|O'Brien, Farrier vie for commissioner|
|Written by Editor|
|Thursday, 28 October 2010 20:08|
By WILL E. SANDERS
OCM News Service
MIAMI COUNTY - With no Democrats running against incumbent Miami County Commissioner John “Bud” O’Brien, a lone Libertarian, John Farrier, hopes to challenge the longtime county Republican.
O’Brien, 47, a resident of Monroe Township, first served Miami County as the county recorder from 1996 through 2006, and the next year was elected as a county commissioner. He has held the post ever since with fellow county commissioners Ron Widener and Jack Evans.
Farrier, 32, of Tipp City and Monroe Township, has not held public office before, but has donated his time to various charities and causes in and around Miami County.
O’Brien, the executive committee chairman of the Miami County Republican Party for the past decade, said since being elected by the voters of Miami County four years ago, he and fellow commissioners have faced many challenges with the downturn of the economy and through diligence and hard work have managed to balance the recent budget after $4 million worth of cuts to the general fund.
“Even while cutting expenses we have invested in badly-needed new technology so we can make county government work smarter and more efficiently,” said O’Brien, who noted he will continue working on economic development and job retention in the area, listing it as his top priority. “I’m proud of what we have accomplished in difficult times and I know we can accomplish even more through conservative fiscal management, promoting economic development and keeping Miami County a safe place to raise a family.”
Farrier said he believes that civic duty goes well beyond simply voting in elections, and said he seeks to eliminate unnecessary spending and reducing taxes.
“I believe our civic duty goes beyond simply going to the ballot box,” Farrier stated. “I want to put beliefs into practice and help the county by being truly fiscally conservative and helping to ensure government, even at the local level, spends the money taken from the citizens wisely and doesn’t grow beyond its intended bounds.”
Both candidates recently fielded questions about the upcoming election and here is what they had to say.
Each were asked to name three of the goals theyou would like to implement if elected.
• “We must work every day with our economic development partners in the region to promote Miami County and the Miami Valley to bring good paying jobs to our area. We must also work to retain the jobs we have in the county.”
• “County government must keep a watchful eye on its operating budget. We must continue to balance the budget while maintaining our financial standing with the banking and financial markets.”
• “County government must continue to update its technology infrastructure. We have started to update many of our technology systems but we can still improve our operations with up-to-date technology. We must use this new technology to work smarter and offer easier ways for our citizens to do business with Miami County.”
• “Eliminate unnecessary spending and, ultimately, reduce taxes.”
• “Improve ballot access and awareness to help ensure there are no uncontested races in this county.”
• “Improve information automation and access to public records, meeting minutes, and budgets fostering transparency in government.”
Both candidates also were asked about issues they felt need to be better addressed at the county level and how each of them would go about addressing such concerns, if elected.
“I want to remove government barriers to business and citizens. I want to reduce spending within the county and trim government. Too much money is being spent when we are in dire economic circumstances as individuals and a nation.”
“We must work with our cities, villages and townships to promote Miami County and attract and retain good paying jobs. Improving the local economy has to be our number one priority. We must maintain positive relationships with the Miami Valley’s economic development groups, such as the Dayton Development Coalition, to correct the downturn in the regions economy.
When asked what the three traits each candidate feels someone who holds the position they seek must have in order to effectively perform their duties, each candidate responded:
O’Brien: “Proven experience to know how to get the job done, conservative leadership to be able to accomplish your goals with the help of others and long term commitment to our county, our state and our nation.”
Farrier: “Honesty: The willingness to perform all duties transparently. Leadership: Leadership means doing the things that are hard and the things that are right, even when the political winds may be blowing (in) a different direction. Vision: One must have larger goals for the office than their own career. To understand long term impacts of short term decisions and plan for a government now and into the future which will continue to stand for liberty and justice.
Farrier added he feels the position of a county commissioners is important because “politics touches virtually every action you perform. At the county level, everything from zoning to taxation can be impacted by those sitting in the commissioner’s chairs.”
O’Brien added he feels the position of a county commissioners is important because “Ohio law touches so many people. Commissioners are responsible for so many things, … Commissioners’ main responsibilities to their citizens include managing budgets and spending our citizens’ hard earned tax dollars like they are our own, making the county a safe place to live and raise a family by making sure our sheriff, courts and 9-1-1 communications center has what is needed and making our county government more efficient and responsive to our citizens needs.”
O’Brien, a member of various governmental associations and county boards, graduated from Milton-Union High School in 1981 and later obtained a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1985. He has five years experience working within Miami County government, first as county recorder and then as a county commissioner.
“Before my time with Miami County, I worked in the private sector in the computer and legal management industry and as a small business owner,” the incumbent said. “I know what it takes to make a payroll in the private sector, give your customers good service, and balance and manage a public budget in the public sector. The citizens of Miami County know me, they have put their trust in me and I believe I have delivered in my first term. I ask the voters for another term as their county commissioner.”
Farrier said he has worked for several local defense contractors and large and small businesses in the Miami County area, including running his own small business for a short time.
“I have seen government impact business and the individual’s liberty and want to do my part to ensure that government at all levels respects liberty and those principles our country was founded on.”
For more information on either candidate, visit their respected websites at electobrien.com and electfarrier.com.