Q & A with Dennis Leader- incumbent seeking election as Morrow County Commissioner

Staff report

What are the major issues facing your county, and what would you do about them if elected?

There are three major issues that effect the citizens of Morrow County that I can make a difference. The first is roads, bridges and infrastructure. Approximately 80% of working Morrow County citizens work outside the county. The county does not have jobs for all of us. As central Ohio development inches into our county new businesses look at our infrastructure as compared to other communities. For us to attract quality jobs we need to improve our roads, bridges, water and sewer systems. I will work diligently to coordinate government, business and citizens to assure we preserve the quality of life we have in Morrow County. Development without conscious is not progress. As Commissioner I have reviewed the Comprehensive Land Use Plan and it clear what we as citizens want- better infrastructure, better employment opportunities, better housing and a continued high quality police, fire, EMS and 911 services. Yet as citizens we want residential development to expand our existing villages not take our agricultural land. We are an expanding county and with that intelligent, incremental changes can be good for our community and I plan to work with all of the county offices and agencies to keep our quality of rural life intact.

The second issue that is very important to any county or business is financial planning and budgeting. I bring another level of expertise to the county that no one else on the ballot even comes close to. The county is responsible for millions of tax payers dollars which are expected to provide services to the county. I have had fiduciary responsibility for nearly $100 million of Morrow County Hospital, Mid-Ohio Educational Service Center, Tri-Rivers Career Center and Pioneer Career and Technology taxpayer annual budget money for nearly 8 years. My business, Leader Financial Group, LLC, has provided financial services for individuals and business for decades. That same financial acumen and budgetary restraint I have provided the community and clients for years will be instituted for the county as well. I am a fiscal conservative with a degree in Business Administration from Max Fisher School at the Ohio State University with a major in Risk Management. As Morrow County moves forward and expands there are sure to be many financial decisions that will require in depth analysis, which has been my life and career.

The third issue which is near and dear to my heart is the future Morrow County Hospital. There are opponents on the ballot that want to sell Morrow County Hospital. As past Chairman of the Board of Trustees and the finance committee at the hospital I can guarantee that I will have no part in the sale of the hospital. To the contrary I will continue to work with the hospital board to expand hospital and physician services for the community. Obamacare has challenged many rural hospitals through out the country. Our hospital has very low debt and is an integral part of the Mount Gilead and county economy. The sale of the hospital would be devastating to our community due to loss of employees and services. Anyone who believes and is campaigning to sell the hospital simply is not looking out for our community.

Why are you the best qualified candidate for commissioner?

No other candidate has the executive, leadership, community, fiscal or educational experience that I have demonstrated for decades. Success does not just happen, it takes hard work, dedication and most of all the ability and personality to bring talented individuals together for the common good. Keeping me as Morrow County Commissioner will allow the county to continue to grow in a methodical, careful, conscientious way. Additionally, my agriculture and rural heritage is important as our biggest industry in Morrow County is still farming and livestock.

What else would you like to say to the voters of Morrow County?

Morrow County has been my family’s home since 1978. While I have had many corporate opportunities to relocate elsewhere over the years, I have chosen to raise my family in Morrow County due to the quality of life. Morrow County is special and I plan to help preserve our way of life for generations to come. I have been married to Debra since 1977, our children Alex and Janel graduated from Northmor High School and Miami University and I am gramps to Evie and Jacob, who cannot wait to come to the farm. My church affiliations current and past have been Pleasant Grove Church of Christ and the Pines Christian Church. My business is a member of the Morrow County Chamber of Commerce. I am a lifetime Red Cross Blood Donor, Farm Bureau Member, CCW permit holder and a notary.

On March 15 I ask for your vote to keep me as Morrow County Commissioner. No one will work harder or smarter to promote and protect Morrow County.


Staff report