District 1 County Commissioner Dan Delozier is running for his fourth term of office this November, and he’s running on experience.
In the three terms Delozier had served, District 1 has built 20 bridges, recovered from 14 FEMA disasters and resurfaced 200 miles of roads. The county courthouse and 911 center also came into being over the last 12 years.
When he first ran for office, Delozier campaigned on being a nearly lifelong Rogers County citizen and his experience in construction.
Delozier said his goal then, was, “to make sure the public is taken care of and that county government is run correctly.”
“I feel I’ve lived up to my job,” he said. “We’ve had quite a few problems in the county over the years. I’m the commissioner that is still here. I’ve done my job. I’ve proven that I know how to do my job. I run my district very well.”
To make his point, Delozier highlighted district one’s recent work asphalting Foyil and Sequoyah school with financial assistance form the Cherokee Nation and how the three county districts work together to save time, money and resources.
“We have a lot of projects that cost a lot of money, but we make sure that we bid them correctly and we look for every way we can save on those projects,” Delozier said.
Delozier said, “My number one priority is to make sure that all entities in the county are funded correctly. We worked very hard putting a budget together, and I feel like we funded everybody the best we could. We’re spending taxpayer dollars and we have to make sure we spend it correctly.”
His second priority is roads and bridges.
“To maintain the growth of this county we have to continue to make our roads better and wider,” Delozier said.
This means having bridges that can handle school buses, discouraging speeding through adequate signage, buying easements and moving utilities so that roads can be widened, and keeping roads clear during snow storms.
“We have a very good group of people that work on our snow patrols and we’re able to clear our roads very quickly,” Delozier said.
Delozier’s third priority is to continue to run the county like a business.
“I feel I already do that,” he said, indicating that each of his priorities are more of a continued effort than a new promise. “This is a business to me. I’ve been told many times that I run things like a business. We don’t waste money. We do a very good job of making sure that money is spent correctly.”
Delozier talked about how he looks for grants to supplement costs to the county for big but necessary projects.
For those who might be hesitant to vote for Delozier because of the D beside his name on the ballot, he said “Look at my record.”
Delozier said that he is conservative by nature.
“I’ve been told over the years that I act like this is my money,” he said. “It is my money. It is every tax payer’s dollars. I make sure that we spend your money and my money as good as we can spend it.”
“I’m a very hands-on commissioner, and I make sure that what we do, we do right,” Delozier said.
One of the big topics for county commissioners in the last few months has been the one cent sales tax which was voted down in June.
Delozier said he strongly encourages people to pass it, “but that depends on what the people of this county want. If they want to continue with the roads that we have now, that are getting better as we go, then we definitely will have to have the one cent sales tax back. Do we need it all? That’s up to the taxpayers. In my opinion, yes. With the growth in this county we need to be able to widen roads.”
The county works with institutions like RCIDA and CIEDA to foster continued economic growth for the county, Delozier said.
“By maintaining good roads and bridges, we encourage people to move in here and build new houses and spend money in our county,” he said.
Delozier said that he loses sleep at night thinking about his job and the projects he’s invested in.
Outside of work Delozier said, “My family is my life.”
He raises cattle on a farm in Chelsea with his “three beautiful grandchildren, two good boys, and a great wife.”
Delozier and his six siblings spent most of their lives in Chelsea. They had lived on a military base in Germany until their father was killed. Their mom brought them to live on their father’s childhood farm, and raised them on her own.
Outside of the list of boards he sits on in his capacity as commissioner, Delozier also volunteers as President of Share the Spirit, an annual donation of more than 700 Christmas baskets to people in need in the county.
“Party doesn’t matter to me. I’m not here for Republican or Democrat or Independent. I’m here because I’m the county commissioner of this county. I’m just here to do my job. And a lot of people seem to think I do a pretty good job.”