Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010
Republicans sweep county positions
By Shelley Grieshop
Republicans unanimously won the seats for Mercer County commissioner, treasurer and auditor in Tuesday's election.
Mercer County Commissioner John Bruns will keep his position for another four years after garnishing more than 82 percent of the votes from challenger Ron Hammons of Celina.
The Maria Stein poultry farmer and Marion Local Schools bus driver said he is pleased to maintain his role.
"I look forward to continuing to work with all the departments in the county," he said.
Bruns added he has deep respect for all candidates - win or lose - who "put themselves out there" for elected or appointed positions to serve the people.
Bruns nabbed 12,761 votes to Hammons' 2,758.
Other commissioners are Jerry Laffin and Bob Nuding.
Dave Kaiser of St. Henry will continue serving as county treasurer after netting 66.7 percent of the votes in Tuesday's race. Kaiser defeated Rick Mosier of Celina, who filed as a non-party candidate.
"I feel pretty good this morning," Kaiser said. "I really appreciate the support and confidence the voters of Mercer County have in me."
He said he plans to work hard on his campaign promises: to wisely invest the county's money, help taxpayers who are struggling financially and work closely with other county departments and their concerns.
A former math teacher, guidance counselor and employee of Kaup Pharmacy in Fort Recovery, Kaiser has served as treasurer since his appointment in May. He was tapped at that time to fill a portion of the unexpired term of former treasurer Doris Rutschilling, who retired.
Kaiser's term expires in December 2013.
According to the Tuesday night tally, Kaiser won 10,358 votes while Mosier took 5,171.
Randy Grapner of Celina will serve as county auditor for the next four years after getting 59.9 percent of the votes over opponent Tammy Barger of Celina. Barger will continue her job as county recorder.
County auditor Mark Giesige announced retirement plans in February in order to pursue a career with the Missionaries of the Precious Blood. Giesige has served as auditor for more than 17 years.
Grapner will be sworn into office in early March.
Grapner said he's thankful for the support of family, friends and the people who cast their vote for him.
"It's a privilege and I look forward to serving the people of Mercer County," he added.
He also looks forward to meeting staff members in the auditor's office and working with Giesige to get acclimated in his new role, he said.
It is Grapner's first time in public office. He is a licensed real estate appraiser and owns his own business, R.E. Appraisal Co. in Celina.
Election results show that Grapner received 9,317 votes; Barger netted 6,318.
Townships OK fire protection levies
Voters in Franklin and Granville townships overwhelmingly approved fire protection levies at the polls on Tuesday.
• In Franklin Township, the 1.5-mill levy will generate approximately $100,000 per year for five years after voters approved the replacement measure by 78.9 percent, or 839 to 224. The replacement levy will bring in more money then past years because it will be based on the most current real estate valuations.
The cost to the owner of a $100,000 home is $45.94 per year.
According to Montezuma Fire Chief Ron Schulze, the money is earmarked for operating expenses, as well as training and the purchase of turnout gear, a fire hose and breathing equipment.
• Voters in the newly-formed South Central Fire District, which covers all of Granville Township, approved a 2.5-mill levy by a margin of 1,308 (78.8 percent) to 352 (21.2 percent). The levy will bring in more money than in past years because it will be based on the most current real estate valuations.
The levy will generate $190,000 per year for five years, with 75 percent going to St. Henry and the remaining 25 percent earmarked for Burkettsville, which also receives some funding from Darke County. The cost to the owner of a $100,000 home is $76.55 per year, with the money earmarked for the departments' operating expenses.
The new fire district was formed this year as a solution to unequal taxation involving Burkettsville residents who live north of Main Street - the dividing point between Darke and Mercer counties. Those residents were paying Burkettsville and Granville Township levies.
Those residents did not vote on the South Central Fire District levy on Tuesday since they already are paying a fire levy in the village. When that levy expires in 2011, they will be asked to approve the levy for the South Central Fire District.
All tallies are unofficial. Official results will come in a few weeks after provisional ballots are counted and results are certified.