Commissioner candidate Gates

Adam Gates said he wants to put action to words.
The Yuma resident is in a Republican primary election contest for the Yuma County Commissioner District 1 seat. He and Jamie Unger are on the ballot, both of whom made it through the County Assembly process.
Gates noted people have a lot of opinions but there are not many that are willing to step up and take an active role.
“I always wanted to be a voice of the people,” he said. “…The frustrating thing for me is the lack of involvement. I want to get involved.”

The lifelong Yuma County resident currently owns his own truck that he drives for producers during harvest and planting seasons, and also runs cattle with his dad, Robert. His daughter Tannah graduated from Yuma High School this year, and will be going to college in the fall.
Gates said he has visited with several county residents, and the most common theme is the county roads. He noted it is more difficult to maintain the roads due to higher volume of traffic than in the past.
“I’ve been all over the county, so I’ve seen it all,” he said
“We need to look outside the box in regards to efficiency to get on the roads more at a lower cast.”
Gates said he thinks Yuma County has done a good job of improving the main routes. He suggested the county perhaps look at working the roads with road groomers (drags) instead of graders. He said the groomers do the same work but with less passes.
He noted the county budget is always a challenge, but will be even more so in coming years as the state has lowered the assessment rates. He said that is great for property owners, but also means less tax revenue for governmental entities.
Gates said he can see ag tourism being a possibility to help the local economy, as well as a way to bridge the urban-rural divide. He said he is interested to see how the developing partnership among Yuma County Economic Development, and the Yuma and Wray chambers will help in that endeavor.
Water is a key issue for the county, particularly in regards to the Republican River Compact with Kansas and Nebraska. The state has to retire 25,000 irrigated acres by the end of the decade, including 10,000 in the coming years, or face the possibility of all wells in the basin being shut down.
Gates said he thinks the Republican River Water Conservation District has done a great job with a huge task, and it looks like the first deadline likely will be met. However, the challenges will continue.
The candidate said he has been attending a variety of meetings, such as the RRWCD Board of Directors meeting, since announcing his candidacy earlier this year, and has learned quite a bit in the process.
Gates noted he has been intrigued with politics, and with being a county commissioner as he grandfather Harvey Pletcher was a Yuma County Commissioner in the 1970s and 80s.
There has been much talk about election integrity in recent years. Gates said he trusts the county election results, and will have no problem with the primary outcome, win or lose.
Being a county commissioner requires a lot of time, more than just attending two day-long meetings each month. Gates said he will have no problem setting aside the time to be an effective county commissioner.
The primary ballots are due back to the Yuma County Clerk & Recorder’s Office by 7 p.m. on June 28.