by Ivan Foley
The race for presiding commissioner has the potential to get crowded in Platte County.
On Friday, another candidate emerged. Ron Schieber, current state representative in District 14 serving southern Platte County and a small portion of Clay County, told The Landmark he will be a candidate for presiding commissioner.
Schieber is the second Republican to announce the intention of running for the spot currently held by Jason Brown.
Last month, Jim Plunkett, former second district county commissioner, said he will be running for presiding commissioner.
Meanwhile, Brown, the Republican incumbent first elected in 2010, has not yet publicly announced whether he will seek reelection.
Schieber was first elected state representative in 2010 and is in the final year of his second term.
“I had decided after last legislative session that I wasn’t going to run again,” Schieber said. He said that decision was made because he wanted to be in town more often--and not in Jefferson City--to spend time with his two youngest daughters, who are age 7 and 6.
He said his decision to run for presiding commissioner had only been formulated within the past couple of weeks.
“About a week and a half ago I had some folks approach me,” Schieber said on Saturday.
He said he has not yet had time to formulate a detailed platform, but a couple of general areas of concern came to light.
“I believe we need to build more consensus on the commission and in the courthouse. We need to communicate with other officeholders,” he said.
Also, he said he would work to help develop a long range plan for fundamental services.
He said he looks forward to campaigning.
“When I go to the doors, I can connect with people and I will be truthful with them,” Schieber remarked.
In regard to the recent decision to allow the high density housing development in southern Platte County known as Chapel Ridge, Schieber said he would have tried to come to a negotiated conclusion that would have left opponents less unhappy than they are.
“When you negotiate, everybody walks away a little bit unhappy, and I don’t know that that happened in this instance. But I’m not on the commission and I don’t have all the details that the commission had,” Schieber said.
He indicated he’ll begin formulating his detailed positions and platform in the near future.
“I don’t yet know all the ins and outs of county government, but I’m a quick learner and I’ll work hard to get up to speed.
“I do believe we need to build more consensus in the courthouse. And we need to have a longer range look and a long range plan for the fundamental services. I’m going to be upfront with people, tell them where I’m at. As I learn issues I’ll develop my platform on those details,” he said.
He identified the proposed expansion of the county jail as an important issue on the horizon.
“The jail is a decision that’s going to have to be made. I think it’s a big one. We need to look at what we need and not what we want,” he said.
Schieber is a mortgage banker. He and his wife, Stephanie, have five daughters: Rachel, 26; Kelsey, 25; Heather, 22; Madison, 7; and Alysa, 6.
Candidate filing for county offices opens next Tuesday, Feb. 25 and remains open through March 25.