PONTIAC – Livingston County voters had the chance to hear from the candidates for county clerk, treasurer and sheriff during a candidate forum in Pontiac Tuesday night.
Kristy Masching was the first to speak. She is seeking re-election as county clerk and started her career with the county after graduating high school. She was appointed to the office of county clerk in 2003 by the County Board. Masching’s office is responsible for maintaining records from many areas.
“The duty which is most visible to the public is presiding over the county elections,” Masching explained.
The treasurer candidate, Mary Nicole Meier, is a resident of Pontiac and has been her entire life. She graduated from Pontiac Township High School and earned a degree from Heartland Community College. She currently works in the treasurer’s office and was initially hired in July 2001.
“I will do my best to serve the taxpayers of Livingston County,” Meier stated.
Meier said she considers herself lucky to have a great mentor working under the current treasurer, Barb Sear.
Sheriff candidate Jack Wiser pointed to his background in law enforcement, explaining he was born and raised in Livingston County. He previously served as the chief of police for Fairbury and said he knows how to deal with budgets and employees.
“I want to be the full-time sheriff Livingston County residents deserve,” said Wiser.
Incumbent sheriff Tony Childress told the crowd it has been an honor to serve the office for the past four years. He said he brought the department into the 21st century from a technology standpoint.
“Today, all patrol cars are equipped with on-board computers.”
Both men seemed to agree that drugs and school safety are major issues the county faces. Wiser believes the opioid problem is “out of control” and Childress said he has been working diligently to address the drug problem.
During closing comments, Wiser stated he would never use a subordinate to attend a county board meeting or use a county squad for personal use. He also said he would adhere to the hiring practices of the Livingston County Sheriff’s Department.
“I will be available to the citizens, county board members and other elected officials.”
Childress said he has delivered on promises made four years ago when he was first elected sheriff and that he has a record of 27 years of uninterrupted service. Being a sheriff is a different “ballgame” according to Childress.
“If you look at the progress of the sheriff’s office, you will see I’m the best person to run the department.”