County commissioner district 2 candidates share answers

Zabrocki, Hendrix seek position


County Commissioner District 2


Darrell Zabrocki

Address/town: Seward

Registered party: Republican

You have held elected office in the past. How will your experience help you in the office of county commissioner?

Being a County Commissioner is more than just attending a Tuesday morning board meeting. Learning to be a commissioner requires a certain level of training and for that reason I have attended a wide variety of seminars, webinars and other meetings in order to learn the responsibilities associated with carrying out the work of a County Commissioner.

Each County Commissioner has liaison responsibilities to departments within county government. Additionally, there are other boards and organizations that interface with county government that require commissioner involvement.

I currently liaison to the City of Seward, the Probation Office, and the E-911 Center. I serve on the Southeast Nebraska Development District Board (SENDD) and also their Executive Board, the Nebraska Intergovernmental Risk Management Association (NIRMA), the Seward County Bridges Board, the E-911 Board, the Nebraska Public Agency Investment Trust (NPAIT), the Seward County Broadband Task Force, and the Seward Fourth of July Committee.

There are relationships established that benefit Seward County and institutional knowledge learned that also benefits and brings value to the county. During my first term I believe I have developed the knowledge and acquired the experience necessary to be a public servant that represents all of the constituents in my district.


At a recent meeting, the board discussed ways to educate the public about the county’s budget and tax processes. How would you go about informing the public about these two very important areas?

This question was a topic at a recent meeting I attended with other county officials. I proposed a solution that involved a short essay being written by each county official that has a role in this topic, including the county board. These essays would be published in local newspapers along with social media pages to include county websites, pages maintained by County Commissioners, and local social media chat pages. This series of essays would then roll up into a final document that will also be published in local newspapers and the aforementioned social media pages. Additionally, this final document would be turned into a direct mailing to all residents in Seward County. This mailing would address tax and budget issues, and in particular the pink postcard which taxpayers have received the past couple of years.

This is truly an education issue as many people do not understand the process or what must be done to meet statutory requirements. I would encourage taxpayers to attend County Board, City Council and School Board meetings, and any other meetings where budgets are set by boards that have the ability to levy taxes. The time to question the taxing subdivisions is during the budget-setting process, not after the budgets are set.


List two areas you would like to focus on if elected, why they are important to you and what your plans are to address them.

I am currently a member of the Seward County Broadband Task Force which was established by the Board of Commissioners two years ago. The purpose of the task force is to explore ways to bring fiber optic broadband service to as much of the county as possible. For the most part the cities and villages in Seward County have relatively good service. The rural areas do not. More and more people are working from home, and our farm families are relying more and more on technology for their operations.

These residents need the same quality of service others currently enjoy. The Task Force has been able to secure a $9.2 million grant for fiber optic service in northeast Seward County. We are pursuing grant funding for the southern part of the county with the ultimate goal being that all Seward County residents will have broadband service with sufficient speed to meet their needs.

There is a need for infrastructure improvements across much of Seward County. I was involved with the paving of East Seward Road from the Seward city limits to Highway 34. This was a collaborative effort with the City of Seward. The work is now complete and the road is open. Other projects that we as a Board are working on include the paving of 420th Road (the Beaver Road) from Highway 34 to the Interstate, the resurfacing of Sunrise Road near Milford, a bridge replacement near Beaver Crossing, and a bypass around Milford that would take the heavy truck traffic away from the Southeast Community College Campus. We have many bridges that were built in the 1920’s and 1930’s that cannot handle the weight of today’s vehicles and farm equipment. Funding is always an issue when considering any infrastructure projects.

The County Board is made up of five commissioners who all work together on these projects and try to prioritize them in a way that benefits residents of Seward County.



Alyssa Hendrix

Address/town: Seward

Registered party: Republican

You have held elected office in the past. How will your experience help you in the office of county commissioner?

My experience as a former City Councilwoman of Ward 4, combined with my background as a businesswoman, entrepreneur, and developer has positioned me to make a significant impact at the County level. My understanding of local governance, community needs, and economic development will be invaluable in serving District 2 and the County as a whole.

My previous experience as a City Council representative provides me with insights into the workings of local government, the needs of my constituents, and the importance of collaboration and communication with other stakeholders. My background in business and entrepreneurship brings a pragmatic and results-oriented approach to decision-making, ensuring that County resources are used effectively and efficiently.

Additionally, my experience as a property developer gives an unique perspective on issues related to land use, planning, and infrastructure development, which are critical considerations at the County level. My experienced knowledge in this area will be particularly valuable as the County addresses challenges and opportunities related to growth, sustainability, and community development.

My diverse background and previous experience uniquely qualifies me to support District 2 and contribute to the overall progress and development of this County. With a track record of commitment to leadership and serving my constituents, makes me well-suited for this role and your vote.


At a recent meeting, the board discussed ways to educate the public about the county’s budget and tax processes. How would you go about informing the public about these two very important areas?

Transparency and education are crucial when it comes to informing taxpayers! The taxpayers need to be regularly informed on the County’s budget, the tax process and property tax evaluations so they know exactly where their money is being spent. Providing clear and accessible information on budget allocations, budget cutbacks, budget elimination expenses, the tax process, the  formula(s) used for property evaluation and State requirements are essential for building accountability and trust within County Offices and the community.

Here is how I would like to inform the public about the County’s budget, tax process and property evaluations:

Publish Weekly Commissioner Meetings: Apply to the agenda, recorded quarterly meetings to discuss the budget, tax and property evaluation process. A recording of these meetings for public access ensures transparency. Posting these recordings online allows taxpayers to stay informed about the budget, tax, evaluation process so when any public hearing arises, the taxpayers have had time to prepare questions and concerns along with attendance.

Social Media and Online Platforms: Utilizing social media platforms to share updates on budget decisions, upcoming meetings, and educational content can reach a wider audience. Creating dedicated events or pages for budget, tax and evaluation process discussions encourages engagement and feedback from the community.

Newspaper Articles: Publishing quarterly articles of engagement in local newspapers can help reach taxpayers who may not be active on social media or online platforms. These articles can provide summaries of budget discussions, highlight important decisions, and offer explanations of complex topics in an accessible way.

Informative Emails, Texts, or Blogs: Subscribe to informative emails or texts regarding budget updates and educational content keeps taxpayers informed directly. Creating a blog where detailed explanations of budget decisions, tax processes, and state regulations can serve as a valuable resource for those seeking more in-depth information.


List two areas you would like to focus on if elected, why they are important to you and what your plans are to address them.

Focusing on Planning & Zoning alongside County office/department employment and recruitment offers a comprehensive approach to fostering sustainable community development, economic growth and ensuring a skilled and motivated workforce.

Here’s how I hope to prioritize these areas if elected:

Planning & Zoning:

Comprehensive Planning with Smart Growth Principles: Work on updating and implementing comprehensive plans to guide future development, land use, and infrastructure investments. To ensure these plans reflect the community’s needs, priorities, and vision for sustainable growth for the future of Seward County.

Building and Zoning Ordinances: Review and update zoning ordinances to promote smart growth, mixed land uses, and vibrant communities within our County. A balance of economic development opportunities, environmental conservation and quality agricultural use considerations. Employ a Building Inspector to ensure codes, regulations and ordinance throughout the County.

Community Engagement: Foster robust community engagement processes to gather input from residents, businesses, and stakeholders on planning and zoning decisions. Encourage participation in public meetings, workshops, and online forums to ensure diverse perspectives are considered.

Streamlined Processes: Improve the efficiency and transparency of planning and zoning processes to facilitate responsible development while maintaining regulatory compliance, conformity and conformity. Implement online permitting, systems and streamline approval procedures to support businesses and developers.

County Office/Department Employment & Recruitment:

Talent Acquisition Strategy: Develop a strategic approach to County employment and recruitment, focusing on attracting and retaining top talent across diverse fields and skill sets. Implement targeted recruitment campaigns, outreach efforts, and competitive compensation packages to attract qualified candidates.

Employee Engagement and Retention: Enhance employee engagement and retention through professional development opportunities, wellness initiatives, and recognition programs. Expand workforce development programs and initiatives to equip County employees with the skills and training needed to excel in their roles and advance their careers. Establish employment goals and practices that prioritize and create a supportive work environment where all employees feel valued and empowered. Invest in employee morale and job satisfaction to foster a positive workplace culture and reduce turnover.