Occupation: Clinton County Auditor
What are your qualifications for the position of Clinton County commissioner?
I am the only candidate to hold a county-wide elected office, so I understand the pressures and challenges that elected office brings. Every day, I work closely with the commissioners and understand the issues and opportunities they encounter. I also know and understand the county budget. This knowledge and expertise will allow me to lead as a commissioner on DAY 1. I won’t face the learning curve all the other candidates would face.
I also have over 30 years of leadership and financial experience that has equipped me to make tough decisions, lead by example, and manage budgets.
Why do you want to be a commissioner?
The commissioners work directly with the people and have an opportunity to have a positive impact on the lives of the people they serve. I want the opportunity to work directly with the people of Clinton County and believe I can make a bigger contribution to Clinton County as a county commissioner.
Describe the kind of commissioner you would like to be.
I will be a commissioner that puts the people first by always having an open door and making their needs my top priority. I will make tough decisions in a timely manner after analyzing available information and seeking appropriate counsel.
What goals would you have if elected?
Make timely decisions in all circumstances.
Create and implement a centralized purchasing function for the county.
Improve efficiency and reduce costs by utilizing new technology to centralize the county’s information technology and leverage employee expertise.
Safeguard taxpayer money by closely monitoring budgets and analyzing operations for opportunities to improve processes and procedures to save money.
The commissioners oversee millions of dollars in public money. What’s your fiscal philosophy as to how that money should be overseen?
Government should spend only the money necessary to provide required or requested services. It does not have to spend every penny it collects, and I have not. My guiding principle has been that if I wouldn’t spend my money on something, I will not spend the people’s. By using this guideline, I gave back over $400,000 of taxpayer money to county schools, townships, and villages.
Do you support the county’s levied 0.5 percent sales tax or do you think it should be reduced, increased or expire this year?
The commissioners should eliminate the tax to provide meaningful tax relief to the people of Clinton County. I worked with the commissioners to provide them the financial information, and support their decision.
During the four year term of office you seek, the county expects to receive millions of dollars from the sale of the formerly county‐owned Clinton Memorial Hospital. What should be done with that money?
I provided a letter to the commissioners on January 19, 2016 detailing an outline for the use of these funds. Below are excerpts from the letter that answer this question:
A comprehensive, long-term plan should be developed and implemented that will guide the preservation and use of all of the money the county will receive from the sale of Clinton Memorial Hospital rather than spending it piecemeal. The key to good stewardship of this money is planning. Properly crafted, a comprehensive plan can provide meaningful improvements to our quality of life for generations into the future. Such a plan should provide for the creation of a legacy type fund while incorporating some anticipated future needs of county government. A legacy fund will help our county for a very long time by providing grants to charitable organizations and local governments.
The best way to ensure that such a legacy fund continues well into the future is to protect the principal by never using it. Only the income earned each year should be used; 90 percent of the income should be distributed as grants, and the other 10 percent should be used for administrative expenses and growing the fund for future use.
To create the widest possible impact throughout the county, grants should be split evenly between social/cultural, economic development, and local government requests. Grants should be awarded for projects or one-time events, and normal operating expenses and salaries should be excluded from eligibility.
The county also needs to take care of the buildings and other property that it owns. The county’s information technology (IT) capabilities also need significant upgrades. The county is woefully behind in this regard. The county has a blueprint for bringing its information technology into the 21st century, and the commissioners need to commit to spending the funds necessary to attain this outcome.
Do you wish to briefly add something that hasn’t been touched upon in your responses?
My campaign slogan is “Putting the People First”. These are not just words to me. It is how I live. My parents instilled an attitude of service in me that I still have. Growing up, my family regularly helped people. Whether it was helping out with yard work, making repairs to somebody’s house, or providing food or company to a shut-in, my parents showed us what serving means.
After graduating from Ohio State, I served our country in the United States Army. After completing my military service, Beth and I returned home to raise a family. I continued my service through volunteer leadership positions in several local non-profit organizations. In the past, I have been president of Habitat for Humanity, president of the Clinton County Foundation, and treasurer of Wilmington Knothole Association. I currently serve as a trustee at our church and am on the board of directors for Little Hearts Big Smiles. I am also on the statewide governing board for the County Auditors Association of Ohio.