McLean, Williams, Odegard face off in commission race: Sheri Williams
Last updated 10/13/2022 at 11:22am
Hill County Commission Executive Assistant Sheri Williams, a Democrat, is challenging in this year's election incumbent Hill County Commissioner Diane McLean, a Republican, along with local independent Les Odegard.
Williams said she feels she's the best person for the job primarily because of the rapport she has with the community and the employees of the county, which she said gives her a good idea of the kind of change both groups want to see, things she can work toward.
She also said her time at the county has provided her with institutional knowledge that will allow her to hit the ground running.
She said the county is dealing with a lot right now, and employee retention is at the top of the list at the moment, with the government seeing a significant exodus of valuable employees, employees she thinks need to be treated better and listened to by the commission.
Williams said the issue of the county's low wages is probably the most immediate and serious concern, and one she believes can be solved even with the tight budgets the county has to work with, giving raises to county employees evenly across the departments.
She said there are a lot of people she's talked to in the community who want to see marijuana sales tax money go toward raising wages to a level that is comparable with other similar counties in the state.
She said a lot of inefficiencies exist at the county that could expand the amount of money and time the have to work with, specifically pointing to a recent instance in which the commission had a more than half-hour long argument about a $4.87 claim, one that required the presence of multiple county officials.
Williams said the ongoing lack of trust between the commission and employees and the damage to morale it causes affects practically everything the county does, so it's not just important to the people who work there but the whole community that relies on the services of the county.
She said she wants more people from the public and employees to attend the commission's functions and give their input on the various issues they deal with.
"Come to agenda meetings, come to the board meetings," she said.
Williams said she wants more transparency at the commission, which she said is not meeting its legal requirements when it comes to posting notices and holding meetings, something that will change if she is elected.
She said she spent a significant portion of the last two years at the county getting the commission's minutes up to date, working through a four-year backlog of untaken minutes as well as trying to keep up to date on current minutes.
She also talked about her time as the county's safety coordinator setting up their successful WorkSafe Champions classes as well as getting the county a recurring $3,000 grant for safety equipment.
Williams said the Hill County Health Department's handling of the pandemic was perfectly good given the restrictions and pressures they were under.
She said she will follow what the constituents want to do with revenue from the marijuna tax on this year's ballot if it is passed, again referencing her belief that the county needs to be more transparent in its dealings with the public.
When asked about what can be done on the local level to combat the effects of climate change, she said she wishes for more solar and wind power in the area, but the matter is irrelevant to the job of commissioners and she doesn't know why the question would even be asked.
High School: Havre High School
Degrees: Working on degrees in business and criminal justice
Military Service: None
Previous offices held: None