Robert Kilmer is the only candidate for a four-year position representing District 3 on the Morgan County Council.
Kilmer will join two other unopposed candidates taking office on the Morgan County Council in January including Daryl Ballantyne (District 4) and Roland Haslam (at-large).
Before going up against Lawrence Hatch in 2010 for an at-large position on the county council, Kilmer spent over two years on the Porterville/Richville area plan committee. Hatch and Kilmer were vying for a spot on the council to finish out Alvin Lundgren’s term. Lundgren resigned from his seat in an unsuccessful bid for the county attorney’s elected position. Although Hatch would have won the 2010 election by 20 votes, Hatch withdrew from the race before the official canvass and Kilmer was appointed to the position.
In 2012, Kilmer shed his at-large position and ran unopposed for a District 3 seat on the council.
After six years of service on the council, Kilmer said one of the biggest issue facing the county is the inability to properly fund roads because of the way the state divides out the gas tax money. With recent changes to the gas tax, Morgan County will be getting even less money for roads.
He said to make up the difference, the county is seeking multiple road grants to finance the $10 million needed for county roads. So far, grants have “made a dent” with providing $2 million in new money, “but is still leaves a big hole,” said Kilmer, 48.
“Politically, the biggest thing facing the county is merging the old with the new,” said Kilmer. “People come to Morgan because they are looking for something. But when they get here, they find there are lots of things that Morgan doesn’t provide that other cities and counties do.”
Providing such services would change Morgan, Kilmer said, so that the county would no longer be the place that originally enticed residents.
“If we all came here because we liked what was here, why are we trying to drastically change it?” Kilmer asked. “Does Morgan really need to change?”
Kilmer, a teacher at the local high school, has lived in Morgan County for 21 years and has three children.
Combining Kilmer’s six previous years of service on the county council with his upcoming four-year seat would bring his total service to 10 years, a few years over the county’s eight-year term limit. However, since his first two years were spent serving an appointed position, election officials determined those years did not count toward the term limit.