By Nathan Pilling
CEDARVILLE — Candidates for two seats on the Board of Greene County Commissioners up for election in the March 15 Primary Election spoke at a GOP “meet the candidates” night at Cedarville University Thursday.
Five candidates are running for incumbent Robert Glaser’s seat on the board and two candidates are running for incumbent Thomas Koogler’s seat. Each candidate’s comments from the event are summarized below in the random order in which they spoke.
Geyer cited his business experience running Geyer’s Office Supply in Xenia in running for office.
“To stay in business in Greene County for 150 years as a family, or 93 years we’re celebrating at Geyer’s Office Supply this year, I think you’ve had to treat people with honesty, fairness, respect and listen to their concerns,” he said. “I plan to take that honesty and fairness and respect and bring that to the county commission board meetings and have your respect. I’ll listen to anything you have to say.”
Geyer said in his business he’s made payroll every year for 41 years and noted his experience in areas including budgeting, sales, marketing and cleaning toilets.
Robert Glaser (incumbent)
Glaser noted his contributions during his current term as commissioner, including voting to refinance some Greene County debt for a savings of $19.5 million over the life of a particular loan, working to implement an electrical aggregation plan, which saved residents in unincorporated areas $1.2 million annually and working to reactivate the Greene County Port Authority.
“All this is going on despite deep cuts to the local government funds,” he said. “How are we doing all this? By running the county like a business and prudent management of taxpayer dollars.”
Glaser also pointed to an increase of the county’s “rainy day funds” from $15 million to about $25 million as “good business management.”
Poston noted 20 years of private sector experience and 24 years of working for Greene County as qualifications for his election to the seat. Poston served in Greene County for six years as assistant county administrator an 11 years as county administrator.
“My work history shows I was very conservative in managing the county budget and the county taxpayer funds,” he said. “I reduced our staff by 20 percent, the vehicles by 12 percent, and we reduced the number of buildings owned by the county.”
Poston also pointed to his budget management as the reason for three credit rating upgrades the county received: “There’s no magic. Better credit gets your lower rates. The refinancing of the sanitary (debt) was because of those low rates.”
Baird, current Bellbrook mayor, pointed attendees to the city’s current financial status as part of his qualifications.
“Bellbrook is very fiscally conservative,” he said. “When the economy tanked and we lost our local government funds, we were in a very strong position because of our rainy day fund. That helped us dramatically today. The county was not in quite that good of shape, and they did have to make some pretty severe cuts.”
Baird suggested that the county’s $25 million cash carryover be distributed to its communities: “Today the county is doing very well. What should be done with that money? … I strongly believe it should be shared with the cities and townships.”
Jarvis, a current Beavercreek City Council member, cited seven years of experience as a council member, vice mayor and mayor, as well as experience working for a number of defense contractors.
“I have a management background, I have a business background, I’ve got a financial background,” he said. “… I’ve managed multi-million dollar defense budgets funded with taxpayer dollars in a fiscally responsible manner. I’m very, very comfortable and experienced with managing very large financial dollars and various [amounts] of money.”
Jarvis also noted his past work serving on several boards and commissions in the region and said, “I have the lifetime of experiences that have worked toward preparing me for this position.”
David Buccalo read a statement from King, who was not at the event.
In that statement, King noted experience at the federal level dealing with “complex and international” issues as a major weapons system program manager and mentioned several years of experience as a Sugarcreek Township trustee.
“King is the future we want,” Buccalo said. “He’s smart, accomplished and ready for action. We don’t need more politics, but we do need more hard workers. … What you will find in King is not some some liberal in a fancy suit, but a real conservative with dirt under his fingernails from hard work.”
King’s statement also said he has “more relevant government experience than the incumbent.”
Thomas Koogler (incumbent)
Koogler noted his 40 years of experience in management in the trash collection industry and his work in his current term as commissioner.
“The first year I was in office we were able identify the opportunity to refinance the water and sewer bonds, saving $19.5 million over a 20 year period,” he said. “… I also led the effort to use zero-based budgeting for our county budgeting process. With the help of all the other elected officials and department heads, we were able to improve our cash carryover from $15 million in 2012 to $25 million in 2015.”
Koogler advocated for returning those funds back to Greene County communities through a grant initiative in which commissioners would evaluate projects and fund them based on merit.
Reach Nathan Pilling at 937-502-4498 or on Twitter @XDGNatePilling.