A virtual Candidate Forum for Athens County Commissioner is being hosted by the League of Women Voters of Athens County on Tuesday, September 29 at 7:00-8:30pm. Candidates Charlie Adkins and Bill Hayes will answer questions from the public.Questions are being taken in advance, due to the virtual format. Please send your questions to AthensAsks@gmail.com no later than 7:00pm on September 28.The forum can be viewed live in three places: City of Athens Website, from the “Video” link on the homepage, https://www.ci.athens.oh.us/278/Video Facebook on either: City of Athens, Ohio - News and Information page or the League of Women Voters of Athens County page. On TV at the Government Channel, Spectrum Cable Channel 1024. Later, the recorded forum can be viewed on the City of Athens Facebook and YouTube channels, at the League’s Facebook page, and will play periodically on Spectrum Cable Channel 1024.
Education and Experience
Athens High School. Currently serving 2nd term as a Commissioner. Chair, Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail Commission. Past President AFSCME, OU.
My goal is to continue evaluating the current contracts and services the county uses to keep county costs under control. Under my leadership at the Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail the county saved over $1.5 million in just the last few years. Through my efforts, I was able to also reduce the cost of the public defender services this past year.
Safety services are my top spending priority. I served as a voluntary fire fighter for 20 years, and bring that experience to safety discussions. I want to continue to provide the highest level of safety services to Athens County through 911, EMS and the Sheriff's Office.
I plan to continue to support current and new businesses in the County by exploring new ways to work with groups such as the Athens County Economic Development Council, Ohio University Innovation Center, Rural Action and the Hocking Athens Perry Community Action Agency (HAPCAP). I stand ready to meet with them anytime, and to be open to their needs, as they work on the behalf of Athens County.
By holding down our ongoing expenses, and encouraging and promoting new business development, I will do my best to keep our County financially stable in these challenging times.
Education and Experience
Bachelors degree in Zoology Pre-Med with honors, Graduate work on molecular & cellular biology. Manufacturing technology is one of my hobbies
To start the process of turning our economy around. We must quit looking outside the County for economic salvation and work to create a more resilient, locally owned, sustainable and diversified economy; one that is not dependent on the current “Company Town” mentality. This includes finding ways to reduce our taxes to bring them more in line with those of the surrounding Counties so our Businesses can compete and create jobs. At the same time, I intend to strengthen our efforts at every level, to secure Grant Funding for Economic Development to support this shift in direction. We must stop putting all our eggs in one basket. Addressing our inexcusable lack of internet and cell phone coverage will figure prominently in this effort.
Athens County has repeatedly faced financial hard times since our coal mining days. Local government must do a better job preparing for this all too common reality. My priorities will be to maintain our facilities, infrastructure and equipment to preserve what we've already spent your tax dollars on. At the same time, we must make strategic investments that will strengthen and diversify our local economy going forward. We need to improve our efforts in securing grant funding. We can't keep raising taxes to compensate for a lack of foresight and planning by elected officials. We are already taxing people out of the County. Just like your family, County Government must learn to live within its means.
The important thing County Government must do is realistically assess the resources we have and foster the passions and interest of our People. You can't pay people enough to work half as hard as they will if they're allowed to do what they truly enjoy. We must build an economy based on our strengths rather than trying to emulate other places. I will work tirelessly to bring high tech manufacturing and farming here. Athens County is beautiful. I will work with local Businesses, Property Owners and Educational Institutions to maximize tourism and help strengthen and diversify our economy. We must invite the World to enjoy the beauty of Athens County, spend their money and then go home with a smile and locally produced goods.