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Joseph "Joe" Lambert Livers Jr., 57, of Lebanon believes he has more to offer the residents in District E. So, he has filed to run as a write-in candidate on the Nov. 2 ballot against incumbent Roger "Cotton" Smothers.
"I feel I have more to offer the people of District E than we are getting currently," he wrote in an Enterprise questionnaire. "That is the way I see it from my foxhole."
Livers, who is a retired lieutenant colonel from the United States Army, said he had planned on running for magistrate during the primary election. But, with an incumbent plus three additional candidates on the ballot, the chances of winning were slim, he said.
"The chances for any challenges were minimal at best as evidenced by the election results where the incumbent won with less than 50 percent of the vote," he said.
Livers, who was born and raised in Marion County, has deep family roots in District E. He is the son of Lambert and Deverial Miles Livers of Jessietown. He is the oldest of his siblings, which include four sisters and four brothers. And he is the father of three sons Joseph, 35, James, 28, and Grant, who would be nine years old today but he was killed in an ATV accident in July of this year.
That experience opened Livers' eyes to the importance of Enhanced 911 services.
"I have to wonder, could this service have made a difference," he said. "Today, I can't tell you how we should pay for it. I do know with today's technology advances it is becoming more affordable and closer to becoming a reality."
Livers' experience as a salesman for the Pepsi Cola Company, which he did for 12 years, and in the military, which he was actively involved in until 2006, has helped prepare him for an elected office, such as magistrate.
"I understand compromise and working to make difficult situations a win-win for both parties," Livers said.
If elected, Livers said his No. 1 priority is to ensure that the people of District E are kept informed.
"I will be a steward of their tax dollars," he said. "I don't support spending money we don't have on wants. Needs are another issue."
Other priorities Livers said he would focus on as magistrate include road improvements, maintenance and expansions, and water drainage management and right of way clearances.
However, the most important issue the county will be facing in the next four years will be operating on a limited income, Livers said.
"Providing the essential services will be a big priority the next four years because of the limited financial resources available during these tough economic times," he said. "Creative financing is a challenge to maintaining a balanced budget and still providing these services and still providing the payroll and benefits for county employees."
Livers said he's optimistic that after the election the economy will start to improve, as will the county's revenues. But, the county government must be fiscally responsible, according to Livers.
"The bottom line - county government has to live within its means," he said.
In addition to his focus on fiscal responsibility, Livers said he also wants the voters to know that he has no self-serving interests in running for magistrate.
"I'm not running for or with the support of any special interest groups," he said. "I haven't asked for or accepted any campaign contributions. I'm a retired Lieutenant Colonel from the United States Army. I'm a practical and common sense person who grew up here in District E and most of my family is still here. I know and understand the needs of the district. I share the same concerns. I'm not running for the money or the benefits."