WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Ernie Schiller: Still Has Work To Do

Jun 2, 2014

Ernie Schiller said he is seeking a third term on the Lee County Board of Supervisors because he believes he still has plenty of work to do.

Lee County Board Chairman Ernie Schiller
Credit Jason Parrott / Tri States Public Radio

Schiller said he brings to the race eight years of county government experience and a background in education along with the knowledge of being a small business owner.

"My wife and I have had a business since 1975, a small business.  We understand the economics of a business and really, Lee County is a business that serves the public."

Schiller said the biggest challenge facing Lee County is the division caused by the issue of "north" vs. "south."

He feels the division did not result from the county relocating four offices in 2011, but rather from an attempt by State Senator Rich Taylor (D-Mt. Pleasant) to reverse the action this year.

"The real thing is that we are one Lee County.  It is probably the biggest contention out there.  My goal (in exploring one county seat) was never to rip Lee County apart.

Schiller said he supports the volunteer committee that is looking into where to locate county services and appreciates the public discussion on the topic.

He admits, though, that in his opinion, the issue should have been resolved years ago.

"The supervisors should have stepped up and simply named a county seat and moved on."

Schiller believes the two-county seat system will eventually break this county.

Schiller said he voted to give money to Keokuk Area Hospital this year because its supporters were pleading for assistance.  He said he will not do that again without the backing of the residents of District 3, adding that he does not believe county tax dollars should go towards a hospital.

Schiller said if re-elected, he will continue working for organizations like RUSS and Children First, pushing for new locations for the Lee County Conservation Board and the Lee County Health Department and putting more money into infrastructure projects.

He also plans to continue a new initiative where the supervisors regularly recognize a Lee County business.

Schiller is being challenged in the Democratic Primary by Don Hunold.