The same questions recently were posed to the two candidates for a seat on the Board of Clinton County Commissioners. Below are the answers provided by Kerry Steed. Answers from the other candidate, Dean Feldmeyer, were published in the News Journal’s Wednesday, Oct. 26 edition.
1) Name; age; community/township of residence; current occupation?
Kerry Steed, 46, Wilmington/Adams Township, owner of Generations Pizzeria in Wilmington
2) What are your qualifications for the position of Clinton County commissioner?
County commissioner in Clinton County from 2012 to present, and president in 2014. I have been chairman of multiple county agency boards and committees. Have worked through Jobs Ohio and the Clinton County Port Authority to bring 200 jobs to the air park. Collaborating with Board of Clinton County Commissioners to create the Legacy Fund.
A budgetary expert able to balance budget every year in office. I have partnered with the sheriff and the State of Ohio to install countywide emergency communications. Supporting the enhancement of our county and city parks.
I have owned Generations Pizzeria, a 54-year, multi-generational business, from 1993 to the present (24 years), president/CEO, created jobs and other opportunities for more than 1,800 people.
Implemented all short- and long-term strategic planning to maintain success in a highly complex and customer-focused market.
A community leader connected and supporting many local organizations: Red Cross, Relay for Life, Rotary, Orion, Leadership Clinton, etc., and was named Outstanding Community Leader in 2008 by the Clinton County Leadership Institute.
3) Why do you want to be a commissioner?
As a lifelong member of this community, my family and I have invested our entire lives in Clinton County and want nothing more than to have a positive impact on our future.
4) Describe the kind of commissioner you would like to be.
I want to be known as a commissioner that does what he says. I’ve made promises to balance the budgets, help companies bring jobs, enhance the services that our seniors receive and protect the hospital funds. Our county is in the best financial position in years, our employers around the county have more jobs than they can fill, the waiting lists for seniors services have vanished and we are on the cusp of creating the L.E.G.A.C.Y. Fund that will enhance the health, safety, and welfare of our youth, families, and senior citizens for decades to come.
I’m honored to say I’ve been part of the team of leaders bringing this change to Clinton County.
5) What goals would you have if elected?
The voters expect us to be smart and be careful with their money. They also expect us to understand the complexities of the office while at the same time continue making constant improvements that benefit everyone. And lastly, they expect us to be forward thinkers able to provide solutions for public safety, health, and other important issues the county may face.
These are the goals of the citizens of Clinton County and should be the goals of anyone seeking office. The difference, for me, is that they are not just goals but are the oaths that I swore to uphold when I took office.
6) The commissioners oversee millions of dollars in public money. What’s your fiscal philosophy as to how that money should be overseen?
As your commissioner, I have a proven track record protecting the millions of dollars that flow through the commissioners’ office. Whether it’s balancing the general fund budget or appropriating millions of dollars for the multitude of other agencies.
7) What are your thoughts about possibly re-instating the 0.5 percent supplemental county sales tax that rolled off at the end of September? Or put another way, will the county be able to stick with the lowered county sales tax rate of 1 percent compared to the prior 1.5 percent county sales tax rate?
Taxes are like tools. They should only be used when needed. If, in the future, the Board of Commissioners determines the need for additional revenue, re-instituting the ½ percent sales tax could be one tool available for our use.
8) 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?
Before we consider spending any money, regardless of its origin, we ask ourselves one question. Do we need to spend it, save it, or invest it? Fortunately, as your commissioner, I have been part of a team that has been able to pay off our debts (spend some of it), create an emergency fund (save a lot of it), and work on crafting legislation that will create the LEGACY Fund that is providing a way for us to improve health, safety, and welfare for everyone living in Clinton County (invest the biggest part of it).
Our current plan comes from the many public meetings, discussions, and research with the valuable cross-section of Clinton County concerning the money, and our goal has always been to secure the funds, get our financial house in order, and invest the rest in the future of Clinton County.
9) Do you wish to briefly add something that hasn’t been touched upon in your responses?
The most important thing I have learned since taking office is how valuable the people of this community are. We have an amazing heritage that must be preserved and strengthened.
I am honored to serve as your commissioner and I look forward to the next four years. Thank you, Kerry Steed