Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Commissioners Corner - November 2012

The best part of November is when all the political ads are over, all the election rhetoric is finally finished, and all of us can start thinking about Thanksgiving and family. Congratulations to all the local elected officials and continued good fortune in their next terms. The current Commissioners are still intact, and we look forward to working together and continuing the progress that has been done in the last couple of years.

November has been very good to Ohio and Darke County so far. Ohio’s unemployment rate dropped from 7.1% to 6.9% at the end of October. Darke County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is at 5.5%. The Federal unemployment rate actually increased to 7.9% in October. We continue to be much better than State and Federal unemployment rates. Greenville was named by Ohio Magazine as one of the States “Best Hometowns”. At the Holiday Horse Parade, several proclamations from the Commissioners, The State House, and the Governor’s office were given to the city in recognition of this achievement. Of course, we have all known for a long time that Greenville and all of Darke County is a great place to be. We look forward in trying to make Darke County even better in the future. In a related incident, Site Selectors Magazine, a publication put out by people who look for places to open or grow businesses, has named Ohio the Number 2 State in the country for businesses. Last year, Ohio received the Governor’s Cup from Site Selectors Magazine as being the best in the country. This year we came in second to North Carolina. Ohio, and particularly the Dayton Development region of which we are a part, is leading the charge in the Midwest as we were the only State named in the Midwest. The Dayton region was named the #1 region in the State for economic activity. Congratulations to all involved in this honor, and we will continue to pursue economic growth in Ohio and especially our region. Finally, it looks like all of our school systems continue their success in achieving excellence in education. Congratulations to all the schools and may they continue to achieve higher and higher goals for all of our children.

As this is written, the elected officials and the Commissioners are going through our yearly appropriation hearings. Our elected officials have done a tremendous job in doing more with less for the last several years, and it is appreciated here in our office. As the economy grows here, we will do everything we can, all of us, to make sure the people are getting the best “bang for their buck” from all of our departments. Once again, please tell your elected officials and their staffs how much you appreciate their efforts. This past year we have concentrated on building maintenance, and we have achieved a lot of upgrading and fixing that have needed to be done. Some of the repairs completed have included the Courthouse roof, Edison State’s roof, the wall at the visitation house, and new boilers at the Garst Avenue complex, and the cleaning of all the duct work at the Sheriff’s department, plus new outside security cameras on the way. We hope to continue that through next year, assuring that all public buildings can continue to be accessible for years to come for the people of Darke County, who pay for it all.

One area of concern for all of us is the current bout of robberies in the County. The Sheriff’s office is convinced that these robberies are tied to drug use. The Darke County Sheriff’s office is working diligently to catch the perpetrators, but they need your help. If you see anything suspicious, please call them and let them know. Our Sheriff’s office does the very best it can with limited resources, so it is vital that citizens maintain an alert status and become their eyes and ears as they cannot be everywhere. Because of Darke County’s geographical size and sparse population, there are plenty of places for criminals to hide and attack. Please be aware and help the Sheriff to solve this issue.

On the economic front, Marc Saluk and Melanie Nealeigh continue to work very hard and put in long hours on a variety of projects. Of course the main effort will continue to be workforce development. Our efforts in this area are moving along very well, and it is because of the support from industry, the schools, and the E.D. office. As has been stated before, this will be the main focus for us for quite a while, but we will not stop our pursuit of business retention, expansion, and relocation. Midmark Corporation has started their expansion project in Versailles. This project is a major investment in their business, and the Versailles community. Midmark is adding on a 100,000 square foot addition, one of the largest expansions of an existing building in Darke County in a long time. Congratulations to Midmark and much continued success. We would like to welcome Ohio Plastic Processors located in Greenville, as the first company that the Darke County C.I.C. revolving loan was recently issued to. This low interest loan is to help small businesses to expand and grow in Darke County. This tool will prove extremely valuable to local efforts in the years to come as it is locally controlled and more easily implemented than many other incentive programs. Additionally, it can be issued in amounts smaller than other loan programs would consider.

The Commissioners hope all of you had a safe and Happy Thanksgiving. In this holiday season, it is always nice to reconnect with friends and family. We invite everyone to “reconnect” with your government this year and in the future. The Darke County Commissioners meet publicly every Monday and Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. in the Commissioner’s office located at 520 South Broadway in Greenville, just south of the Courthouse. Hope to see you there!!

- The Darke County Commissioners.

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