Herald Times - County council member Jones seeks commissioner's seat

An incumbent county councilwoman is seeking election to the board of county commissioners.

Lee Jones, a Democrat, has announced her candidacy for Monroe County commissioner District 1. She currently serves as an at-large member on the county council, an elected office she has held for the past five years.

Jones said she believes her experience on the county council will serve her well if she is elected county commissioner. With the county council and county commissioners working more closely together, her hope is to move toward a more transparent and efficient government.

In addition, she has pledged not to accept contributions from corporate interests or individuals who do business with the county.

"I've become increasingly disturbed by the influence of outside money in national, state and local politics," Jones said in a news release. "Our political system has been enveloped in money from special interests whose concerns are not necessarily those of the average citizen. At times, local citizens feel their voices aren’t heard. My grass-roots experience has taught me the importance of listening to all voices."

Along with serving on the county council, Jones has also served on the county plan commission and community corrections board. She said that as an environmentalist, she has worked on the plan commission to integrate polices that will have the least environmental impact, and has been closely involved in the development of the urbanizing area plan, the current master plan and the county's rural zoning ordinance.

In addition, Jones said, she hopes to address the growing burden on local community correctional facilities due to changes at the state level. One effort she hopes to work toward is a consolidated facility for all community corrections programs to improve efficiency and effectiveness.

Jones is challenging incumbent Democrat Patrick Stoffers, who is seeking his fourth term. In addition, Republican Ed Bitner also announced his candidacy for the seat.