What are the major issues facing your county, and what would you do about them if elected?
Crime and drugs, roads and job creation are major issues I hear about when I am speaking with the voters in this county. Crime and Drugs. We have two sheriff candidates running for an open office. Both will tell you they hear about crime and drugs every day. Both will likely tell you to overcome these issues, we need to increase staffing by adding additional deputies to increase patrol coverage, and to shorten response times. Unfortunately this will require an increase to their annual budget. Roads. Bart Dennison, our new county Engineer, has developed a comprehensive plan to repair our roads. Last year he paved 46 miles. This was largely funded by taking ~$600k in over-encumbrances from the 2015 Engineer’s budget. This same $600k will not be there this year, next year, nor in the future. There will be a 2.0 mills road levy on the March ballot. My questions are; What if the road levy does not pass? What is the back-up plan? How will they continue to improve our road conditions quickly? It is obvious there is a need for additional funding to execute Bart Dennison’s plan. Jobs. In regards to Economic Development, we have the initial infrastructure and an attractive model for companies looking to invest in Morrow County. Job creation must be a top priority. 14 percent of the residents in Morrow County are below poverty level income, and the average resident drives 30.3 minutes to work. Creating new jobs here is imperative for the future of our county. I believe I am the only candidate that has a comprehensive plan to help fund these issues without imposing additional taxes. I am running on the platform of maximizing efficiencies to increase the value for the tax payers’ dollar. I have a 5-point plan I would work to execute within my first term that would free up current tax levy revenue. With the support of our voters, we could fund the increases needed for the Sheriff and Engineers budgets, without raising taxes. In fact part of my plan effectively reduces the tax burden for our citizens while providing the funding needed for the sheriff and Engineer. If we can reduce crime and drugs, improve the roads and infrastructure, Morrow County will be a better place for us all, and we will attract more companies looking to invest in Morrow County. This in turn, will create additional tax base, and create new jobs here in Morrow County.
Why are you the best-qualified candidate for the position you are seeking?
I am a very experienced business professional. I have spent 23 years in the manufacturing sector with a primary focus in the automotive industry. I work with top level executives from large companies on a daily basis, negotiating with them to provide solutions for their operational needs. The automotive industry is one of the toughest, most demanding industries regarding cost reductions and operational efficiencies. Negotiating at this level has given me the necessary experience to successfully manage $100 million in budgets annually. We have several elected officials within our county office that are critical to operating our local government effectively. What I feel is needed the most is a commissioner with a strong, successful, business background in both the public and private sectors. Someone that will work to maximize the efficiencies at the county level, to increase the value for the tax payers’ dollar. Someone that will challenge status quo, that can think outside the box, and that is a visionary. Someone that will bring transparency to the office. I feel I am the candidate that best represent these attributes.
What else would you like to say to voters in your county?
We are at a critical time in the history of Morrow County. Every vote counts, including yours. I would encourage you to talk with all of the candidates, in each race to educate yourself on what they will do for you as an elected official in Morrow County. When speaking to the commissioner candidates, ask them for their plan. Ask them how they will provide additional revenue for the Sherriff’s office to increase staffing without raising taxes. Ask them how they will provide the county engineer with additional funding to continue repairing our roads if the road levy fails on March 15, without raising taxes. I have a plan, and would love to share it with each voter. And ask yourself this question. Who do you want sitting across the table negotiating with a CEO from a $100 million dollar company looking to invest in Morrow County. I believe I am the best candidate. I will work hard for the citizens of this county.