Green River Star -

By Olivia Kennah
Staff Writer 

Commissioner seeks another term

 


Sweetwater County Commissioner Don Van Matre is running for re-election this year in hopes of continuing his service to the county.

Van Matre has been a commissioner for six years and he enjoys his work with his co-commissioners, which is one of the several reasons he is seeking re-election.

“You have to be able to trust the people you work with and we have that right now. That doesn’t happen overnight, you have to work at it,” Van Matre said.

He is confident in the current commission’s ability to take on the difficult budget decisions the county faces.

“This commission is a good commission. We’re all different, we have different backgrounds and we work together well,” Van Matre said. “This is the first time we’ve been challenged with the budget, and I’m confident this commission will deal with that challenge in a positive way.”

Describing himself as people-oriented, when making decisions on issues in the county, Van Matre centers his focus on people.

“My top priority is people,” he said, and he wants to factor this into the budget decisions. He acknowledges and appreciates the hard work the county personnel put in, and he wants to protect their jobs to the best of his ability.

“I want to ensure we don’t have to layoff people unnecessarily, and I don’t anticipate we will, but if we do, I want to deal with it in a proactive way,” he said.

Having spent 20 years in military service, Van Matre is very passionate about veteran services, and is proud of the accomplishments he and the county have made in providing for its veterans. The service program helps connect veterans with state and federal benefits for free.

“We worked on that for eight years, and we’ve come a long way with that program,” he said. “We do that for free, and we do it well.” He added that with the recent loss of the veteran’s service director, he is concerned with who will pick that role up and wants to ensure the person is well-qualified for the role.

Van Matre grew up in Farson and moved to Green River as a junior in high school. After his service in the military, he returned to Green River and served a term as mayor in the mid-80s.

He loves Green River and Sweewater County, and he enjoys being of service to it.

“I enjoy the public service,” he said. “Everybody needs meaningful work. This is meaningful for me.”

 

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