FLOYD COUNTY —
Sometimes, history does repeat itself.
Two of the three Floyd County Commissioners’ seats are up for grabs Election Day. And just like four years ago, the same four candidates are vying for those seats.
Democratic incumbent Chuck Freiberger seeks a fourth term against Republican Dave Matthews in the District 2 race while Steve Bush, a two-term Republican incumbent, faces Democrat Dennis Roudenbush for the District 3 seat.
Freiberger and Matthews both said they have a passion for helping others and serving the community. The voters will decide Nov. 6 who gets the nod in this rematch from four years ago.
Freiberger, 52, a teacher at Highland Hills Middle School, is seeking a fourth term as commissioner and prior to that served 12 years on the county council. He came up short two years ago against Ron Grooms in his bid for the Indiana State Senate.
He said he wants to continue to serve the residents of Floyd County.
“I enjoy what I do,” Freiberger said. “I like helping the community and I think because of my experience, I am able to cut through the red tape.”
Matthews, a retired Air Force pilot who now flies for UPS, is chairman of the Floyd County Republican Party, although his wife Cheryl has taken over the duties during the campaign. He said he has a history “of community service throughout my adult life.” He has been an elder at his church, a Boy Scout leader and for eight years was a member of the Greenville Town Council. He said he has a desire for public service.
“I have no agenda and I am not doing this for insurance or a paycheck. I just want to serve the community,” he said. “I just think we need new thinking. Chuck has been in there 12 years and I have nothing against him, but I think I can be a better commissioner.”
Freiberger said he is proud of his work on the council for the past 12 years, including helping residents of Jenny and Paul lanes save their homes after their septic tanks failed. They eventually were able to hook on to sewer lines without using taxpayer money, he said. He said purchasing and opening the Pine View Government Center and moving the youth shelter to that location was also a highlight in the last four years.
“I feel like I have the connections and the personality to get along with people,” he said. “I try to unite the community, not divide it. And up until recently [city and county] I feel like we have been on the right road. I would like to see us work closer together in order to save taxpayers money and keep from duplicating services.”
Matthews, 58, who collected 39 percent of the vote against Freiberger four years ago, said healing the city and county relationship is at the top of his priority list.
“We are the second smallest county in the state and we don’t need to duplicate services,” he said. “If we would have combined 911 dispatchers we could have saved $250,000. I think we need to try and sit down with the mayor and see how we can get along. We need to combine as many services as possible. We can’t keep building more walls.”