Last night the League of Women Voters held their first of two candidate forums for the upcoming November elections.
Those running for various county commissioner seats, as well as Alpena Township Trustees met at the Alpena County Library, to field questions from those in attendance about their platforms and views.
Questions ranged from whether or not the county should construct a new jail, to should plastic bags be outlawed at stores to combat littering.
Candidates campaigning for District One and District Five County Commissioners took to the stage first to answer questions.
When it came to the topic of possibly constructing a new county jail, the candidates shared similar views.
Candidate Bradley McRoberts has spent 18 years working at the sheriff’s office, and is fully behind the project.
“The County doesn’t have any bonds for the hospital – we really need to get serious about the county jail. Because, number one, I believe the hospital wants that property. Number two, it’s built on a swap, and it’s slowly sinking in there. Roof leaks all the time – it’s a nightmare. Absolutely 100 percent yes we need to work on a new jail.”
Current District One Commissioner Jeff Kowalski agreed that the county should pursue a new jail, and that the commissioners are searching for possible funding options.
“I do agree completely that we do need a new jail. How we pay for it is another thing. Like Mary Hess had mentioned, there is a committee looking into that right now. Whether we’re going to look into that through bond measure, as my opponent mentioned the hospital bond is not there anymore – or it’s set to be ‘de–feesed.’ Whether we’d be looking at doing that through a millage – it’s just not quite clear to the commissioners how we’d pay for that.”
The next League of Women Voters forum will be held on Tuesday October 25th at 7 P.M. at the county library.