Erich Tiemann is the first to file for a seat on the Gage County Board of Supervisors in the 2018 election.
Tiemann is seeking a second term representing Gage County’s third district. The district covers the general southeastern portion of Beatrice, and includes Belvidere, the country club and Beatrice High School.
He said working toward economic development improvements has been a highlight of his first term, and something he plans to continue if reelected.
“Other than working with people, what I’ve enjoyed along with that is the economic development part of it,” Tiemann said. “Things finally seem to be making the curve in the right direction again. If I’m elected, I’m going to continue to push the economic development side of things. There are so many things in the works for potential new businesses coming to town.”
Tiemann, a Republican, is the county’s representative on the NGage economic development group, and is also a member of the Southeast Nebraska Development District’s executive board. He’s a board member of the Beatrice Area Chamber of Commerce and is currently the vice president of both R.L. Tiemann Construction and Beatrice Lawn Care.
He said his experience in the construction and road industries has been an asset to the county, since he’s familiar with the equipment and processes.
“It’s nice being a contractor and doing dirt and road work from the county side,” Tiemann said. “We work with equipment all the time and asphalt, concrete, gravel and rock. Say the one day there was an issue, I called the highway superintendent because I knew we had an issue with a gravel supplier and we took a look and made adjustments. Sometimes, you can head things off before they become a problem.”
One of the biggest issues facing the county is the looming Beatrice 6 case, currently progressing through the court system after a $28 million ruling against the county.
Tiemann said the board is hoping for the best, but preparing for whatever verdict comes down in the appeal.
“We think in the beginning of 2018 we’ll probably have a verdict on the Beatrice 6 case,” he said. “With that coming, we’ve gone through so many situations trying to figure out if this happens, then what? I can’t say I’m looking forward to it if it’s not the decision we want, but there are several ways we’ve been preparing for outcomes.
“There’s no silver lining if it doesn’t go the county’s way in court, but we have to play the hand we’re dealt, and the best thing is be ready, no matter what the decision is.”
Overpopulation at the Gage County Detention Center has been another hot topic for the county in recent years.
The board recently signed agreements to reserve jail beds in other counties due to lack of space in Gage County.
While housing inmates elsewhere is running up a tab, Tiemann said it’s the best option for the time being.
“We’ve done some cost analysis to see where our costs are," he explained. "Housing them in-house costs $96 per day because of staffing, food and everything. When (we) have someone in-house, we have all the liabilities with holding someone who doesn’t want to be held. With outside contracts at $35-$60 per day, and you also have transport costs on there, but even with transport costs at the current time, it’s cheaper to outsource our prisoners.”