In their own words: Fairfield County candidates
To help readers make their choices on Nov. 4, the Beacon surveyed candidates in contested lake-area races. Participation was voluntary.
Candidates were asked to expalin, in 150 word or less, wheat they believe are the tow most important issues facing the office they are seeking and how they would address those issues. The second question asked candidates to explain in 75 works or less why they should receive your vote.
Word limits are strictly observed so some responses may have been edited to meet the limits.
(term beginning 1/2/09)
Karl Stalter Did not respond.
Judith K. Shupe
1. (a) Economic Development - Continue our aggressive work. I have been very active in the Fairfield 33 Development Alliance, a public/private partnership launching a marketing plan this year for the 33 corridor. Fairfield County has been pro-active over the years and has invested $10 million dollars in water and sewer infrastructure to serve this area. Our Economic Development office also focuses on working with our existing businesses on retention and expansion of jobs. I also support the development of our county Historical Parks, as tourism is a vital industry in Fairfield County.
1. (b) Sound Fiscal Practices -Nearly half of our revenue (sales tax, interest income) fluctuates with the economy. When revenues were down we had to make cuts to live within our budget. When income increased, we were able restore many of the cuts. Fairfield County has earned national recognition with our Aa3 rating from Moodyís Investors Service, acknowledging our effective financial planning.
2. I have 29 years experience in government service, 13 years as Clerk of Madison Township and 16 years as your County Commissioner. I am a dedicated, enthusiastic public servant listens, gathers information, communicates
and then makes best possible decisions for all FairfieldCounty.
(term beginning 1/3/09)
George C. Hallarn Did not respond.
Jon D. Myers
1. I believe the most important issues facing Farifield County are quality jobs and retention of existng jobs in Fairfield County. I will continue to work with the Route 33 Development Alliance to market Fairfield Count and to attract new businesses. I will work with our Fairfield County Economic Development department to assist in job retention and expansion of our businesses.
2. I believe I have the education and experience to be an effective county commissioner. I have demonstrated conservative leadership in the Commissioners office over the last eight years. I have local government experience as former President of Lancaster City Council and statehouse experience serving as State Representative for 10 years.
Licking County County Commissioner
(term beginning 1/2/09)
1. (a) Economic Development - Continuing to bring quality development and jobs to Licking County. In the past three years County Economic Development efforts have resulted in 1,034 new jobs and 2,282 jobs retained. Continue by promoting the partnerships between County Economic Development, the Newark-Heath- Licking County Port Authority, area Chambers of Commerce, Workenomics, and workforce development, educational and utility entities to promote the area.
Continue the aggressive County led work of the Retention and Expansion Task Force, to retain and add local jobs.
1. (b) Water and Sewer Infrastructure - Continued upgrading of the collection system for the newly expanded Buckeye Lake Regional Sewer Plant. Work to keep rates reasonable as evidenced by the cooperative effort with local civic groups to secure a one percent Ohio EPA loan for the sewer plant expansion.
Continuing to cooperate with the Ohio EPA and local communities to plan and implement improved water and sanitary sewer services countywide.
2. My background, in the private and public sectors and a long list of community involvement, make for a well rounded leader capable of handling a wide variety of issues. from collective bargaining to budgets. My business and governmental experience allows me to understand the complex issues facing county government. An effective commissioner must be a good listener and be able to cut through the clutter and make decisions in the best interest of us all.
1. (a) Sound, conservative fiscal management that supports taxpayers. Licking County has more than $10M yearly carryover of funds. We need to identify a conservative carryover figure to ensure our bond rating, identify any needed projects, and then reduce the tax rate to a level that supports the plan. Dollars returned to the community will help the local economy and citizens facing difficult economic choices.
1. (b) Planning now for the next 50 years. The decisions we make in the next four years will impact the growth of Licking County over the next generations. We need a vision of our county for our children and grandchildren, then a framework to guide development in the right directions. We must continue to support agriculture and small towns so that Licking County can be "rural by design."
2. I am not a professional politician. My experience is management in the private sector, which many people say is a change for the better. I will put that experience to work to make Licking County a better place by reducing taxes and making our county services more efficient.
(term beginning 1/3/09)
1. Managing growth in Licking County and being able to provide services to those areas. To attract business and industry to Licking County and to have a comprehensive plan for the development in those areas and the effect it has on the community. Working with those townships and communities to update their comprehensive plan to allow reasonable growth to heir areas and to maintain their local safety services. With the economy the way it is, I would have to say, securing well paying jobs and keeping those jobs in Licking County. With the population continually growing in Licking County a commissioner needs to constantly showcase our county and utilize all its valuable resources.
2. I feel I am the best candidate because of my extensive business and government experience. I believe in Licking County and want to secure a better future for all who live in Licking County. I will be fiscally responsible and I am a person you can trust to oversee the county budget.
Mark A. Van Buren
1. The first issue is the economy. Licking County must balance the budget and still provide the required services to the residents without high taxes. This will be accomplished by creating a tighter budget that demonstrates the real carryover, only funding the necessary services, and being more efficient. Licking County has already this year begun to be more efficient by using technology to increase its efficiency in several departments, purchasing better fuel efficient cars, regulating the use of electric, and placing log books in county vehicles just to name a few. To combat higher taxes I made the motion to lower the sales tax and then lowered your property taxes. The second issue is jobs creation. By working with the public and private agencies Licking County has created a Job Ready Site and is working hard to retain and keep the businesses we already have.
2. Voters should support me because of my experience as a township trustee, village councilman, and county commissioner. The second reason is the accomplishments I have had as your county commissioner, such as making the motion to lower the sales tax, and lowering your property taxes. I am asking for your support.
Editor's Note: Next week we will publish the rest of the Licking County surveys and all the Perry County ones.