2012-10-27 / News

Commissioner candidates in their own words

PERRY COUNTY – Space is limited this year, so The Beacon limited its candidates survey to the most significant lake-area race.

That’s the three separate races for all three county commissioner posts. Two commissioner positions are open in counties statewide, but all three are open thanks to Lonnie Wood’s forced resignation earlier this year.

To help Beacon readers in Perry County make their choices, all six candidates were asked to respond to two questions:

1. Please explain in 200 words or less the two most important issues facing the Perry County Board of County Commissioners and how you would address them if elected.

2. Please explain in 75 words or less why voters should support you.

Word limits have been strictly enforced. Responses are grouped by race.

First four-year term
(vote for one)
Thad Cooperrider

1. Our number one concern is the upcoming election. We have an unusual opportunity to elect all three Commissioners on November 6th.Whoever wins my seat will be working with two commissioners with a combined total of 0 years experience as an elected official. We must vote for candidates with a successful business background, proven leadership, strong family values, and the ability to make the right decisions. We also need to elect officials that have the ability to leave their politics at home after they are elected and make every decision based on the good for all our residents.

Our second major concern is local representation in Perry County government. For too long it seems our end of the county pays the most in taxes and receives the least amount in services. we have to stop our current practice of raising taxes just to spend more money. We need to aggressively pursue our delinquent taxes and make sure everyone pays only their fair share. As a local lifetime resident of Thorn township and the only candidate north of Somerset, I have a real understanding of our needs ,and will always be available to listen to your needs.

2. “The reason I’m running for this office is, I’m truly concerned for our County , with eight years serving as your Perry County commissioner , 2001/2008, my experience will be an asset and a necessity to our county. I Promise to uphold my strong conservative values, improve on my weaknesses, and help get Perry County back on the right track. I respectfully ask for your vote on November 6th. Thanks for your past support.”

Ed Keister

1. There are many issues which factor into the important task of retaining a solid balanced budget. The continued development of infrastructure and economic development & tourism are two of the top priorities.

• Infrastructure: Continuing to promote the development of countywide broadband access and responsible further development of the county water systems. Radio Communications for Fire/EMS, Sheriff and Police Departments

• Economic Development and Tourism: Recognizing that jobs will be developed through a grass roots approach which involves supporting existing businesses and by continuing to develop a web presence for the county we will promote the development of new businesses to support the creation of a tourism destination for Perry County Ohio. (www.visitperrycountyohio.com)

2. With 28 years’ experience and dedication, serving as Junction City Council Member, Mayor and now Perry County Commissioner, I have a proven track record of success. My past experience has shown that I am able to work with people on both sides of issues. With proven leadership skills, a positive attitude and determination, I will continue to promote cooperation among all elected Perry County officials, Mayors, City Councils and Township Trustees, as we work together to improve Perry County.

Second four-year term
(vote for one)
Lloyd Harley

1. Our county faces many challenges. The two that I would like to address are the real estate and delinquent taxes, and the funding of our law enforcement.

Oddly enough the two go hand in hand. If the taxes were kept current and our tax base through new business and industry were broadened there would be more funding for our law enforcement to battle the crime and drug problem that we are facing in Perry County.

Having already addressed this delinquent tax issue with our legislators we have agreed that the collection process must be streamlined to become more efficient and more balanced. You know the old saying if we all pay our FAIR share we all will pay less.

The Solution: Keep our taxes current, broaden our tax base with new business and industry so we can fund the critical departments that provide us the protection we need.

Through my commitment as a full-time commissioner we will be able to accomplish these goals.

2. I would like to say that I have no strings attached. My purpose in seeking the office is the betterment of our county. I’m a military veteran and retired early so that I might serve you full-time. Unlike my opponent, I don’t have multiple family members including a spouse, who works in Perry County government.

I’m offering a fresh start from the tired, old political machine. Help me move our county in a new direction.

Jim O’Brien

1. I believe the two most important issues the Perry County Board of Commissioners will be facing are managing our county budget and addressing the need to expand communication between all our county offices, with every town and village throughout our county.

I feel by working together, to attract new businesses to our area, will help strengthen our existing tax base, and will add much needed revenue to our county budget.

Access to our county is limited. Our county is only one of four counties in our state that does not have a major free-way running through it. We need to recognize what our county has to offer potential businesses, and capitalize on our strengths, but to never overlook any opportunity to bring businesses to our area. I will work with our Chamber of Commerce, Economical Development Groups, state and local officials, Board of Senior Citizens, and other groups and individuals to promote job growth and to strengthen the existing programs our county has to offer.

I will work to expand communications between our City Councils, Township Trustees, Police and Fire Departments, and the citizens of our county, making sure every community’s voice is heard.

2. I am seeking the position of County commissioner because I believe my field and management experience will bring a new perspective to the office. I have 22 years experience in the engineering/ surveying field.

(15 years experience as manager for two different firms). I am a pre-qualified Right-of-Way Designer for the State of Ohio, experienced team worker on environmental impact studies, experienced in developing cost proposals for waterline, sanitary and roadway projects.

Two-year term
(vote for one)
Dave Freriks

1. Working with retention of existing county businesses to keep jobs in our county. Making a cooperative effort with State, Local, and County governments to insure we have the necessary needs of the county so more jobs can be brought into this area, realizing the impact and financial hardship family’s face. I will serve its citizen’s full time.

We possess natural resources, oil, gas, timber and “coal”. There is a need to tap into these resources to keep and bring better paying jobs into our county.

Things aren’t how they used to be. We need to insure we are not duplicating services through cooperation will all county and state agencies. We must be fiscally responsible and accountable to our voters. If elected my first priority is planning, not to speculate. I need to see where we are and where we are going. I will do this by listening to the county citizens and applying my knowledge through my own business and life experiences. I will be a full time Commissioner. I have no other business, political interest or affiliations that would influence any decision making for the betterment of this county. (190)

2. I love this county and its citizens. I have been on porches delivering for UPS and have heard of some of the issues the county citizens deal with on a daily basis. I have a drive and desire to make the difference that is needed to move our county forward. I’m a highly motivated individual. I have a compassion for this county and will work hard to improve the quality of life for its residents. (75)

Tim Green

1. The 2 most important issues facing Perry County are economic development and job growth. We have a wealth of local resources : clay, agriculture, scenic hills, forests, history, gas, oil and coal. However, the county hasn’t been marketed and promoted aggressively which will bring increased economic growth through higher employment numbers and more revenue. I would like to attract more tourism by capitalizing on some of our natural resources and history. Let’s look at bringing kayak and canoeing to nearby lakes and streams, zip-lines through our hills and tourists to our many historical sites. Let’s bring back the jobs we have lost! We can also do this by rejuvenating the ceramic industry by marketing to restaurant and hotel chains the idea of creating their dinnerware here in Perry County with a “Made in America” theme. (We have some of the best clay in the world! ).This also will create job growth and get people back to work. I want to attract more industries through aggressively promoting our job force and resources. I want to continue getting grants for our communities and help to control taxes for our citizens.

2. I have 30 years experience working in the government. I am also a Vietnam veteran. I was a former small business owner for 16 years. As your commissioner since April, I’ve helped to create a website for Perry County: www.visitperrycountyohio.com, obtain grants for Corning, Glenford,

Somerset and Madison Township, approved monies for the Phase II waterline project. I have also controlled costs and our budget is in the black. I promise to be accessible and responsive to taxpayers.

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