Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Commissioners' Corner - March 2012

Last month this column was started with the words that as the column was written, it was a balmy 45 degrees for February. This month, as this is written, we are looking at 3 days in the 80’s in March! This has been our kind of weather! We in the Commissioner’s Office are hoping we do not pay for this in April! We are fortunate to have had a mild winter, as that helps everybody feel better, and helps with the high energy bills also.

As is known by now, this has been a tough month in the Commissioner’s Office. On the bright side of things, we have finally reached an agreement on an issue with an employee that occurred in 2009. Although I am sure that both sides of this are not totally happy with the outcome, both sides agreed to settle this for the good of all. We are now moving on and look forward to a brighter future. The Commissioners have been really busy with all the local FFA Chapters having their banquets, and other events where we are invited to attend. Most of these events happen on the same night, so in order to make as many as possible, we have devised a “divide and conquer” strategy. We are splitting up as a group so we can be present at as many events as possible. One thing we all enjoy is the FFA banquets. We are lucky to have so many outstanding young people in Darke County who are willing to work so hard to make their Chapters successful. Congratulations to all of our County’s FFA members. It is nice to know that Darke County’s future will be in such capable hands.

In other happenings, on March 23rd, Commissioner Stegall and County Business Administrator John Cook attended a CORSA (County Risk Sharing Authority) renewal meeting. CORSA is our property and liability insurer, and because of the low amount of claims we have had, our insurance has seen some slight decreases. John Cook, the Business Administrator, has done an excellent job of staying on top of this situation, and is to be commended for always looking for other ways to cut our costs, and to protect our workers and citizens. Thanks, John, for a job well done. On one other front, John and the Commissioners are in the process of hiring a replacement maintenance individual. Good Luck to Kenny Martin in his new endeavor. Kenny will be sorely missed, as he was a great worker, and a good friend. Hopefully, we will have the position filled very quickly. On the same employment front, Rick Lee, our EMA Director has left his position to take another job offer. We wish Rick all the best in his new endeavor. As of now, the Interim Director of the EMA Office is Mindy Saylor. Mindy is going to have her hands full as she is alone in the office, but we know she can handle the job capably. Good luck to all of you in your new positions.

On the “Economic Front”, Darke County continues to receive all kinds of recognition, both locally and nationally. Site Selection, a national magazine for site selectors, has named Ohio the #1 State in the Country for economic development, and Greenville, has been named 21st out of 576 in the Nation in economic development for micropolitans by county (places where there is no city above 50,000 population). This is a tremendous honor! Congratulations to all of our companies, the C.I.C., Partnering for Progress, and to the various C.I.C’s in the County for making this possible! Darke County is truly unique in the fact that we have so many communities working together to make this possible. The Dayton Business Journal also just ran an article on the accomplishments of Darke County and our influence in the Dayton Development Region. We are getting noticed! Of course, we are not stopping here and resting on our laurels. The E.D. Office has many more projects in the works, and it looks like Darke County will continue to be a bright spot in the State. Speaking of the State, a study called “Location Matters-A Comparative Analysis of State Tax Costs on Business”, conducted by the Tax Foundation in Washington, D. C., found that Ohio now has the 3rd lowest tax burden in the country for newly established businesses, and the 5th lowest taxes on mature businesses. This is great news, and should help in our local economic development efforts. You can find out more information on the DevelopOhio Blog.

As we go on through the year, we certainly hope that all of you can at one time or another join us for one of our public sessions. We meet every Monday and Wednesday, at 1:30 p.m., in the Commissioner’s Office located next to the Courthouse at 520 South Broadway in Greenville. Hope to see you there!

- The Darke County Commissioners

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