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Delaware County Commissioner

Responsibilities: To exercise financial control of County expenditures; to authorize public works; to purchase land and buildings; to vet contracts; to plan and administer welfare. The Board of County Commissioners also appoints other officials to operate various departments.

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  • Candidate picture

    Jacob Fathbruckner
    (Dem)

  • Candidate picture

    Gary Merrell
    (Rep)

Biographical Information

As a commissioner, what plans would you have to balance the interests of agriculture, residents and industrial needs as Delaware County continues to grow?

What will you do to support public transportation in Delaware County?

What do you identify as the top three needs in Delaware County?

US Phone Number (740) 815-9424
Age 38
Education High School
DOB 39
City Residence Scioto Township
Family Sarah Fathbruckner (Spouse)
Work Experience 17+ years in health insurance
Affiliations Delaware County Democratic Party
Endorsements Delaware County Young Democrats, Indivisible: Ohio District 12
Balancing development with quality infrastructure is key to the future health of the county. We are engaged in continuous development, and we need to ensure that our roads and services can handle the increased traffic. New development is great, but we need to be sure that the county generates proper revenue from those projects to enhance existing roadways and provide the necessary public services like EMS and public transit for those areas. We also need to ensure that new projects do not harm the people and businesses currently in our county.
All funding for Delaware County Transit comes from federal and state funds. The county currently provides $0. This is not how the federal money was intended to be used. Local funds are supposed to match the federal dollars. I find it embarrassing that a county as prosperous as ours is shirking its responsibility, and relying on federal and state funds to fund our public transport. As a County Commissioner, I would vote to, and strongly encourage my peers to fully fund the transit agency. I would also encourage the commissioners to provide regular guidance and goals for the agency, to ensure that its services may easily and affordably be used by residents in every part of the county, whether in a remote or high population area.
1) Services like EMS, Safety, and Transit should be equally available to people in every part of the county, at equal cost. 2) Utilities need to be upgraded to prevent power outages, and high speed internet services need to be available at low cost to every part of the county. 3) Tax abatements should only be provided to developers if they can show substantial benefit to the people of the county. Our county’s customer base is a commodity that should be used to its advantage. The people of the county should not be sacrificing tax dollars to get more low paying jobs and storefronts that simply shift commerce from one part of the county to another. Abatements should only be used to bring good paying jobs and desirable services into the county.
US Phone Number (740) 513-5056
Education BS from University of Oklahoma with major in marketing and minors in finance and accounting
City Residence Delaware
Family Wife: Cathy Merrell
Work Experience Newspaper Advertising Executive and later Publisher
Affiliations Rotary, CCAO Board, CORSA Board, Regional Planning Exec Committee, MORPC Policy Committee and Executive Committee, OWU Entrep Center Board, Delaware Land Bank ,Board,Delaware Education Council, Olentangy Schools Business Advisory Council, former United Way Board, former Delaware Chamber member and Executive Committee
Endorsements Delaware County Republican Party and numerous personal endorsements
Bar Association Ratings n/a
It would be presumptuous of me to speak for my fellow commissioners, although I suspect that their thoughts would be philosophically like mine. Therefore, I will not speak as to “what plans” the county commissioners have to balance the interests of agriculture, the residents, and the industrial needs as Delaware County continues to grow. From my own perspective there is nothing more important than balancing the interests of these three groups. I meet regularly with the all communities as they deal with our county’s growth. Our job is to provide support for issues important to each group as they make plans through their agricultural networks, individual cities and towns, and industrial and business boards. Most importantly, we need to listen responsibly to each group and help develop plans that benefit everyone in Delaware County.
Public transportation is taken very seriously. One example is a work session that we had last year with Data Bus (now Delaware County Transportation (DCT)). We are waiting for the board's recommendations and it has been made clear that their board needs to take the lead in developing a plan that the commissioners can support. There is not enough space to discuss all we are doing. Suffice it to say we are interested in a plan from this board ideally with the involvement of JFS, Source Point, Development Disabilities, and the Alpha Group. These are all agencies that can/should benefit from DCT for the benefit of their clients. I am constantly trying to gather information to assist the users of this service however I can The key is this board developing a vision that is practical and fiscally sound. And I am hopeful. It is my belief the pandemic likely as slowed down their efforts.
There are numerous needs in Delaware County and one's personal situation determines what that priority should be.

Here are several in no particular order.

1) Continuing to stress Economic Development in our county, Why is this important? I can sum up in one word--JOBS. Improving our tax base and creating quality jobs is beneficial to all county residents. 2) Facilities management helps reduce overhead and streamlines service to all county taxpayers. A great deal has been done, i.e. the new courthouse, but over the next few years the commissioner's vision will allow much more in improvements. the purchase of the Career Center will allow a consolidation of services, and eliminate significant cost in binging many of our outdated buildings up to an acceptable standard. This will also allow us to put many buildings back in private hands through property sales. 3) Finding ways to be more efficient, doing more with less, or said another way increasing productivity.