By Kim Brooks, Express Editor
Newly elected Jones County Supervisor Joe Oswald, District II, was officially welcomed to the Board on Jan. 2 when they held their first meeting of 2013. Oswald was elected to replace retiring Supervisor Leo Cook after 30 years on the Board.
Oswald, of Monticello, said he inquired about the role a few years ago. He talked with Cook about the possibility of running should Cook decide to retire.
“I told Leo if he ever considered not running again, that I would be interested,” said Oswald. “I didn’t know if I would have opposition or not, but I was lucky in that respect.”
With strong feelings towards economic development and emergency services (Oswald is on the Monticello Fire Department), he said he hopes to lend his thoughts in these areas.
“Emergency management is important to this county,” he said.
Where economic development is concerned, Oswald said with a growing population, he would also like to see businesses grow. He said there are so many opportunities for growth, not only in the Monticello area, but all over Jones County.
“Kirkwood has been a great asset for us,” Oswald said of the community college center in Monticello. He would like to see that area developed.
Oswald was also appointed onto the Advancement Services board in Cook’s absence. He praised the new facility in the works, saying it is a much-needed project for all those involved with Advancement Services.
While being a county supervisor entails much more than just attending a weekly board meeting, Oswald is looking forward to the job.
“I want to dedicate as much time as I can to do the best job that I can,” he said. “I don’t want to do half the job.”
As a business owner, Oswald owns and operates All Seasons Auto Body in Monticello, he said he has a sense of budgeting and running a successful business.
“I have that financial background,” Oswald noted.
When it comes to working on the county budget, he said, “No one wants his or her taxes to go up.”
Oswald said departments should to be responsible with their spending.
“Cuts might be needed to keep a balanced budget,” he said.
In running a business, attending meetings as a county supervisor and making time for his family, Oswald said his wife Denise has been great in offering to help run the shop in his absence.
“I don’t want this role to affect my business,” he said. “But I have great employees here who can take over.”
Aside from the MFD and county supervisors, Oswald is also president of the Monticello Athletic Booster Club.
“I just want to represent the community and county the best I can,” he offered. “I’m proud of this new role.”