Outgoing County Commissioner Paul Mathews gave what he called a farewell address to the board at the end of the county commission meeting on Monday.
He said after 10 years on the board, “as I have traveled to other counties and other places (even as board chairman in 2012 and 2013) I see that our communities are built well, we have good schools, and modern schools, good parks, we have done great things looking to the future with the Panaca Town Center. The county and the commission as a whole can see that we have gone forward over the last while.”
He added, “Our police department, fire and rescue, we have good machines and good people. Our machines and training are up to date. Other places have not been able to update like we have. They may not have the parks and the infrastructure we have developed.”
He admitted it has been hard to do, it has cost some money. “I just think the commission and the county as you look at the growth and nature of it as a whole, compared to other places in the world and faced with our economic status and condition, both good and bad the past 10 years, we have managed well. We held the ship together and balanced the budget. I think we have set the stage for the future of Lincoln County growth and for people who want to live in our county. I think a lot of times we get focused on all the problems and the downside, but as I look back at the last 10 years, we’ve done OK.”
Mathews was part of the subcommittee that resolved the problems with Recology and buying the solid waste hauling and disposal services from them, plus working out the temporary hauling contract with Western Elite.
He did not run for reelection this time primarily because he was elected from the Panaca, District E, and he moved his family to Hiko in 2015. Nathan Katschke was elected last month to replace Mathews on the board. He will take office at the Jan. 2 meeting.