Unruh understands need for prudent development.

It was encouraging to hear a candidate for Finney County Commission cite economic growth as a priority.

Too often, some of our county leaders seem uninterested in pursuing the kind of business growth that's good for the community, and often because luring new business and industry to town requires public investment.

What elected officials need to consider is how economic development helps create new jobs and grow the tax base, which eventually lessens the tax burden for all.

That's not lost on Troy Unruh, one of two Republican candidates vying for the Third District county commission seat to be vacated by Don Doll. The winner of the Aug. 7 Republican primary race between Unruh and local farmer Duane Drees will face Patsy Fort, an educator and Democratic hopeful, in the November general election.

When it comes to economic development, Unruh wants the county to play an active role in funding incentives. Each proposal should be considered on its own merit, he said, whether the request would be for tax abatements, infrastructure development or cash incentives sought for companies looking to relocate or expand.

In other words, he'd view such possibilities with an open mind, the kind of thinking needed on any governing body.

Unruh also knows governments must be good stewards of public funds. He offered a solid idea in encouraging commissioners to conduct site visits of county-funded agencies and departments when they weigh their budget requests. Doing that kind of research would indeed help commissioners better understand how taxpayer dollars are used, and the impact on local citizens and the community as a whole.

Unruh, part-owner of a local insurance firm, has been active in many community endeavors. He's a part-time program officer for the Western Kansas Community Foundation, and has been involved in the Garden City Leadership Foundation, Santa Fe Trail Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Kansas Leadership Forum, Finney County Community Health Coalition and the Garden City Rotary Club, among other ventures.

Unruh's interest in civic involvement now includes his quest to serve the people of Finney County as a county commissioner. He deserves the nod on Aug. 7.