Three vying for Republican nod in Clinton County Recorder race in March primary election: Candidates’ profiles


Vying for GOP nod in March primary

Hopkins

Hopkins


McKay


Snarr


Register to vote now; begin voting Wednesday

• Deadline to register to vote in the March 17 primary is Tuesday, Feb. 18; the Clinton County Board of Elections office at 111 S. Nelson Ave., Suite 4, in Wilmington, is open that day from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

• Early in-person voting at the Clinton County BOE will begin 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 19.

• For more info, go online to www.boe.ohio.gov/clinton or call 937-382-3537.

The News Journal asked the three Republican candidates for Clinton County Recorder in the March 17 primary election to provide answers to a set of questions. No Democrats are on the primary ballot for this race. We asked each GOP candidate for his or her age and community of residence, along with:

• Why are you running for county recorder?

What qualifications do you bring, that is, education, work/government experience, boards and organizations served on, volunteer activities, etc. …?

Beginning in late 2018, the recorder’s office reduced the hours it is open to the public after commissioners said a vacated full-time position should be reduced to a part-time one, so currently the office is open to the public 8 a.m.-noon Tuesdays and Thursdays (to help staff catch up on work without having to serve foot traffic during the afternoon hours those days) and, as before, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. What are your thoughts about this?

Would you like to make a brief closing statement?

Below are their responses.

KELLY HOPKINS

Age: 49

Wilmington

I am a lifetime resident of Clinton County besides my time in the US Army. My Mother is Mary Painter, Father Jeff Hopkins, Step-father Jack Painter, Brothers Chris Hopkins and David Painter. Grandparents were Harry and Anita Hopkins and Great Grandparents were Stanton and Elsie Hopkins. My Great-Great Grandfather William Henry Hopkins from the Highland County area who married Ada May Deniston, daughter of Dr. A. F. Deniston, Captain 175th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry- Company C from Westboro. My family has a long history of Military Service including my Great Grandmother’s Brother William James Smithson, whom the Veterans of Foreign War Post 6710 of Wilmington is named. I met my wife, Tracy Mitts, from New Richmond, on a blind date and we married in 1996. We both have had the privilege and the honor to be part of multiple county organizations and worked for great local businesses and/or local government.

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I believe I have the Republican Principles of protecting the rights of the individual, protecting the free enterprise system, reducing government and practicing fiscal responsibility. I have daily working knowledge of the County’s employee management, budgetary and office administration. I have a proven record of work ethic and will be a working Recorder, with every day office hours. Due to my experience in county administrative processes and programs, I will quickly be able to learn the recording part of the job. This will help ease the transition of managing the office and personnel. Recorder Huff built a Master Plan for the office. I have reviewed it and will continue and build upon it. Some of these goals would include working on the Veterans Burial Index, complete the Index Records Images and will continue the Book repairs and the loading of Plat Maps Images.

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I graduated Wilmington High School 1989 and enlisted in the US Army as a Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Specialist. I completed the Air Assault, Fire Marshal and Ammunition Handlers Courses. After serving five years in the US Army, I completed the Ohio Peace Officer Basic Training Program. During my fourteen years as a City of Wilmington Police Officer I completed well over 100 courses to include Canine Handler, State Canine Evaluator and several Instructor courses, in evidence handling and documentation, and budgeting. Professional training continued over the past ten years at the county government level. They include several First Line and Mid Management Supervision, Train the Trainer, and Weapons Instructor courses. As a Probation Officer for the Common Pleas Court, I supervised and assisted individuals with their needs and abilities to become better citizens in our community. As the Chief Criminal Bailiff and Court’s Budgetary Administrator for the Common Pleas Court, I continue to assist in preserving the peace, protecting life and property, and enforcing the laws. Throughout my work day I might work with the Commissioners in submitting budgets or appropriations; the Auditor in paying employees or submitting bills for payments; the Treasurer in making payments to the County; and the Recorder and the Engineer’s Maps for civil case research. I am a member of the American Legion Post 49, Voyageurs Militaire Locale 992 of the Forty and Eight, and a Life Member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6710. I have held several leadership positions within these organizations. I have chaired the Veterans Day Event Committees since 2009. I am a Clinton County Leadership Institute graduate and currently serve on the board and was the President for three years. I was elected as Vernon Township B – Republican Central Committee representative and also part of the Executive Committee.

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Every elected official continues to do “Work Studies” on manning. After speaking with Recorder Huff and Staff, I will continue to strive to open the office to the public. Again, this is still an ongoing discussion with Recorder Huff and the Commissioners. My goal will always be one of making the office accessible to the public and to do it with fiscal responsibility.

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As a veteran in this community I understand how important the Recorder’s Office is to Veterans. First, the Recorder’s Office records Military Discharges for veterans for free of charge in Ohio. This gives a secure place for veterans to record their discharge and the ability to obtain a certified copy if their copy is damaged or lost. Second, the Recorders’ Offices in Ohio are required to issue Veteran Identification Cards. The Clinton County Recorder’s office works with the county’s Veterans Service Commission to issue these cards. Lastly, the Recorder’s Office is required to maintain a complete alphabetical index of all veterans buried in Clinton County by cemetery, section and lot. These issues are some of the driving force for me to step up to this position and continue to serve this nation, state and community.

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JONATHAN C. McKAY

Age: 33

Wilmington

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I am running for Clinton County Recorder because the office has always interested me. I am a firm believer in knowing the past so it can help you understand the future. The Recorder’s office is just that, it is a glimpse into our past while we keep filing recorders for the future. My love for accurate recorder keeping, fiscal responsibility and customer service along with my Real Estate and Banking background drew me to run for the position as well.

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I am a life long Clinton Countian. After graduating from Wilmington High School in 2005, I earned a degree in History and Political Science from Ohio Dominican University in Columbus, Ohio and have been involved in Real Estate as a Sales agent and an Auction Assistant since 2010, and most recently Wilmington Savings Bank as their Business Development Officer until 2018. In addition to my real estate practice and banking experience, I have been active in the community. I am currently a 3 term Wilmington City Councilman, a member of the Clinton County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and serve as the Board Treasurer, a member of the Wilmington College Board of Trustees, Clinton County Republican Central Committee First Ward Representative, Wilmington Friends Meeting Nominating Committee, a Birthright Quaker, a member of the Tax Levy Incentive Committee, Vice Present of the Ohio Dominican University Alumni Council, a graduate of Leadership Clinton, emcee of the Corn Olympics, and a past guest dancer and emcee for Dancing With the Stars to benefit the Murphy Theatre.

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If I am fortunate enough to be elected, I will maintain normal office hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m Monday-Friday. This is vital to the County’s commerce and development, in my opinion. It is my goal that the Recorder’s Office provide the best customer service possible to those who enter the door and maintaining these hours would be my first step in archiving that. I will start work immediately with the County Auditor and the Treasurer to see what options may be available to hire another staff person. Once I work with these neighboring offices, I will go to the County Commissioners to present my findings and work with them on a solution to the current delay in services. I am also not afraid to step up to the plate and fill a void when I see one. I promise to be an active and hard working Recorder for the County. When there is a need, I will fill it by standing beside the office employees to get the job done. Although the role is considered part-time, I promise to make this position a full time commitment and responsibility. The success of this office and partnerships with others in the Courthouse would be my number one focus.

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I promise to be engaged, sincere, and proactive in studying all the issues that come to the Recorder’s Office if elected. I promise that if you call me with problems or questions, I will acquire you the answers. Again, customer service is top priority for me. Clinton County is a great county with a wonderful heritage, that I am proud to live in. Of course, it has its problems just like every other county in America. However, we are getting better. Over 10 years ago, things were rather bleak. I am proud to have played a role in the revitalization and business expansion in our county. I want to say as well, without the great employees that work for the county, we would not have what we have. Local services are important and I want to make sure services grow and change as they’re needed to keep up with demand in the office. Clinton County is forever growing and new ideas need to be embraced and thought over carefully. I have a proven track record of this and I ask the residents of Clinton County for their vote on March 17th to help continue the wonderful progress we have made. I hope to earn your vote based off my history of service, dedication, and pride in this place we call home.

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TANYA (DAY) SNARR

Age: 50

Wilmington

I am running for the office of Clinton County Recorder because it embodies two areas of solid and significant education and career experience about which I am very passionate. With a degree in Government and English Communications, my “first” career was as a lead paralegal in two law firms. Making the decision and pursuing the desire to stay at home with our children during their early years, I was very fortunate to indeed raise our children while very close to home. As our children grew… quickly, I might add… part-time employment became a part of our plan in raising our family. Being immersed in the volunteer world, I sought employment locally and through non-profits. As I served as Executive Director of The Murphy Theatre, and Education Director of Junior Achievement of Dayton & the Miami Valley serving Clinton County, I became very passionate about service work as my “second” career. The Office of the Recorder is one where my two areas of expertise in the arena of work outside of the home culminate into a very desirable vision for fulfilling the duties and responsibilities of the office.

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A 1987 graduate of Blanchester High School, and a 1990 graduate of Morehead State University, I hold a Bachelor of Science Degree in Government with an emphasis in Paralegal Studies, and English Communications with an emphasis in Legal Research & Writing. While employed at two separate law firms, as noted above, I was responsible for extensive analysis of documents including obtaining, indexing, summarizing and updating records, as well as database organization and implementation. Through all of these duties, and additionally drafting documents, I was responsible for research relative to policy forms and endorsements meeting state and federal regulatory guidelines, strategic development, filing policies and related endorsements in compliance within such regulations, and auditing archived filings. With regard to supervisory experience, I have trained new employees for a variety of positions, both public and private sector; coordinated many trainings, events, and intercompany enhancements to administrative systems; developed and implemented training programs and training evaluation; and worked with staff to create interim reports and department forecasts.

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Currently, I am involved in the community through my work as a substitute teacher with Wilmington City Schools, Laurel Oaks and Southern Ohio Learning Center (SOLC). My past and current civic engagement includes employment with The Murphy Theatre and Junior Achievement, as well as the Wilmington Yearly Meeting Wilmington College Committee; Sleep In Heavenly Peace Volunteer; Wilmington Yearly Meeting Youth & Young Adult Council; Clinton County Adult Day Center Board; Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War Member; Murphy Theatre Youth Summer Arts Executive Board; Denver Place Elementary/Wilmington City Schools Parent Teacher Organization President (3 years), Secretary (2 years), Treasurer (7 years); Red Cross Heroes Cabinet; Main Street Wilmington Member; United Methodist Church Youth Education Council; Wilmington Friends Meeting Sunday School Teacher, Hospitality Committee Member and Bell Choir Member; Clinton County Leadership Institute (CCLI) Youth Collaborative Programming Committee; and CCLI Class of 2013. In 2013, while employed at The Murphy Theatre, I was named the Clinton County Civic Leader of the Year by CCLI for my involvement in community in a leadership role; for 2014-15, I was awarded the Fred M. Plavney Staff Person of the Year Award for dedication and professionalism to Junior Achievement of OKI Partners, Inc.

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In speaking with professionals who make frequent use of the recorder’s office, as well as those outside the community who are leaders with the Ohio Land Trust, the majority conveyed that the current hours present challenges in timely completion of their work. I continue to listen to concerns of those who have been most affected by the decreased public office hours. Once I have had an opportunity to immerse myself in the office, understanding all facets, I will work to solidify a course of action to create the best customer service situation for our county. There is the potential to set up the position as a shared part-time position with the treasurer’s office, who can sometimes use assistance during property tax collection cycles that occur two times each year. I commit to working closely with the Clinton County Commissioners to determine budget measures that will allow the recorder’s office to serve our community well, while being a good steward of taxpayer funds.

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In closing, I would like to applaud Brenda Huff for a remarkable 20 year career in the Clinton County Recorder’s office. In speaking with folks regarding the function and progress within the recorder’s office, Brenda Huff’s name has been followed with kind accolades regarding her professionalism, customer service and leadership within the office. My best to Brenda as Union Township fiscal officer.

With my deep roots in Clinton County, my noted commitment to its people, and my desire to continually strive for improvement in our community, I will work diligently to serve our citizens well in this capacity.

Hopkins
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2020/02/web1_Kelly-Hopkins-cr.jpgHopkins

McKay
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2020/02/web1_Jonathan-McKay-cr.jpgMcKay

Snarr
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2020/02/web1_Tanya-Snarr-cr.jpgSnarr

https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2020/02/web1_primary-election-logo-March-2020-3.jpg
Vying for GOP nod in March primary

Register to vote now; begin voting Wednesday

• Deadline to register to vote in the March 17 primary is Tuesday, Feb. 18; the Clinton County Board of Elections office at 111 S. Nelson Ave., Suite 4, in Wilmington, is open that day from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

• Early in-person voting at the Clinton County BOE will begin 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 19.

• For more info, go online to www.boe.ohio.gov/clinton or call 937-382-3537.