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Hamilton County Commissioner (term commencing 1/3/2021)

Salary: $96,000Term: 4 yearsResponsibilities: Exercises financial control of County expenditures; authorizes public works; purchases land and buildings; lets contracts; plans and administers welfare. The Board of County Commissioners also appoints other officials to operate various departments within the county.

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  • Candidate picture

    Denise Driehaus
    (Dem)

  • Candidate picture

    Matthew Paul O'Neill
    (Rep)

Biographical Information

How would you develop a constructive partnership between Hamilton County and the City of Cincinnati? (500 character limit)

What will you do to support a vibrant economy in our area? (500 character limit)

What would you do to improve storm water management and lead abatement? (500 character limit)

What kinds of policies, if any, will you pursue to promote social and racial justice in our community? (500 character limit)

Twitter @DeniseDriehaus
Occupation Small Business Owner, Public Servant
Education B.A. Miami
Experience I have been a small business owner, a state legislator for 8 years, and privileged to serve as your county commissioner since 2016.
Political Philosophy Progressive. Practical. Collaborative.
Affliations Democratic Party
There are many examples of successful county-city collaboration, including, the creation of the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion Program, our work to ensure a complete count in the 2020 census, and our response to COVID-19. The county and city aren't always going to have aligned interests, but we will.continue to make progress as long as leaders on both sides remain focused on accomplishing our common goals.
During COVID-19, The Board of County Commissioners developed grant programs to help small businesses stay afloat during this difficult time. Prior to the crisis, we made an investment in our tourism economy, gaining control of the Millennium Hotel. We also invested in reclaiming brownfields for future development through the Port. We learned from the last recession, that making key economic development investments now, will put us in a strong position as we recover from the COVID-19 slowdown.
The Board of County Commissioner assembled a task force to evaluate how we can better address storm water runoff in Hamilton County. I am particularly interested in how we can provide incentives for green infrastructure in construction projects to help manage storm water better.
In May of 2017, The Board of County Commissioners established the Economic Inclusion Advisory Council in order to assist the Office of Economic Inclusion. The advisory council has been instrumental in achieving our goal of diversity and equity integration across all county departments. The Board has also moved to declare racism a public health crisis in Hamilton County, and we have set goals to achieve as we tackle health inequities.
Occupation Senior Accountant for Treasury Protech Home Medical A publicly traded health care company
Education 1980 St Xavier High School 1984 Miami University BS Accounting and Finance 2002 Xavier University MBA Passed CPA exam 1988
Experience 4 years Senior Accountant for Treasury at Protech Home Medical, Wilder, KY 11 years as Senior Accountant Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH 4 Years as Business Manager at Chaminade-Julienne High Dayton, OH
Political Philosophy Fiscal Conservative Center Right
Endorsements Cincinnati Right to Life Preferred
Affliations St. Cecilia Catholic Church
One issue seems to be related to employee compensation issues. I will focus on trying to make the compensation issue narrow over a period of time, The result would be regardless of who owns and manages the operation, compensation becomes less of an issue as time passes. Having not been on the inside of either the city of county government before, I don't have a " we have always done it that way" attitude from either side.
Support police. When police are told to stand down, lawlessness takes hold quickly. People get shot, buildings burn down, jobs disappear. Voters need to know that I will not be calling for defunding police. I will be an advocate for getting businesses open again and fighting against arbitrary rules shutting down businesses. Taxes in Hamilton County have skyrocketed in recent years. I will oppose future tax increases and try to repeal those that should have already expired like Union Terminal.
I noticed in Liberty Township and West Chester, many subdivisions have retention ponds. I would like for neighborhoods across the county to have similar retention ponds. Regarding lead abatement, I think the priority is to determine how many homes need remediation. After that, an estimate could be made of the total cost to solve the problem. Once the cost is known, a funding source needs to be determined. With the funds identified, how long will it take? Is that a reasonable amount of time?
Poverty, poor education and crime are all connected. I would like for those in prison to have incentives to gain education and work skills in exchange for a reduced sentence. I would like for the county to have a program to hire them upon release so that individuals would now have better skills and more income thus less reason to re-offend. I think the Police Collaborative Review needs to be funded as a percent of each community's police budget. The city has one and the county should as well.