Powder River Examiner -

Commissioner Candidate Interviews - John Olson


October 1, 2020

In a similar tone to what we published previous to the primary election, we sent the local candidates running for contested offices a series of questions. The only contested local election this fall is for the Powder River County Commissioner District 1 seat. In order to maintain fairness, we asked the same set of questions we asked this spring, with Rod adding some comments to what he had previously written in May. We present the answers in the fashion in which the candidates replied, with minimal editing for spelling, maintaining the candidates' grammar.

Please provide a brief description of your personal history, including dates and positions of any public service.

My name is John Wayne Olson, I am the son of Grant and Mary Olson. I am running as an Independent Candidate in the November Election for County Commissioner of District 1.

As a 4th generation rancher, my wife, Jennie, and I run a diversified operation; pigs, sheep, beef cattle and a small non-traditional dairy operation. I am also the sole proprietor of Lazy J Bar O Fencing. I grew up doing 4-H and FFA learning the values of a good livestock operation and valuable skills to run a business. I am active in the community, serving my 6th year as a Powder River/ Carter County Young Farmer and Rancher Board member for our local Farm Bureau Chapter and was on the county fair board for 5 years.

What assets will you bring to this position?

I am a problem solver, fast learner that thinks outside of the box. I feel that I am honest, fair, kind and good with talking to a complete stranger. I have never been scared to ask someone for advice. I believe the youth of the community is our future with the guidance of the previous generations. I want to work to insure the future and preserve our past. I have often heard that if you want something done ask a busy person, and it will be done and that is how I intend to work for you.

I have gained a lot of knowledge traveling with Farm Bureau on how other counties operate and ideas I might bring in to improve the current county policies. I have traveled every county maintained road and lots of roads off the beaten path. I have worked for or traveled the majority of the county and surrounding areas. Being a business owner I have dealt with the hiring, utilization and sometimes the termination of many individuals. I want to go to department head trainings to better understand individual county departments.

What are three primary goals or concerns you would like to address if elected?

How do we keep the county entities afloat with potentially losing Belle Creek? We need to prioritize our spending and evaluate our effectiveness.

I want to see our Commissioners attend more public meetings or trainings. Thus, allowing the public greater access to the Commissioner's office rather than the 7 or 8 days a month that they must be in the courthouse.

I believe the keys to keeping a community together is investing in your youth and preserving opportunities and benefits for the elderly population.

I do not have an ax to grind with any department. I feel that every time we lose a department head we lose experience and valuable time training a new person.

What are your thoughts on full-time vs. part-time pay for the commissioners?

I would take a paycut and would back Lee Randall's motion to cut the wages due to the current economic state of the world and our potential loss of revenue from Belle Creek. My main concern about cutting is that I would like to keep the health insurance and an appropriate amount of the retirement.

I would appreciate your support in November! I want people to call if they have any questions, comments or concerns. Bill and Jan Stevens are my Campaign treasurers. I run long hours for my business, can't is not in my vocabulary and I plan to do the same for you as my constituents. Thank you for your support throughout this campaign. Feel free to contact me at 406-853-6448 or mail me at PO Box 424, Broadus, MT 59317.

John Wayne Olson


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