By Kasey Fowler, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
Jerry M. Shaffer has been the Grant County commissioner for District 3 for t22 years and hopes the people of his district again elect him to serve them.
Shaffer is running for the position in Tuesday’s Democratic primary against Larry Meritt, of Pond Creek.
The winner will gain the post since no Republican or independent candidates filed.
Shaffer filed for county commissioner in spring 1988 and has held the position ever since. During his time as a commissioner, he has a great deal of change.
“For 22 years there have been a lot of changes,” Shaffer said. “It has been a real education. I don’t know how you can step into a position like this without experience. It has been exciting, there has been a lot of changes, not just because of me but because of time and other things.”
Although Shaffer does not claim all responsibility for changes and upgrades in the county over the the last 22 year, there are some things he has helped to get done.
“We have been able to upgrade equipment,” he said. “You have to do that to do the work that needs to get done. We have always strived to work diligently at stretching the dollar. I try to do the very best for the people who put me in this position.”
He said he has tried to do different things as a commissioner to generate revenue.
“I have gotten outside of the box a few times as a commissioner, not to say I have done things that are wrong, they are just not common for commissioners to do,” he said.
“We, as Grant County, run a rock quarry in Kay County. It gives us access to material to rock roads that we don’t have here in the county. I have been able to rock 100 to 120 miles of road. I am proud of that. I have focused on doing that. In my opinion it has already paid its way. I want to continue that, that is one of the reasons I have filed for more time here.”
Besides continuing the rock quarry project, Shaffer would like to continue other projects he has started.
“I want to continue to work on things I haven’t gotten finished yet,” he said.
“We have rebuilt a tremendous amount of bridges but we have more to do and I want to finish them up.”
Some of Shaffer’s practices have been questioned and controversial, but he said he has not done anything as a commissioner he is not willing to openly discuss.
“I have never been involved in anything I am afraid to talk about,” he said.
“I will explain my position. I am always available to the people. I try to serve all the people to best of my ability and plan to as long as the people of my district elect me.
“Politics is something I never dreamed I’d be in. I don’t like campaigning and politics, but I like the other part of the job.”
Shaffer graduated high school in Pond Creek, then attended some college before joining the Navy.
Following his time in the Navy, Shaffer worked in Wichita at Lear Jet and later moved back to the Pond Creek area to work in farming.
Repeated attempts to contact Meritt were unsuccessful.