latham and Teresa Gerard.