Monday, April 10, 2017

Commissioner's Corner - March 2017

Is it just me or should February have been March and March should have been February? This weather has been completely confused! Seventy- degree weather in February and 30’s in March was the norm this year. Hopefully, now that we are at the end of the month, things will get back to a more normal setting, and April will be a regular April!

March has been a busy month in the Commissioner’s office. We have been busy with all kinds of things from working on grants, to FFA banquets, meetings in Columbus for a number of reasons, and the normal rush of things, then the inevitable lull, then the rush to get things done! The highlight of our month has been the FFA banquets at the schools. As of this writing, we still have two to go, Ansonia and Tri-Village, and then they are done for another year. This year seemed to have more students than normal involved with the FFA, and that is a good thing. Arcanum just started their program back up this year, and for a first year program, they had 73 students involved in the program. Not bad at all for a first year program! Versailles I was told had the largest senior class they have had in 20 years. These banquets are a testament to a year of hard work by some very good students and their advisors and teachers. As Commissioner’s, we are always proud to attend these functions and meet the students and teachers who make these programs work. We are convinced that Darke County and America’s future leaders will come from this fine group of young people. Thanks for inviting us, and thank you for all the hard work you do! Another high point for us is the Township Fish Fry. This year as in the past was held at the VFW in Greenville, and the food, entertainment, and good fellowship was enjoyed by everyone. When you see your township trustees, be sure to thank them for the mostly unsung work that they do.

As we always do, we try to keep well informed on legislation and happenings coming out of Columbus. Earlier this month, Matt Aultman and Mike Stegall went to a legislative briefing at Rob’s Restaurant in Brookville with several of our legislators. The legislators included Senator Bill Beagle, Rep. Jeff Rezabek, and several others from our region. The meeting included Montgomery, Preble, Miami, and Darke County Commissioners. The County Commissioners Association had Mr. Brad Cole, and Kate Neithammer there to help us with questions and to provide input from all the counties. It was informative, and we did get the chance to make our voices heard on several key issues that affects the County. Now we will see what transpires, but our suggestions were listened too, and the legislators seemed receptive.

In other news, the Commissioners signed a contract with Harbor Freight and Tools to go into the long vacant Aarons building in the Wagner avenue plaza. This has taken a while to complete, but thanks to the hard and meticulous work of Business Administrator John Cook it was finally signed. We think this will be an excellent addition to Darke County. Thanks John for all the time you put in on this project. The date for their opening has not been determined yet. Patty Harter, our longtime Assistant Clerk/Secretary retired on March 30th. We had a small get together for her on the 29th to tell her how much she will be missed. Patty was instrumental in making the Commissioner’s Office a pleasant and efficient place to work. Her smile was infectious, and she kept all of us straight, (well, as much as possible!) When you see Patty, congratulate her on a job well done, and tell her to enjoy her retirement.

On the other side of that, we were fortunate to hire Ms. Charity Hutt. Charity lives in Gettysburg and formerly worked for the Miami County Commissioners. She is experienced in the work, and she too has a pleasant personality we think the public will enjoy. Stop by and welcome Charity to her new position. We do have another patron at the Darke County Airport. Mr. Joe Donohue has rented a hangar, and has purchased a plane to be housed there. We welcome Mr. Donohue to Darke County. Another hanger was rented to Mr. Richard Borgerding, who already was an established renter.

The Chase road project has started, and if you pass that way, be aware that the road will see several closures as the County puts in new drainage systems under the roadbed. You can check the Darke County website, and click on the Engineers link for more details.

April is just around the corner and with it much better weather. Now is the time to make your way to one of our public meetings. Every Monday and Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. in the Commissioner’s office is our public sessions. Everyone is welcome to attend and we hope to see you there!

The Darke County Commissioners

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