(5-1-22) On May 3rd Mercer County Republican voters will have the opportunity in the Commissioners primary race to vote for incumbent Greg Homan or his challenger Dave Buschur.
Buschur recently received an endorsement from Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey that raised some political eyebrows.
How will voter turnout be…with no Ohio State Representative or Ohio State Senator races on the ballot…and no presidential primary… it might be a very close race.
Below you hear from both candidates that have posted on their Facebook pages –
Setting the Record Straight….by Greg Homan
As a candidate, and more importantly as a County Commissioner, I have made an earnest effort to keep the focus of this re-election campaign on the same concerns that I do as a Commissioner, but the negative messages from my opponent seems to demand a reply. The information I share is for the benefit of my constituents, but hopefully my opponent will eventually understand why the accusations don’t line up with the role he would play if elected as a commissioner.
The Commissioners are tasked with weaving together and establishing budgets and overseeing finances on behalf of the local taxpayers. The County has many departments and agencies that provide many valuable services by hardworking county employees.
There is more than just one department to fund and many needs that have to be addressed. We have to ensure that funding is provided for agencies like Veteran Services, Soil and Water Conservation, Extension/4H, Buildings and Maintenance, and Economic and Community Development, and yes, even the fine work of the team at the Sheriff’s Department.
Because my opponent seems to be narrowly focused on the needs of the Sheriff Department, I’m going to use that particular budget, (which is a public record), to use to illustrate.
• In 2015, when I first became County Commissioner, the budget for the Sheriff was $1,756,863.00
• In 2022, the current operating budget for that department in 2022 is $2,946,310.00
• The portion of the General Fund allocated to the Sheriff’s Department during that period has increased from 16.04% to 18.63% of the total county general fund.
As Commissioners, we have to balance the needs of many other elected officials and departments in the county. I give a lot of well-deserved credit to our department heads and elected officials that try to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars and how they share in the reality of a budget that extends beyond their own department needs.
The county (as a whole) is in the middle of a space realignment planning process, an office space problem, that will take time and strategic planning to solve. Constant government mandates and the demand that local government provide more and more services has impacted the office and space issues that we are currently dealing with.
1. There are record storage issues. A recent example: there are records (stored in the basement of the Courthouse) that were water-damaged and needed restored. Due to state requirements, there are record storage needs in departments outside the courthouse as well.
2. We have a Prosecutor Office that is currently in two older homes that have structural issues that are presenting significant costs and they are also not suitable for current public handicapped accessibility.
3. The Courts have led an effort to create a Public Defender Office (as the availability of local attorneys to take on these cases has greatly diminished). We will need to find space for that new department.,
Until many of these issues are addressed, the Commissioners are simply not prepared, at this time, to make long-term commitments for the installation of costly security equipment and the possibility of shutting down access to the courthouse for the public through one entrance.
It is not JUST the cost of the security equipment. A potential grant might cover a relatively smaller portion of overall cost … the installation would also require additional staffing and longer-term replacement costs of equipment. Shutting down the accessibility to the courthouse to one entrance also places challenges on access to vital services such as paying taxes and voting.
I hope this helps address questions that my opponent may have raised in his negative campaign messages.
Switching now to my personal campaign, my focus is on serving Mercer County taxpayers. We appreciate the many individuals that have supported our campaign, but I have been very careful to fund this campaign with my own hard-earned dollars. I don’t accept donations because I don’t want to be put in a situation that could be considered a conflict of interest when the commission has to make decisions that come before us. An example is decisions for providing revolving loan funds for individuals and businesses. It’s important to me to be objective and free of the perception of providing a favorable outcome for someone that contributed to a campaign.
I hope this helps address questions my opponent may have raised in his negative campaign messages. I am dedicated to the service of Mercer County. We truly live in the best community to live, work, and raise families. I would appreciate your vote, so that I can continue to serve you, as your Mercer County Commissioner.
Dave Buschur video from Facebook –