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Change comes to Jackson County board

JACKSON -- Jackson County voters elected three new commissioners Tuesday, including a candidate who mounted a successful write-in campaign.

Write-in Rosemary Schultz won the District 3 seat over Victor Pohlman, 540-494, while Bill Tusa unseated incumbent Craig Rubis to win the District 1 seat, 712-333. David Henkels, who ran unopposed, took the District 5 seat with 1,030 votes.

"I just really want to thank the voters of District 1 for their support, and I look forward to serving not only District 1, but all the rest of Jackson County to the best of my ability," Tusa said.

Tusa, a lifetime Jackson County resident, has farmed with his brother since 1968 and lives about seven miles southwest of Jackson in Middletown Township.

He was at the Jackson County courthouse at about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday when he realized he had won the election.

"You never know about elections. I know I've gotten in to vote and changed my mind at the last minute... I wasn't surprised from what the primary results were, but you always wonder how things are going to turn out," Tusa said.

Tusa went door-to-door campaigning, purchased newspaper and radio ads and also utilized signs in his campaign.

One of his major issues was the aging Jackson County Resource Center, which the county board had voted to demolish and replace with a new building. Later, the board opted to leave the building as it was, rather than have the issue go to a public vote at taxpayer expense.

"I think it's going to be remodeling by steps," Tusa said of the future of the Resource Center. "It probably depends. I'm just one of five commissioners, and that'll have to be decided by the board."

Tusa ran on a platform of public consensus and board responsiveness to the public.

Now that he has been elected, one of Tusa's goals will be to work to maintain the funding of the county's state aid roads. Funding is likely to be cut, which may force the county to revert some of its blacktop roads to gravel roads.