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County operations include:
PUBLIC SAFETY (Sheriffs office, District Attorney's office, the county jail, parole and probation, supervision, inmate reentry initiative, the juvenile detention facility, juvenile protection services, child neglect and abuse prevention)
HEALTH CARE (mental health services, addiction prevention and treatment programs, public health services such as immunizations food assistance for women, infants and children, reproductive health services, and communicable disease testing, treatment, and control)
HOUSING AND HOUSING PROGRAMS FOR LOW-INCOME FAMILIES
LAND USE AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRAMS (land use planning, zoning, building code inspections, environmental health, recycling and waste management)
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (economic development grants, agricultural extension services)
PUBLIC WORKS (emergency management, road maintenance, sewer, water and/or lighting services, county parks and other infrastructure services)
The county commissioners represent the people of Marion County.
The commissioners provide leadership on public policy issues affecting the county. They establish the vision, goals, and policies of county government. They supervise the operation of many county departments through the county manager. They are also responsible for establishing the county budget and allocating resources among all county departments, even ones headed by an elected official, such as the Sheriff, the District Attorney, the County Treasurer or County Clerk.
In cities within Marion County, the city and county split responsibility for local government operations. In unincorporated areas of the county, the county is responsible for all local government functions. The County Commissioners serve as advocates for the entire county with other levels of government, coordinate provision of services to county residents, and establish various working groups and advisory boards to address the problems Marion County residents face.
The county is funded principally through property taxes with state general funds, state lottery funds, and federal funds providing support for certain programs.
County Commissions are a unique body combining legislative, administrative, and judicial functions at the county level. In Marion County, the County Commissioner is a partisan position. meaning that Commissioners are candidates nominated by one or more parties that vie for control of the county. The fundamental values and political philosophies of candidates for county commissioner are important because Commissioners provide political leadership on behalf of the county, enact county ordinances, establish county policies, and allocate resources as well as supervising county operations.
Shelaswau Crier is the Democratic candidate for Position 1. The Republican candidate is Kevin Cameron, who has served one term as a Commissioner after being appointed by the all-Republican commission.
Shelaswau is a Louisiana native named by her father, a Christian minister, who said it was the name God gave him to give to her. Shelaswau means "beautiful child of God." While studying at Rice University, Shelaswau met a woman who shared that her name does indeed mean "beautiful child of God" in a Bantu dialect. Bantu is a West African language. Shelaswau's family, however, has been rooted in the United States since before the Civil War.