Sunday, December 29, 2013

Commissioner's Corner - December 2013

The end of another year is upon us. This has been a unique December weather- wise; surprising warmth at times, followed by freezing cold and blowing snow, followed by inches and inches of rain, and back to cold temperatures! Although the weather has been changeable this year, the County continued our success from the previous 3 years. As we all look back on 2013, it occurs to me that we have had a very successful year with a lot to be thankful for. The County has done pretty well financially this year; sales tax increased slightly again this year, delinquent accounts in the treasurer’s office have decreased, and all of our departments have worked very hard to stay on, or under, budget. We have continued work on County properties so they can remain useful for years to come. Our maintenance department has done an excellent job of maintaining and improving what we have, and will continue with projects through the year. Our Economic Development department is continuing, along with Partnering 4 Progress, to bring jobs and businesses to the people. It looks like 2014 will continue that trend. Thanks to Marc Saluk, Melanie Nealeigh, and Lisa Wendel, our E.D. Department, for moving us in a very positive direction.

It occurs to me that with all the good things happening in Darke County, I have noticed a distinct change in people’s attitudes. People seem to be happier, more joyful, and more hopeful about their futures. There are more smiles to be seen on people’s faces, along with friendlier greetings on the street. This is a great place to live. I think people are just realizing that. Being fortunate enough to travel a little, I have been to places, here and abroad, that I did not want to live. To me, Darke County is the best example of small town America. Greenville is one of Ohio’s best small towns, our County is now known nationwide because of our Economic Development and Workforce efforts,(Wall Street Journal, USA Today, FOX, CBS, NBC, ABC NEWS) and we are also known nationwide for our agricultural output(Number one in the Country In egg production!) We have one of the best small museums in the country, The Garst Museum, people who are known worldwide from here (Annie Oakley, Zachary Landsdowne, Lowell Thomas etc.), and we have abundant resources to maintain our “country” lifestyle. What more can we wish for? Things are on the upswing here and you can feel it. New businesses, new jobs, new schools, people more involved, and people doing what they should and coming together to give a sweet, brave young lady, Corynna Strawser, a great last Christmas. This does not happen everywhere. We are caring for each other more again, and it feels good!

With the end of this Holiday Season, take time to reflect on all the good that is around us. Let’s make a New Year’s resolution together to continue our successes, fix our problems, and make our little corner of the world better. We have the ability and the people in place to make it work, so let’s be an example for everyone else. I know we can do it! I hope you had a very Merry Christmas, have a joyous New Year, and may God Bless us as we go on into 2014.

The Darke County Commissioners- Mike Stegall, Diane Delaplane, and Mike Rhoades

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