With her first four years as a Bent County commissioner almost in the books, Kim MacDonnell is running for re-election this November.
“I really appreciate being able to be of service and to give back to my community in this way,” MacDonnell said about why she is running for re-election.
She said she has learned a lot and is ready to build on that knowledge to properly support the county. One of the biggest charges of the commissioners is to set and manage the county's budget.
That can be a tough task considering how comprehensive the budget is. She said getting a grip on all of the different things that goes into putting it together was a learning curve. But thanks to her experience, that learning curve isn’t as steep as it once was.
Learning how to create and manage a budget for an entire county was expected. However, the unexpected issues that arose when she was elected quickly became another learning experience for MacDonnell.
"In December, we started this whole process as a county with Arkansas River Farms,” she said.
MacDonnell added that once it was put on the commissioners' plate, they jumped on this issue right away to not lose ground and lose what water they had left because water is a precious commodity.
Thankfully, prior to her election, she was working in the county attorney's office when the 1041 regulations were developed in 2003.
“So, I had this backdrop of what those regulations were and how they were applied, but this board of county commissioners was the first board to apply those regulations since they were adopted in 2003,” she said.
As far as water is concerned, she said that it has been about a 99% learning curve. But with resources such as the Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy, and individuals such as Jack Gobel and Bill Long to name a few, she has made strides in her understanding of water issues.
“My focus will be to be of service. I commit to continuing to make decisions that protect Bent County’s resources and support its residents. I would appreciate the privilege of continuing to work together with my fellow commissioners, with other local leaders and Bent County citizens to strengthen our community,” she said.