Andrew Bowman chosen as new District 3 York County Commissioner

YORK – A lengthy interview session was held Wednesday night for the seven candidates seeking to fulfill the unexpired term of the late Stan Boehr . . . and at the end, Andrew Bowman was chosen as the new York County Commissioner for District 3.

The District 3 seat was vacated upon the unexpected death of Boehr. The term is currently in the second year.

The applicants, besides Bowman, included Andrew Dunkley, Steve Warren, Brian Bedient, Shannon Graves, Jason Balaban and John Prusia.

A panel of the county clerk, county treasurer and county clerk interviewed the applicants and then cast their votes as to whom they felt should fulfill the term, per state statutes. The panelists were able to review the candidates’ resumes and cover letters in advance of the interview session.

Bowman, in introducing himself, said he knew Boehr, calling him “a great man,” and said he wanted to fulfill his term, “as I now feel I am in a position to serve this county in this capacity.”

Bowman talked about being a lifelong resident of York County, a father of five and being proud how he and his wife farm together. He talked about having a long career with Aurora Co-op and recently changing his occupational path in order to take over his family’s farm.

“This change allows me tie to serve my community, honor my father’s memory (who recently passed away) and work for the common good of our county,” Bowman said.

He is a member of the local 4-H Council, is a member of the Emmanuel Lutheran Church and he helps coach his kids’ ball teams.

In his long career with Aurora Cooperative and a key management position, he at one point was a manager of 96 employees and worked with budgets, among many other aspects of the cooperative arena.

“The biggest thing I can bring to the county board is change, and helping to administer change,” Bowman said, while introducing himself to the panel. “Change, which is active and positive. I also feel I bring a strong background to this role.”

“If chosen, what would your first item of business be?” asked York County Clerk Kelly Turner.

“Picking up where Stan (Boehr) left off,” Bowman responded, noting a number of issues have been somewhat in limbo since Boehr’s death, including property tax exemption status for Grace Children’s Home in Henderson (which is currently tabled due to a tie vote among the other four board members), the county’s zoning regulations pertaining to solar projects (with a public hearing yet to be held), “and the work he did on committees. These are things that have to be addressed immediately.”

He also noted he knows many of the county’s constituents and wants to work with them as issues arise, “so they understand what those issues are and the information behind them.”

York County Attorney Gary Olson asked all the candidates questions about how they deal with conflict, when parties don’t agree.

“My skills would come from understanding all the sides of the argument,” Bowman said, “by doing the research and making the best decisions on behalf of the constituents. My intent is to inform and discuss.”

Arrangements will be made for Bowman to take the oath of office on Thursday, May 9, and his first meeting as a county commissioner will be next Tuesday, May 14.

“If this environment, like we had tonight, was taken to a federal or state level, I can’t imagine what a better world we would have,” said York County Attorney Olson, following the vote by the panel. “This county never ceases to amaze me regarding the quality of people in this county. To all of you, please stay involved.”

Writer’s note: More of the commissioner candidate interview session will follow, in another installment to be published tomorrow.

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