By Angie Baldelomar
Nora Urban and Brandi Diederich, both running as Republicans for county clerk, answered questions from Mayor Ladd Wendelin at a candidate forum last Wednesday, sponsored by the Decatur Professional Women.
More than 100 people showed up for the forum, held at the Sunflower Cinema.
The first question was whether it was more important to have outside, real-world experience, or practical work experience. Mrs. Urban, longtime deputy county clerk, said it was important to have both. She said that real-world experience would teach a candidate to be open-minded, but it’s also important to have some kind of knowledge before starting the job. Ms. Diederich agreed that it’s important to have both, but she said that a fresh perspective would be good for the office.
Asked about ways to advocate for a more visible presence in the community, Mrs. Urban said that is one of her goals, but said that sometimes it’s difficult because the job keeps the clerk busy.
Ms. Diederich said she wants the clerk’s office to have a bigger face in the community and suggested that a way to do that would be to work with the high school to teach students how to register to vote and how county government works.
The next question was about how to balance the clerk’s duties with family responsibilities. Mrs. Urban said that is managing her time wisely. She said workers in the office face the same issues as other working women, but they find a way to make it work. People do it everyday, she said. Ms. Diederich said that, even though she is not married and has no children yet, she still likes to keep herself busy. She said the clerk’s job would take her full dedication if she is elected.
The two agreed that teamwork and cooperation are important in the clerk’s office. Mrs. Urban said teamwork is the key for the office’s success. She said managing elections depends a lot on teamwork and cooperation from volunteers and the community. It takes a team to do all the clerk’s office work, she said. Ms. Diederich said teamwork is vital, but it was important to have an assertive leader at the top. That is the only way to get things accomplished, she said.
Mrs. Urban said that she has the experience in the office to do that. She has worked in the clerk’s office for 11 years.
“I love what I do there,” she said. “I want to help find better ways to serve the community.”
Ms. Diederich promised dedication to the job if she is elected. She said she has experience as an office manager to take on the job and plans to shadow area county clerks to learn more about it.
“I would bring new ideas to the office,” she said.
This story was published on page 3A of The Oberlin Herald‘s print edition on July 20, 2016.