The race for County Board District 3 will see a three-way race on the Republican ticket at the primary election March 15, 2016.
Phil Chapman, who retired after 29 years of federal service and was elected as vice chairman of the Madison County Republican Party, recently announced his bid for the seat held by incumbent Bill Meyer, who has held the seat for the past 15 years.
In his announcement, Chapman stated that his decision to run was encouraged by “numerous Republican precinct committeemen and leaders,” and that his focus would be on lowering property taxes significantly and limiting county government.
In his announcement, Chapman echoed what he called a public sentiment that Meyer had “lost his way” by "voting like a Democrat" instead of a Republican.
Chapman said that Meyer had continually sided with board members who have supported big spending.
Meyer told the Record that Chapman is misinformed.
“That is completely false," Meyer said. "In Madison County there are nine Republicans on the board and 20 Democrats. I think one of the things Mr. Chapman doesn’t understand, with all due respect, is that there are many entities of government and independents, most of which are Republican-based. In order for a Republican in Madison County to get grants and benefits for the people that live in District 3, you can’t go into the Board and tell them how it’s going to be done.
“You have to have a technique of working together. You have to be willing to work with Democrats.”
Meyer went on to state that he represents many different townships, cities, schools and fire departments, and he tries to make decisions that will help each entity and individual in Madison County. And in order to do so, he said he has to find common ground with Democrats on the board.
“You can’t bang your fist and make demands, not when you’re in the minority,” he said. “I’ve learned that over time, and I’ve done very, very well for my constituents, which is what it’s all about. It’s all about trying to help the people in District 3, and I’ve tried to do that in the past 15 years. I’m proud of my record.”
Chapman also said in his statement that last year, Meyer voted for additional fee increases which would cost Madison County residents more than $500,000 per year.
Meyer said that as far as fees are concerned, people in the county would have to pay more fees for different services that they need. But any fee increases were made to prevent taxpayers from having to pay for services they may not use.
Meyer wants the people in Madison County to remember that he has been a big supporter of lowering taxes since 2000.
“Sometimes you don’t succeed at getting as much as you want, but I’ve been consistent in trying to get taxes lowered,” Meyer said.
This year, Meyer said that the Madison County Board got taxes lowered by 2.5 percent, which he said was the result of working together across party lines to chop the budget.
Chapman concluded his announcement by promising to lower the tax levy or return the excess money to the taxpayers.
Rodney Dustmann is the other Republican candidate who has announced his intention to run in the primary. He could not be reached for comment.