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Get to know your county commissioners: Michael Poppens, District 4

Michael Poppens served for one term as county commissioner from 2002 to 2006, then took a six-year break before running again.

District 4 consists of the cities of Lennox and Tea and Delapre and Perry townships.

His first time as county commissioner was spent covering the Lennox and Harrisburg areas. Since that time, the county has gone through redistricting.

“We serve a very diverse population, a very ag-based southern area and a very urban area to the north,” Poppens said. “We base our districts on registered voters.”

When Poppens ran the first time, he wanted to try for a commissioner position because he disagreed with some of the decisions that were being made.

“I thought, ‘you know, I think I can do this better.’ Not to say they were wrong, I just thought I could do it better and if the public agreed with me, then they’ll trust me to do that,” he said.

During his first term, he noted it was a learning experience. He had a lot of ideas and at the time, he took any of the things he was in favor of that didn’t pass, as a personal defeat.

“I realized finally that it’s five of us. If we can get a 3-2 vote split, I think that’s the best opportunities because then we’re truly doing the best to come up with new ideas and things and moving forward,” Poppens said.

Now he does not take it as a defeat if he does not agree with the majority. He hopes his dissension with a decision helps to make a better decision and vice versa.

The second time he ran, a resident had asked him to run again. He thought if the voters think he will do a good job, they will vote for him and that he is trying. Poppens would like to run one more time.

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