By Heather M. Gray • Bluff Country News Group

Two candidates are seeking an open seat to represent the Fifth District on the Houston County Board of Commissioners currently held by Tom Bjerke of Spring Grove, who chose not to seek re-election. Dana Kjome and Lane Zaffke, both of Spring Grove, are vying to represent the district, which was increased in geographic size this past April to equalize the district according to population. It now encompasses the cities of Eitzen and Spring Grove and the townships of Black Hammer, Crooked Creek, Jefferson, Wilmington and Winnebago, although it still remains the smallest in population at 3,308.

Both candidates responded to the questionnaire from the Spring Grove Herald. Below are their responses listed in alphabetical order. Each response was limited to 150 words.

Dana Kjome, age 60 - Employed with Spring Rove School district as Head of Maintenance.

1.) Please tell us about yourself and why you are running for office?

I am a long time resident of Houston county who has served approximately 6 years as an elected official (city council) for the city of Spring Grove. That experience taught me many things about how decisions are/are not made. Using these experiences, I do not feel I can answer these questions that are being asked on this survey, and I will tell you why.

When I was first elected to city government, I knew nothing about how things were run or paid for. Knowing this, I always asked questions, either at council meetings or of department heads or the administrator or citizens.

Eventually, I was able to make sound, well thought-out decisions. I learned that the more questions asked, the more knowledge of this topic was attained.

Making a decision about any issue cannot be made until I feel that I have all there is to know about that issue.

That is how I will serve the citizens of Houston County, if I am elected. At this time I don't have any answers for the many issues facing the county. But when and if I am elected to this office, I will ask the tough questions, I will read any and all information I can get my hands on concerning whatever topic is on the table.

I will listen to input from my fellow commission members, concerned citizens and people who have served for the county for many years, ie: department heads, employees, etc. By doing this, I should be able to make sound, well thought out decisions of any concerns that come across the commissioners' table.

In conclusion, I would like the citizens of Houston County to know that I will make every effort to serve them as county commissioner in a sound, fiscally conservative and common sense approach.

The issues facing our county are important. Some are controversial. Some will affect our taxes. Some will affect our lifestyle. But I look forward to taking them on and resolving them.

Together with the current commissioners, we can and will continue to make Houston County a great place to work and live in!