Wednesday, May 7th, 2014
Voters give Homan nod as commissioner
Cheryl Ann, other Mercer County levies renewed
By Shelley Grieshop
CELINA - Greg Homan on Tuesday overwhelmingly defeated Jeff Buschor as the Republican Party's choice for Mercer County Commissioner.
Also, countywide levies supporting Cheryl Ann programs and the county home were approved in the primary election.
Homan, 39, of Coldwater, unofficially garnered 80.43 percent or 3,071 votes to beat Buschor, 53, of Celina, who tallied 747 votes (19.57 percent). Homan's name will appear on the Nov. 4 general election ballot. No other party candidates filed for Tuesday's election.
"I'm very appreciative of the strong support from voters and for my campaign," Homan said. "I'm looking forward to the work and am excited about the future of Mercer County."
Homan is an associate professor of organizational leadership and agriculture at Wright State University-Lake Campus. Raised on a dairy farm, he holds a bachelor's degree in animal science and was employed by OSU for 11 years as an extension agent.
He has also served in various community organizations such as the Coldwater Kiwanis, Red Cross, Ohio Farm Bureau and the Republican Party.
He and his wife, Lori, have six children and are expecting a seventh.
Cheryl Ann Programs
A whopping 77.65 percent of voters approved a five-year, 1.94-mill renewal levy for the Mercer County Developmental Disabilities agency. The unofficial vote was 4,287 for the levy and 1,234 against.
The existing levy expires in December. The renewal will continue to collect about $1.2 million annually for general operations of Cheryl Ann Programs.
"Very pleasantly surprised," DD superintendent Mike Overman said late Tuesday night.
He said voters sent a very welcomed message.
"I hope that our families and people we serve realize that people in our county are standing behind them," he said. "I also hope our staff realizes this is a vote of confidence from their neighbors in Mercer County."
The DD budget is about $6 million and is derived from local property taxes and state funding.
County commissioner John Bruns agreed the levy's passage confirms residents' support.
"I'm proud of the citizens of Mercer County for having compassion for residents who may not be as fortunate as them, and face special challenges that most people don't have to encounter," he said.
Mercer County home
Voters by 68.21 percent approved a 1-mill property tax renewal levy to support maintenance and operations of the county home west of Celina. It will continue to generate $731,000 annually - about 90 percent of the facilities' funding. A resident with a home valued at $100,000 will continue to pay $24.20 per year.
Commissioner Bruns said he was pleased with the outcome of the vote for what he considers a unique facility.
"We're one of only a few counties with a home of this type," he said, adding most others are similar to a nursing home and compete with private businesses.
The levy was first passed in March 2004 and approved again in 2009.
The county home, which opened 149 years ago, also receives funds from residents who are able to pay but no state dollars, Medicare or Medicaid.
The facility strictly serves only county residents and currently houses 18 men and women. It has a maximum capacity of 34, according to manager Jerry Moeder.