Wert said he believes the trio on the board works well together. He forged “one of the first agreements in our area for revenue sharing” with Bellville, after the village annexed land at the I-71/Ohio 97 interchange, the candidate said. An opponent, Bellville Mayor Banks, “tried to break it in his second year as mayor,” he contends.
“Absolutely I tried to break it because Bellville officials at the time made a bad deal for Bellville,” Banks said of Wert’s claims. “I fought hard but a judge ruled against us. I will always fight against bad deals, whether it’s for Bellville or Richland County. Some voters have asked why he ran against a fellow Republican, Tim Wert, rather than Democrat Gary Utt. Banks said he decided to run after hearing Wert was ill and reportedly was planning to retire. He tried to reach Wert by phone, email and messages at the county. – The TRUTH is he heard there was an Independent citizen who was told had to run as a Republican who was in the public meeting who would more than likely defeat the Republican Incumbent after lies were proven false and a video appeared to show tampering with evidence. Surely the Republican regime feared an outsider had a chance to get in if they didn’t find a legit contender to back! That’s ok, we all know the TRUTH on how the party stacks the deck and inadvertently uses clerks at the board of elections to baffle challengers. Monday I get my petition!
Views on tax increase
Morgenstern disagrees. “For three people (in the commissioners office) to raise taxes is not right. It should be up to voters,” he said.
I easily agree with Morgenstern on this one!
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first in a two-part series. Part II will be published Friday at 11 a.m.
MANSFIELD — Richland County GOP commissioner candidates were each asked the same series of questions. The format of these questions is “What have or would you do?”
Below are the responses in Part I from Tim Wert and Darrell Banks. GOP candidate David Morgenstern did not respond to repeated requests to participate in this project.
1. QUESTION: What is the job of a commissioner other than showing up at commissioner meetings?
BANKS: “County commissioners make up the general administrative body of county government and are the taxing, budgeting, appropriating, and purchasing authority for the county. An individual commissioner has no power to act alone, and as a body hold title to property on behalf of the county.
Collaboration and teamwork among elected officials and the private sector is key to the successful growth of any county.” Per CCAO County Commissioners Handbook.
WERT: As a commissioner, to be engaged with the community as a whole, attending meetings is necessarily a part of the job. Showing up is the easy part.
2. QUESTION: What have you done in the way of economic growth?
3. QUESTION: How have you brought the county and other local governments together to work on common problems?
4. QUESTION: What have you done to solve the county’s flooding problems?
5. QUESTION: What have you done to make Richland County more business friendly in terms of regulations and inspections?
6. QUESTION: How do you communicate with the taxpayers?
WERT:Before the unfortunate incident at the courthouse, the residents and taxpayers felt comfortable attending meetings of the board and discussing their concerns immediately and directly.
I’d like to stress that may still be done and we want the public to be involved but from necessity, it must be done in a more formal manner.
Yes, like giving a weeks notice to attend THEIR OWN MEETING! This meeting is NOT for the Commissioners to call executive session every time citizens come for answers. Yes, there are answers STILL NEEDED for what prompted the security to attack Mr Skidmore, I feel it has to do with the exposure if intimidation and threats from those who speak for public officials – One particularly being Matt Mayer who is running for Sheriff and his boss head of security Dave Leitenberger who could have handled a situation better a month prior to what Wert calls an “unfortunate incident” being silenced until this election is over? This happened on July 9th 2015 with a trial not starting until June 2016?????
Yes, it was unfortunate how citizens are treated at THEIR meeting?
7. QUESTION: Technology continues to change–how do you use it in your job? How do you keep up with it?
Maybe they should learn to use it to let the public see EXACTLY how they CONduct their meetings?
Darrell Banks on Tim Wert
My opponent took the easy answer and voted to raise our taxes twice. I entered my first term as mayor of Bellville, with a general fund carryover of less than $10,000.
8. QUESTION: How else do you balance the budget, besides voting in an increase in sales tax?
9. QUESTION: The Ohio Revised Code requires county commissioners to hold a minimum of 50 public meetings a year. In order to move Richland County forward, how do you anticipate not only meeting this requirement, but exceeding it? If not through public meetings, how? If you currently serve as a commissioner, have you exceeded this minimum standard? If so, how and how has Richland County benefited?
10. QUESTION: In addition to the minimum public meeting requirement, county commissioners represent residents on many other boards and commissions, such as Richland County Regional Planning, Richland County Solid Waste Authority, Board of Revisions, etc. While there are not attendance requirements for these boards, if elected, how important do you feel it is to attend and participate in these meetings?
11. QUESTION: The main responsibility of a county commissioner is management of the General Fund. How large is the General Fund budget for Richland County and what challenges do you anticipate for 2017?
12. QUESTION: The population of Richland County has been declining over the past few decades. What do you see as reasons for this decline and is there anything a county commissioner can do to turn this decline around?
13. QUESTION: One of the reasons often mentioned for the decline in population of our area is “brain drain.” Do you feel this is an accurate assessment, and if so, what can you as a county commissioner do to make Richland County more attractive to young, educated professionals?
14. QUESTION: In order to communicate with these young, educated professionals, technology is critically important. In addition, Generation Y and Millennials are highly technical beings. How comfortable are you with technology and social media? What forms of technology and social media do you use in your current position?
15. QUESTION: What role, if any, do you feel technology and social media plays in your success as a county commissioner? In marketing Richland County and creating jobs?