FAIRBURY, NE — The Jefferson County Commissioners hope this building will have a few more people in it on Tuesday mornings.

That’s when the commissioners host their weekly board meetings, which are typically attended by other officials, the media and not many others. Commissioner Mark Schoenrock hopes to change that.

“What is the single biggest goal I would like to accomplish this year as Jefferson County Chairman? It is to increase public participation in our process.”

Schoenrock says the commissioners often hear from the public after they make decisions at their meetings. He doesn’t want that to happen with one the biggest talking points every year: roads. The board will discuss its one and six-year road plans on Tuesday.

“When we say that these roads and bridges are the economic lifeline of our county, it is so true. We work hard to maintain and improve them, but it’s a big challenge.”

Whether the issue is roads, law enforcement, or something else, Schoenrock hopes to hear directly from locals. This year, he plans to write periodic updates for local media outlets to keep residents informed and interested.

“Our motivations are to make this a better place, not only for our current generation but especially for the rising generations that are coming. The more people that we have involved in that process, I’m a firm believer, the better the product is going to be.”

Meetings are at 9:00 AM on Tuesday’s in the commissioner’s room on the south side of the building. The agendas can be found online on the county’s new website. People can now join the commissioners meetings virtually. There's a link for a Zoom meeting included in the online agenda.