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Posted on Oct 20, 2015

Quincy Cemetery District Election: Scharbach vs. Guzman

Mike Scharbach has been a member of the Quincy Valley Cemetery District Board of Commissioners for nearly 18 years.
The owner of Scharbach’s Columbia Funeral Chapel for nearly 39 years, Scharbach also has served on the Quincy School Board for four terms. That term ends this year; Scharbach is not seeking re-election to the school board.
Scharbach also has served as president of the three-member cemetery board.

Mike Scharbach, candidate for Quincy Cemetery District

Mike Scharbach, candidate for Quincy Cemetery District

He believes his knowledge of the funeral and cemetery industries, as well as his work ethic, can be utilized by the cemetery district.
“I have been on the Quincy Cemetery District Board of Commissioners for the past few years and have complete knowledge of all aspects of its operation,” he said. “I was instrumental in renumbering and computerizing the cemetery. After being on the Quincy School District Board of Education for the past 16 years, I also am very knowledgeable in the use of public funds.”
Among those issues board commissioners must address is how best to maintain the cemetery for the public, Scharbach said. That includes addresing landscape issues at the cemetery.
“We need to address the old shrubs on the west side of the cemetery as we are losing eight to 10 of them a year,” Scharbach said. “This needs to be done with the utmost care because of the close proximity of the existing graves.”
As a commissioner, Scharbach currently is working with a local service club on a plan to replace the more than 50-year-old shrubs.
In addition, he would like to see more privacy shrubs planted in other areas of the cemetery
Scharbach said the board has come a long way over the years. The board commissioners have made several upgrades to the cemetery, from aquiring new equipment to beautifying the cemetery.
“We built a new maintenance building with a generous donation of the Quincy Lions Club and remodeled the old maintenance building,” he said. “A complete new irrigation system has been installed, along with a new pump house with improved water pressure, a retaining wall and a sign on the south end of the cemetery.
“The cemetery district also owns its own backhoe and small dump truck. Two cremation walls have been installed, along with a security system to monitor the cemetery 24/7. We have also opened and plotted the east side of the cemetery for use.”
If re-elected, Scharbach said he will work hard to maintain the cemetery, which is important to the community.
“I would also like to be able to make sure that the cemetery grounds are kept in good condition for the public, which has family and friends buried in the cemetery,” he said.

While Linda Garza Guzman is a newcomer in the race for the Quincy Valley Cemetery District, she is not a newcomer to the local community.
“I have worked with the public for more than 20 years,” said Guzman. “I have served on several boards.”

Linda Garza Guzman, candidate for Quincy Cemetery District

Linda Garza Guzman, candidate for Quincy Cemetery District

Guzman said she is vying for the six-year seat, facing off against incumbent Mike Scharbach, because she can bring new ideas to the board.
“I feel that I can bring new ideas for this position that can benefit all in our community,” Garza said.
Among the candidate’s priorities are improving communication between the board of commissioners and the public.
“Some pepole feel like they have little or no say in anything going on in our cemetery,” Guzman said.
If elected, Guzman also would like to see scheduled days for cemetery maintenance. At this time, mowing days are often changed without notice, she said, so many people have items at the gravesites that are lost or stolen.
As a commissioner, Guzman also would work with the public on a campaign to beautify the cemetery.
“I’d like to level the ground where it is uneven,” she said. “A lot of headstones are sunk into the ground. (I would) like to lift them so they are level with the others.”


— By Jill FitzSimmons,

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