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Gage County Board chairman seeking reelection

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The chairman of the Gage County Board of Supervisors is seeking an additional term in the coming election.

Erich Tiemann recently filed for the district 3 seat on the board.

Tiemann said one of the most rewarding aspects of being on the board has been leading the finance committee.

“That’s been one of the places I believe I’ve been able to help the county as much as anything,” he said. “We’ve had multiple hardships here in the last half a decade and we’ve worked to control spending as well as pay off our debt, while still being able to do fairly large-scale projects for the county.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time on the board, working with the citizens of Gage County and having a voice as things come up.”

The hardships were in reference to the $28.1 million Beatrice 6 judgment, which the county is now more than halfway to paying off. The judgment against Gage County in the case of six people wrongfully convicted of murder is being paid off with money raised from increased property taxes, but also a sales tax and state assistance.

“We will be paying that off sooner with the additional $4 million from the state and the sales tax coming in,” he said. “We will be paying that off sooner than we had ever anticipated. This will be paid off in the next election cycle. We’re shy of three years now that it will be paid off.”

While the state assistance is a major asset, Tiemann said he’s been in contact with District 30 Sen. Myron Dorn, and does not anticipate another bill this year for even more funding from the state.

“It is nothing short of amazing that (Dorn) has gotten two bills through,” Tiemann said. “There will not be any additional money coming from the state this year. I don’t see that happening at all. We do continue conversations. It’s just that at the same time we need to be realistic.”

Tiemann said balancing the county’s budget while also facing a multi-million dollar judgment has been a point of pride during his time on the board.

“We really have controlled our budget,” he said. “Between projects, the Beatrice 6 judgment and insurance carriers, I think we’ve done a good job negotiating good terms for the county. While keeping numbers under control, we’ve still had big projects. We’ve done two years of paving projects to roads that really needed attention. We’re in the middle of a tight-belt season because of the economy and lawsuit payments. In that environment we’ve still been able to get those projects done thanks to budget control.”

Tiemann has served two terms on the County Board and been the chairman for three years.

He represents the county as a board member of the NGage economic development group, as well as as board member of NIRMA and the board chair of Southeast Nebraska Development District. He’s previously served two terms as board member of the Beatrice Area Chamber of Commerce and is a past member of the Beatrice City Council.

The deadline to file for election for incumbents is Feb. 15, and March 1 for non-incumbents.

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