May was a very busy month in the Commissioner’s office, as it had been around the county. Farmers have worked feverishly to get their plowing and planting done. It hasn’t been easy with the rain earlier in the month, but now as this is written, we could use a good shower to help those crops grow. May is always a time of renewal, and this year we suspect will be no different.
May is the month when all of our departments submit their budget requests for next year. Although, we have no idea what the rest of the year will bring, we ask department heads to give us an idea of what they expect for next year. It is a guesstimate of the future needs of each department, but it gives us some idea of what will be needed. All departments are asked to hold the line as much as possible, and most do a very good job of that, but there are always outside demands on some of the departments that are coming down the pike that they have no control over. This process gives us an idea of what is needed, but it is not written in stone. We will know more by November when we do appropriations for the departments. Be sure to thank your elected officials for doing a great job of holding down costs, and making their departments some of the most efficient in the state.
This past month the Commissioners have had a lot on their agendas. Not only have we had budget meetings, but we have had meetings on the Courthouse steps project, held a ground breaking for Erwin Brothers new truck stop at the South Industrial Park, and saw the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) finally get started on their new facility across the street from Erwin Brothers. We want to wish both facilities much success, and welcome them to the Industrial Park.
Commissioner Stegall, the chairman this year, had Board of Revision reviews early in the month, and on the same day, May 3, Whirlpool had its official opening of their new manufacturing facility. This month also saw the search for a new economic development director continue, and we hope to be able to announce a new director soon.
Our Economic Development Forum was well attended by about 120 investors and guests and was held at Romer’s here in Greenville. Presentations by Lisa Wendel, the Career Pathway Coordinator, highlighting our efforts with high school students, and our career day were heard, along with Jared Ebbing from Mercer County presenting updates on our website hometownopportunity.com. Julie Sullivan from the Dayton Development Coalition gave an update on the outlook for the Dayton region, and there seems to be no slowdown expected.
Getting enough workers continues to be a problem area that everyone is working on. Continuing to supply our companies with an eager, competent workforce will be our focus for the foreseeable future. There are plenty of good, high paying jobs in all areas; engineering, medical, financial, environmental, and of course manufacturing. If you know of someone interested in finding employment, please visit the website hometownopportunity.com. The highlight of the forum was the announcement of JAFE Glass as the “Business of the Year.” Congratulations to Randy O’Dell and the whole crew for this honor that was well deserved!
On May 19, Sheriff Spencer held an awards and appreciation dinner for his deputies, dispatchers, and one Greenville officer for their outstanding work in saving lives this past year. Our deep appreciation for all of our law enforcement and dispatchers cannot be overstated. These people work extremely long hours to keep all of us safe, and they do it with very little fanfare. It was nice to see them all recognized for their fine work.
Saturday May 21 was the first parade of the year for the elected officials at Arcanum’s Old Fashioned Days, but earlier that morning was the “Thank a Vet Run and Walk” at the fairgrounds. Commissioner Stegall was there, along with Representative Buchy who emceed the event. Although it was a little gloomy with the weather, the rain quit just in time for the participants in the 5k run and walk and for the parade. Both events were well attended, and a lot of people were uptown in Arcanum afterwards enjoying all the vendors who were there. This started the parade season for us, and next up is Poultry Days on June 11.
June is upon us, meaning the year is at its midpoint. This year seems to be flying by at a record pace. That is probably because everyone is busy now. If you do happen to have some free time, why not stop by the Commissioner’s Office for one of our public sessions? We meet every Monday and Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. in our office at 520 South Broadway, just south of the Courthouse. Hope to see you there!
The current Darke County Commissioners are Diane Delaplane, Mike Rhoades and Mike Stegall. They can be reached at 937-547-7300. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.