Why are you running for commissioner?
I’m running for Knox County Commissioner because it’s a position that I want. I’ve run twice before, but I did not make it. I fully intend to make it this time. I want to be able to serve the citizens in Knox County as their commissioner. I’ve served them in other capacities and I just wanted to widen it out to this.
What can you bring to the table that your opponents cannot?
I feel that one of my skills is negotiating. As a Realtor for several years, that’s what we do in real estate, really. We negotiate, we find what the problems are and we cure the problems and we go to a closing. So my negotiating powers, I feel, are one of my skills. I also feel that I’m techie. I’m not afraid to carry a notebook around and look something up if I need to. I think I’m intelligent and what I don’t know I can learn quickly.
Why should we vote for you?
I feel that I’m the best candidate. The reasons are: I’ve been in business for many, many years. I’ve actually kind of been in business all my life growing up on a farm. You soon learn that you need to do this or that to make a quarter or you work here to make 50 cents, however it plays out. And then I have a strong agriculture background. I milked cows, raised hogs and I have a degree in dairy science from the Ohio State University. That business background, agricultural background which are big factors in Knox County, I feel I’m the best candidate.
How much time will you commit to the job?
I don’t know that I can give you a number to that. I would safely state whatever it takes. I intend to be an everyday commissioner, although I don’t intend to be there all day every day. The two days that they set aside for meetings are Mondays and Thursdays. I know there are plenty of meetings other than that. I’m well aware of that, but I intend to at least stop by every day to see if there is anything I need to take care of.
What, if anything, can a commissioner do in regard to hydrofracking and injection wells to preserve our soil and water supply?
I’m not qualified to answer that at this point, other than I do know that the commissioners can establish and execute policies. I would think that would fall under that category. If it does, I think that they can establish policies whether to allow, whether it can take place in this county, possibly even the waste that’s being brought here from other places and being dumped into the dry wells. I think they have that power.
So, you think, if they don’t, you think the commissioners should have a say in the permitting of the wells?
I think they should. I think they should have an oversight of what happens in their county, but I think a whole lot of it is the Ohio Division of Mining or whatever the title of that place actually is.
Which employees are the commissioners responsible for hiring, to your knowledge?
To my knowledge they are responsible for hiring the heads of departments that aren’t elected. Of course, they don’t hire the elected officials. When I say that, I would say like the recorder’s office. You have a recorder who is currently John Lybarger and he has three or four ladies work there. I think the actual hiring is the commissioners, although I feel strongly that they go by what Mr. Lybarger would suggest: This person is a good person.
What process is used to check references and past employment?
I don’t know exactly other than I would assume they need to fill in an application with people to contact, possibly even credit information, possibly credit scores and backgrounds to check to see that what the information they gave you was accurate.
To your knowledge, has that process changed over the years?
Not to my knowledge.
Is there anything else that you want to address that wasn’t discussed so far?
I’ve spoken with other people and I think one of the things that the board can do to strengthen itself, as well as to strengthen its image to the public, would be an improved website. The website they have is pretty much just bare bones ‘here we are, here’s what we do.’ I think it could be much more interactive in that whatever meetings were coming up could be public and people would know. If they wanted to attend that meeting, they would at least know it was occurring. I also think maybe one of the minor little things they could do would be: They meet Mondays and Thursdays. Well, a lot of your holidays are on Mondays. Maybe they ought to meet on Tuesday morning after those for an hour or whatever just to make sure there are no bills or anything that need paid that won’t be attended to in time.
What would be your main goal, then, as commissioner?
I think my main goal would probably be the same as anyone else in that we want to maintain the current services that the county supplies to the people of Knox County in the dwindling economy that we’re currently facing.