Occupation: Currently Executive Director of Clinton County Leadership Institute.
What are your qualifications for the position of Clinton County Commissioner?
As a resident of Clinton County since 1976, along with my 35 years of Commercial Banking experience combined with my involvement in County Service Organizations; I feel these attributes provide me with the qualifications needed to serve as Clinton County Commissioner.
Why do you want to be a Commissioner?
Why I am interested in being a Commissioner is summed up in a quote Commissioner Mike Curry made about my late mother-in-law, Darleen Myers in an article the News-Journal did upon her passing in November, 2012. Mike said, “Darleen was always trying to make the community better and was the type of person always looking for some way to help other people”. That is my sole purpose for being one of our Commissioners.
Describe the kind of Commissioner you would like to be.
For me I believe the Commissioners are the “Face” of Clinton County, and with that they need to be actively out meeting with citizens, businesses, township trustees, and village/city councils to understand their issues/concerns. Through this engagement, it provides knowledge and information to act so our County can continue to offer the best in Quality of Life issues such as; A Safe Community, Solid School Systems, Accessible Health Care, Arts, Parks and Recreation Opportunities.
What goals would you have if elected?
My goals if elected would be to make sure we continue to have a Safe Community, specifically to work towards eliminating the drug issue that is affecting our community. Ensuring that the County’s Assets and Revenues are prudently utilized for the best benefit of our citizens and Controlling expenses would be another goal. Make sure that we continually strive to communicate with the citizens, businesses, and other governmental entities in the County so that we ensure transparency of the County’s business.
The Commissioners oversee millions in public money. What’s your fiscal philosophy as to how that money should be overseen?
As a Commissioner, we have a fiduciary responsibility to the citizens to make sure their tax dollars are effectively managed for the betterment of all. In other words, I would be conservative on my approach for the expenditure of the county’s revenues. And will always ask the question “Is it in the Best Interest of the Citizens of Clinton County”.
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 0.5% percent sales tax should be allowed to expire. As reported, Commissioners, Curry, Haley, and Steed have indicated that based on trends in the economic situation in the County, along with a strong balance sheet of the County they feel that the sales tax can be eliminated. I would support the Commissioners on this 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?
First and foremost, the county-owned hospital was an Asset of the citizens so at the end of the day, the sale proceeds belong to our community. Since five years has passed since the hospital sold in December of 2010, I believe there should be an accounting provided to the citizens. In this, we would share how much hospital funds have been received and how those funds have been utilized to date. As I mentioned earlier, I feel transparency is extremely important.
In the year of 2010 as things were moving towards the sale of the hospital, a diverse group of individuals was formed to work on the body of a plan for the best use of the net sale proceeds from the hospital. This group was made up of business people, CMH Hospital Board, CMH Foundation, public officials, and educators, with a goal of being able represent the Health, Education, and Welfare in the County. Over the course of ten months with support from third party professionals who had been involved in similar transactions a prospective Plan was crafted for the best possible use(s) of the sale proceeds.
So I think this document needs to be dusted off and if the participants that were a part of this planning process are willing along with an invitation to the public. We should look at utilizing this. For as they say, “Why reinvent the wheel?”
And as a starting point, let’s establish a Mission/Purpose for the use of the remaining hospital funds. My thought on that statement is this, “To support Health Care, Education, Social Welfare and Cultural Development in Clinton County”.
As I stated above, the hospital belonged to the citizens of Clinton County and the remaining sale proceeds should be used for the betterment of the citizens.
Do you wish to briefly add something that hasn’t been touched upon in your responses?
To close, I would welcome the opportunity to serve the citizens of Clinton County as your next Commissioner. The position of Commissioner will be my only occupation. My promise to the voters of Clinton County is to be out actively meeting with area businesses and citizens to ensure that our county continues to offer the best in Quality of Life issues such as; A Safe Community, Solid Schools Systems, Accessible Health Care, Arts, Parks and Recreation Opportunities.