Daniel Pugh has announced his candidacy for the Canadian County Commissioner’s District Three post.
The filing period for candidates will be in April. Both Canadian County District One and District Three seats are up for election this year. A primary would be in July.
“I’m a retired contractor in the building trades and café/restauranteur. Currently, I’m a master gardener, designed and created a botanical garden campus that is now open for tours. My wife Ruthie and I met at my espresso café…she liked my coffee…we’ve been married 26 years,” Pugh stated.
In 2002, on a prairie acreage near State Highway 66, he designed and built his “forever dream home.”
“Over the last couple of decades, we’ve turned prairie and scrubby native groves into acclaimed gardens, nature pond, and trails,” Pugh stated.
Pugh Gardens opened in 2020.
“Life is grand, but all has not been well with administrative affairs of Canadian County. Chronically, seminal issues have not been wisely administered for the last 12 years. Unfortunately, the mismanagement has left a long record of mediocrity and administrative foundering,” Pugh stated.
Pugh has commented on county roads, the jail and new fairgrounds, water and Sunday liquor laws in a news release.
Regarding the jail, Pugh states, “Twelve years ago the commissioners were tasked to resolve a deteriorating and overcrowded jail. Commissioner Stewart and board considered an $18 million dollar, 300 bed project requiring doubling County Sales Tax. The Commissioner’s failed at the ballot box to both raise taxes and pick the pocket of the juvenile justice Center for jail construction. I publicly spoke against the tax hike and on behalf of the CCCJC helping to trounce
the measures at the ballot box.”
“As a candidate I proposed a modern jail providing 290 beds for $6 million, turn-key in six months, saving millions for construction, time, inmate transport costs, and lost deputy utilization. Overcrowding would’ve immediately been solved, without raising taxes, saving millions to this present day. The scaled down jail commissioners adopted is inadequate, chronically over-crowded and continues to waste hundreds of thousands for housing inmates out of the county. As a candidate I proposed a modern jail providing 290 beds for $6 million, turn-key in six months, saving millions for construction, time, inmate transport costs, and lost deputy utilization. Overcrowding would’ve immediately been solved, without raising taxes, saving millions to this present day. The scaled down jail commissioners adopted is inadequate,”
He said the fairgrounds building is another “example of being out of step with county residents, and “is extravagant spending wasted on a limited utility expo center and county fair relocation.”
“This misdirection of vital funds impedes progress toward road repair, water resources and education. Remarkably, the Expo Center is inadequate in both design and function. Right out the gate, the electrical capacity is insufficient to handle trade show requirements. The facility has yet to be signed off by the DEQ while the commissioners balk to follow directions to repurpose sanitary tanks. In colloquial terms, they can’t even get their poop together. Remarkably, inadequacy has been designed into the Expo Center. My record of attention to detail, business and design equips me to serve the county with higher quality.”
Regarding roads, Pugh states that road repair and construction are “virtually non-existent!” “No need to tell you it’s the case as you experience the gloomy effects and looming vehicle damage every time you dare venture on a Canadian County Road, particularly in District 3.”
“I’ve traveled in Eastern Europe and marveled how third world countries somehow manage to have worthier rural roads than Canadian County. The insufficient funds canard fails the smell test. Use Tax revenues should have renovated the existing Fairgrounds, forego the extravagant Expo overbuild, and use the majority share of the discretionary revenues toward improving our roads.
We’ve also learned that Road Engineers don’t make the best commissioners. There’s the tragic tale of repaving of Jensen Road. Raising the roadbed without needful drainage adjustment caused devasting water damage to a long-time resident of 35 years. A lawsuit was needed toward holding the county responsible the damage done. Under my leadership road improvement will be frequent and of better quality.”
Regarding water, Pugh states, “The count is unprepared for a drought-wrought future. Commissioner Stewart has sat on regional water boards for 12 years with zero progress toward securing future independent county water needs. 2022 is keying up to find us in yet another drought cycle. Sitting on a water board shouldn’t mean literally sitting while doing nothing. I’ve advocated for Aquifer, Storage, and Recovery (ASR) technology to dramatically enhance our water reserves independent of surrounding regional sources and prices. We need visionary leadership to act without further dithering.”
On Sunday liquor laws Pugh states, “Canadian County restaurants are prohibited sell alcohol beverages before 2 p.m. Sunday. This archaic sanction can be remedied by a majority vote among the three commissioners to place the issue on a ballot for a popular vote. Commissioner Stewart supports, though tepidly, removing the ordinance. Duo Commissioners Hader and Anderson have shirked their duty to act justly, disingenuously burdening citizens with an onerous petition process masquerading as a civics lesson.
Commissioners are not elected to act timidly faced with injustice or presumptively give civic lessons. Fiduciary duty requires their authority to remedy unfairness. Not acting justly while possessing authority defines a sin of omission.”
As commissioner I will use the bully pulpit to apply public pressure for the commissioner board to do the right thing.”
Pugh summed up his statements.
“The record of missteps over the last 12 years is not a recommendation for Commissioner Stewart’s re-election. Dynamic and clear-headed leadership is essential to serve the public with excellence. Over the last 12 years I’ve built a grass roots base of rational Republicans who understand I could make a profound improvement in the administration of Canadian County affairs. The voters are the county managers who determine who get to play in the governing game. So, in the spirit of Credence Clearwater’s John Fogerty ‘Centerfield’ lyrics: “Put me in coach-I’m ready to play!” Thank you for your support.
For comments and campaign progress visit our Facebook page: Daniel Pugh For County Commissioner 2022.
Call Pugh ideas and concerns @ (405) 249-8758.