Gage to run for Polk board of commissioners

Published 9:11 am Thursday, September 8, 2011

Michael Gage talks with state representative David Guice after Tuesday night’s meeting of the Foothills Conservative Political Action Committee. Gage announced he will run for county commission during the FCPAC meeting. (photo by Samantha Hurst)

Current city councilman Michael Gage formally announced his plans to run for county commission during the monthly meeting of the Foothills Conservative Political Action Committee Tuesday, Sept. 6.
“When I came onto the council, Columbus was having trouble living within its means. I feel like we’ve done a lot of good work and the town is in really good shape,” Gage said. “Now, I’m looking at the county. I feel I can make a real difference there.”
Gage raised suspicion earlier this summer that he would run for a higher office in November 2012 when he did not attempt to qualify as a candidate for this year’s municipal elections. Three Columbus town council seats are open this year, but because only three citizens qualified – Ernie Kahn, Richard Hall and Ricky McAllister – those individuals will automatically obtain those seats unopposed.
FCPAC organizer Cheryl Every congratulated Gage on his announcement.
“We know what a good job you’ve done for the town of Columbus and that you are very fiscally conservative, and that is what we are looking for,” Every said.
Gage said he feels the county needs to get back to what the people want for Polk County.
“The biggest problem right now is the respect for the people – that is my biggest problem with the commission,” he said. “I feel like the community voices its opinion but they aren’t always listened to.”
Gage said he also feels like not all of the county commission’s business actions are appropriate. For example, he feels the plans for the new DSS building could have been handled differently to consolidate and keep costs lower. He said in that respect it’s important to take a look at all departments for room to consolidate. He said he feels commissioners like Tom Pack have brought similar ideas to the table but have been ignored.
“[The commissioners] also have a problem respecting each other. I think if you sit on that board, no matter what party you are, everyone should have a voice and be able to be heard out,” Gage said.
Gage said he doesn’t feel the county is in poor shape, but he said there is always room for improvement, especially in the area of listening to one another and the community. He said when Columbus began doing so, it improved the track the city was headed down.

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