ST. JOSEPH — Incumbent Ezra Scott, a Republican from New Buffalo, is facing Democrat Rich Eichholz of Union Pier in the Nov. 3 election for the District 9 Berrien County Commission seat.
• Eichholz, 72, said the most immediate problem facing the county is the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I believe my expertise in health care and business will be a considerable asset to the board of commissioners in guiding our community to re-open in a science-driven way, build-in resiliency into our infrastructure and shoreline, and ensure that we sustainably grow our economy,” said Eichholz, a retired health care research scientist and business owner.
In addition, he said many people in District 9 are frustrated with “the way things are.”
“In my view, we can address most of the other problems by helping to create good-paying jobs, making affordable housing available, and ensuring that every family farm, school, business, and home has access to broadband internet,” he said.
Eichholz and his wife, Linda Eichholz, have one adult child.
• Scott, 63, said he wants to be re-elected to a third term so he can continue being a voice for all of the people in the county, not just the residents of his district.
One of the top issues the county faces is making sure all residents have access to high speed internet, he said.
According to the Federal Communications Commission, 94 percent of the county has access to broadband. But Scott said that’s not true. For example, he said Baroda residents on one side of Cleveland Avenue have broadband, but the other side does not.
“It’s like that all over the county. That’s just an example,” he said.
He said the entire county will benefit once high speed internet is available everywhere.
“(The county) doesn’t create jobs,” he said. “What we do is we create opportunities for businesses to move to our county ... and open up here and, thus, they create jobs for our residents.”
He said that balancing the budget and expanding the transportation system are also important.
Scott retired from the Indiana State Prison system as a lieutenant in 1998 and recently retired from being a general contractor.
He and his wife, Katherine Scott, have three adult children and seven grandchildren.