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Four Republicans vying for county commissioner seat PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Thursday, 03 May 2012 15:32

By Sheri Hink

The Wauneta Breeze


Nebraska voters will go to the polls during the May 15 primary, deciding which candidates will advance to November’s general election.

The race for the District 1 seat for Chase County Commissioner, however, will be wrapped up this May, with all four candidates running on the Republican ticket. With no Democratic candidates, and barring no unforeseen write-in candidacies, whoever wins the primary race will be District one’s next commissioner.

That office is presently held by Chuck Vette, who is seeking reelection.

District 1 spans the eastern third of Chase County, extending from Dundy County to the south to Perkins County to the north and bordering Hayes County to the east. The district includes the towns of Wauneta and Enders and and in Imperial from Highway 61 west to Park Street (two blocks east of the main street) between 5th Street (Imperial County Ford/Yost Farm Supply corner) to 12th Street (Imperial Inn/Valley corner).

Those seeking to be the district’s next representative on the Chase County Board of Commissioners include “Ted” Theodore R. Brewer of Wauneta, William “Bill” Greeley of rural Chase County, Gary Grimes and Charles “Chuck” Vette of Wauneta.

Among them, the four men bring a vast array of experiences, skills and perspectives.

This past week they each responded to a brief questionnaire sent to them by the Wauneta Breeze in which they gave an overview of their backgrounds as well as their thoughts on the county commissioner position they are seeking.


TED BREWER has lived in Chase County all his life except for two years when he lived in Missiouri. He grew up in Imperial and has lived in Wauneta for the past 18 years.

He has worked for the Chase County Road Department for the past four years. He has done construction work most of his life and worked for Cooks Ready Mix for 20 years and drove truck hauling chemicals for seven years. He has also worked for BSB out of Curtis, Neb., where he built foundations for highways.

Brewer attended Chase County High School and has his GED.

He and his fiance, Wendy Jahn, live in Wauneta and have three daughters, Raven, Ceanna and Harlee. He also has an older daughter and son who live in Sidney, Neb. and one son, Jared Brewer who lives in Wauneta with his wife Ashley and two sons Damon and Brian. His sister, Dora, also lives in Wauneta and his brother, Terry, lives in Palisade.


BILL GREELEY has lived in Chase County for 55 years, primarily 18 miles northeast of Wauneta.

He works for Wine Glass Ranch and Open Country Adventures. His work background includes farming, haying and ranching responsibilities. He also organizes and manages hunts. He also runs cows of his own along with taking cows in.

Greeley graduated from Chase County High School. He’s been active in 4-H, Southwest Nebraska Roping Club and the Jaycees.

He has been married to his wife, Chris, for 33 years. Together they have four children, Elisha, Echo, Chance and Amanda.


GARY GRIMES has lived in Chase County his entire life. He was born in Imperial and grew up as a child in Champion and Imperial. He has lived in the Wauneta area since 1974.

He has worked for the Chase County Road Department for the last 18 years and hopes to continue as commissioner. He says it seems to work well for other counties that have people who work for the road department also serve as commissioner.

Grimes attended grade school in Champion and high school in Imperial.

He married Vicki Sandman in 1980. They have two children, Ashli and J.D. Ashli married Toby Cox of Hayes Center and they have three children, Kyler, 7, Kesli, 5, and Harli, 2. J.D. lives south of Wauneta and works for Don Harrison.


CHUCK VETTE was born in St. Francis, Kans., spent two years in Culbertson and has lived in Chase County’s District 1 for the last 59 years.

Vette is self employed with Chuck’s Trailer Sales and Chuck Vette Recycling.

He attended Enders Grade School from kindergarden through eighth grade. He attended Chase County High School from grades nine through 12.

Vette has served as a Chase County Commissioner since 2009. He is also active in the community as a volunteer fire fighter with the Wauneta Volunteer Fire Department for the past 23 years and is a member of Frenchman Valley Riders.

He and his wife, Betty, have three children including daughter Michelle and her husband, Heath Seeker and their son Matthew; son Bobby and his wife, Crystal, and their children Kelcie and Lane; and Katrina Baker and her son, Tyson.


Q&A responses

Each of the candidates gave the following written responses to the questions below:

Q: Why did you choose to seek the position of county commissioner?

Brewer: I chose to seek county commissioner because I would like to make changes to the way roads are being built to make them last longer and hold up better and to do my best to cut spending costs so our taxes stop rising.

Greeley: I have a desire to build a better future for my county while keeping an open mind. I know my constituents and the people who will work with me to focus on what is best for the county. I will be honest with the public, the media and other officials.

Grimes: This is something I have wanted to do for the last 15 years or so and now it’s time to give it a go.

Vette: To do my civic duty to try to help make decisions for the good of my county.


Q: Why should you be elected to this position?

Brewer: I should be elected because I would do my best to represent District 1. I won’t make you promises I can’t keep. I will be here to listen to what the people of District 1 have to say and work with them to resolve any problem that might occur.

Greeley: I have something to offer the community and supporters.

Grimes: I feel I have the ability to get along with the other commissioners and people of District 1 to make it work. I have some major projects in mind that need to be looked at.

Vette: I have the previous experience of this office and I am an experienced business owner.


Q: Do you have any unique experiences or perspectives that make you particularly well suited to this position?

Brewer: In the time I have worked for the county I have taken pride in the roads I work on. I try to do the best job I can to keep the roads I work on safe to drive, the same pride I’ll give being commissioner. I’ll work for the residents of District 1.

Greeley: I know the challenges of living and operating within a budget and I will look for ways to make the county more efficient.

Grimes: I have been around long enough to see a lot of things happen. Some worked, some didn’t. I think my experience at this would be an asset to District 1. We can all work together. There is a solution for all problems.

Vette: As a business owner, I am experienced in the process of making business decisions to create a successful business.


Q; What are the major challenges that lie ahead for the county board of commissioners?

Brewer: I think one of the biggest challenges I’ve seen commissioners need to do is cut the cost of unnecessary spending and focus on what needs to be done to improve our roads.

Greeley: Commissioners must face issues with scarcity of resources to strategically set priorities and goals and then attempt to direct the organization towards those goals and needs of the county.

Grimes: It is a long road to hoe, from high equipment costs, fuel, repairs, from taxes to the fair. It all can be done.

Vette: Increased costs of running the county and increased government regulations.


Q: Do you have any concerns or disgruntlements with recent actions taken by the present board of commissioners?

Brewer: One of my biggest concerns is that if a commissioner says something is going to be done, they should follow through and that when you have three districts one shouldn’t fall short of the other two.

Greeley: I get along with the incumbent commissioners and consider them friends. It is a matter of taking a different approach to managing county government and dealing with our problems.

Grimes: None that I want to comment on.

Vette: No. I think the board does a great job of trying to provide the best decisions for the best interest of Chase County citizens.


Q: Please include other information you believe is relevant to your running for commissioner.

Brewer: I would like the residents of District 1 to know that if I am elected I will do the best job I can to serve as your commissioner. I will listen to your concerns or complaints and work with you to resolve any problems. If it can be done it will, if it can’t I will tell you. I will do everything I can to improve our district to the best of my ability.

Greeley: Making sure roads, ditches and bridges are taken care of properly. Staying within a budget. Make use of time employees are getting paid for. Keep machinery close to job site. Paying closer attention to county fair expenses.

Grimes: As far as the road department goes, if there is a problem, contact me. I want to come visit with you about it. We all have ideas, let’s figure it out.

Vette: I am committed to serve in the capacity of commissioner to the best of my ability.

Last Updated on Thursday, 03 May 2012 15:33