Before I became Commissioner, I decided I would go out once a month and try and meet people over coffee and breakfast to let them know what I thought, and let people tell me what they thought a commissioner should be.
I called those events “Coffee with the Candidate.” They were always entertaining, and enabled me to reach people so we could share ideas and concerns. This January, I start my sixth year as Commissioner. I have continued this tradition, now known as “Coffee with the Commissioner.” I intend to do so as long as I serve, because I believe that people deserve to be able to talk with their elected officials face to face, in an informal setting where you and I are both more comfortable.
I want the people of Darke County to have access to me, and to realize that all of our elected officials are also willing to meet with people and discuss their jobs. They may not do it like I do, but they are always willing to help, if you just ask.
Over the years, I have learned what people think, and what they want, and what they see as problems we need to solve. I appreciate the honesty. I have been told everything, as you can imagine, but I do not mind criticism. I try very hard to do the right thing, but nobody can do things right all the time, especially when you are trying to represent 53,000 people! By my doing these “Coffees” I am giving you the chance to speak your mind, good or bad. This is what I think I am supposed to do, be accessible, and listen! Communication is the key to understanding each other.
I want to take the time to say “Thank You” to the people of Darke County for making these visits informative and worthwhile. I am truly thankful for all of you who take the time to participate on those Saturday mornings. Meeting elected officials I am sure ranks right below having a root canal, but I think it is important that we continue to talk. I will continue with these after the Holidays, resuming on January 9, 2016, at the Wayne Lakes Park Gatehouse from 8 – 10 a.m.
May God bless all of you this Thanksgiving and Christmas Season, and may 2016 be the best year you have ever had! THANK YOU again for making this job the best with your kind words, deeds and suggestions.
Commissioner Mike Stegall