Tuesday, February 20th, 2007
Twelve people seek opening on county commission board
By Pat Royse
Members of the Mercer County Republican Party were given the applications of 12 residents seeking appointment to the vacant county commission seat formerly held by Jim Zehringer.
Bob Hibner, chairman of the local party's enhancement committee, distributed the resumes and applicants' answers to a questionnaire Monday at a party meeting in the Richardson-Bretz Memorial Building in Celina.
No formal presentations or votes regarding the commissioner position were taken at the meeting, Hibner said.
Zehringer resigned his seat when he was selected to fill the District 77 seat in the Ohio House, vacated by Keith Faber. Faber was appointed to finish the Ohio Senate term of Jim Jordan when he was elected to the U.S. House in November.
Zehringer was to be formally sworn in as the new representative this morning. A previous swear-in date was canceled because of the blizzard.
The commissioner candidates in alphabetical order are:
• Kevin Bettinger, a farmer from Coldwater. He has been running the family farm since 1994 and has been president of Coldwater Young Farmers for three years. He believes he communicates well and could understand the concerns of all residents.
• John E. Bruns, a Maria Stein farmer, Marion Township Trustee and community activist. He said he had 20 years of leadership ability and would do justice to the job for all of Mercer County.
• Susan C. Canary, Celina, working in individual retirement account services for First Financial Bank. She said the creation of jobs in the county was one of her main interests and concerns.
• Timothy L. Cox, Celina, a political reporter for The Daily Standard. He said he brings a unique perspective after covering commissions in three counties and knows as well as anyone the diverse subject matter the commission deals with on a daily basis.
• Dick Heiby, Celina, owner of Heiby Insurance Agency and community activist. His business background and subsequent interaction with people would benefit the county, he said.
• Keith G. Houts, Celina, life-long farmer and Jefferson Township Trustee. He said water issues were of most concern and will likely demand more of commissioners.
• David P. Kaiser, St. Henry, a former math teacher and counselor at Fort Recovery schools. He ran for county auditor in November. He said agribusiness is the backbone of Mercer County and it was important to keep it strong.
• Angela N. King, Celina, who represents the 4th Ward on the Celina City Council and has lobbied successfully for hearing health issues. She wants to take her success to the next level and serve the residents of Mercer County, she said.
• Ivan Knapp, owner and publisher of www.knappsnew.com, reporter for the Mercer County Chronicle and former educator. He has the background, education and training to be a significant member of the commission, he said.
• Steven John Koesters, St. Henry, sales supervisor at Mercer Beverage Company, owner and president of Tri County Seamless Spouting and St. Henry Village Council member. He said his top priority was to grow and maintain the county's economic situation, particularly agriculture.
• Dan Roebuck, a fifth generation Rockford resident and president and owner of Roebuck Body Shop. He said his top priority was economic development followed by a close second with environmental issues.
• John M. Wolf, Fort Recovery, a Crown Equipment process technician and former mayor of Fort Recovery. He said economic development and infrastructure needs in the county were a top priority.
The tentative plan for choosing the new commissioner is as follows: On March 12, candidates are being asked to give a four-minute presentation and to answer questions from the group. Then the central committee members eligible to vote will vote by paper ballot, and the three top vote-getters will be asked to return on March 19 to make presentations and answer questions. The final vote by paper ballot will be made following that.
Hibner warned the plan is tentative and changes could be made between now and then.