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Ashtabula County Commissioner/full term commencing 1-2-2021

Microsoft Word - 2020 Election Voter Guide Info Packet Final.docx4 year term Salary for 2021: $81,157 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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    J.P. Ducro IV

  • Candidate picture

    Susan Hagan

Biographical Information

What is the biggest challenge in Ashtabula County and how would you address it?

As a County Commissioner, how would you seek to enhance economic development?

How would you work to implement uniform internet access throughout the county for those who work and learn at home?

Do you see a role for the County Commissioners to expand access to public water and sewer in underserved areas of the county? Explain.

What is your stand on building a new county jail based on the recently completed feasibility study?

What ideas do you have to improve the county transportation plan?

Education 1988 Ashtabula High School 1992 Miami University, BA in Psychology 1994 Associates in Mortuary Science, Pittsburgh Institute(PIMS)
Training and Experience 5th Generation Funeral Director at Ducro Funeral Services & Crematory and Acting CEO Served 5 years as President of Ashtabula City Council, elected twice County Commissioner since 2017 Former Board President of Ashtabula Chamber of Commerce
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Generational Poverty. To overcome, we must help expand programs such as Bridges out of Poverty, Rising Scholars, and Supported Employment while seeking new and innvoative ones as well. We must encourage more mentoring, improve the number, quality, and benefits of jobs locally, and help strengthen the family unit keeping both parents involved with the lives of their children. Advocating against and educating about predatory lenders, promoting financial literacy programs for students and adults, and providing immediate help for those ready to accept it for addiction recovery are all critical steps. Reducing generational poverty will lessen the financial and emotional strain on our criminal justice system, create a more qualified workforce, decrease those that succumb to addiction due to hopelessness and inability to see a better future, and give families and individuals a sense purpose and optimism about their future.
Focus on 3 areas: Tourism, Industry, and Education. For tourism, support the Visitor Bureau to reach target markets and showcase county assets while creating an environment for and utilize policies that encourage investment and development of and around tourism related venues. With Industry, assist in marketing the Ashtabula and Conneaut industrial parks now that natural gas is available. Support the Port Authority in expanding the service area for Plant C and complete a raw water loop for current and future industrial clients. Support our economic development team as they work to identify, secure, retain, or expand potential or existing businesses while seeking opportunities to improve our transportation infrastructure. Finally, promote improved graduation rates while recognizing not all students should go to college. Technical training, apprenticeships, trade schools, and job shadowing must be expanded and explored early in education. Reward businesses providing these opportunities
We have taken the first step by partnering with Trumbull and Mahoning Counties to perform a Regional Broadband Feasibility Study and were just awarded. Upon completion of the study, we should have data to strengthen applications for other grants for specific projects. This will allow targeting of projects and grants to get the biggest bang for our buck locally and implement the most efficient and effective technologies in our community. A long term plan should include completing a fiber loop in the county connecting all four corners along major roads and exploring a joint project with ODOT to run fiber along SR 11. We also need to explore modern technology such a microwave signals that can provide high speed internet through receivers on a point to point basis. This will not have as much speed capability as fiber but it should get reliable service to rural areas allowing residents to work from home, access telemedicine, and further their education with online learning.
Absolutely. Townships cannot own or operate their own water or sewer services so if communities support such development, we play a key and crucial role. It is important that communities have support from the majority of property holders affected for the best chance of moving these projects forward. Numerous communities are asking about these types of projects and our role will be to provide guidance through the Ashtabula County Department of Environmental Services on the steps to follow and assist with seeking funding. Long term, I think we also have a great opportunity to create a Regional Sewer District which could consolidate and expand the water and waste water infrastructure of numerous communities into one entity where resources and personnel could be shared, communities could stop fighting over the limited number of qualified operators, and we could leverage state and federal grants under one applying entity instead of competing against each other for limited resources.
I support a new Community Corrections and Rehabilitation Facility, not simply a jail. Our 40-year old facility is unable to meet today’s needs. Currently, there are rarely immediate consequences for criminal actions or options to get them out of their environment and into one that can provide counselling, stability, and detox/recovery resources. A new facility would provide space to get people off the street and prevent reoffending, numerous rooms for versatile programming areas that can change over time as the needs in our community change, and the ability to house other inmates to help minimize the cost of this facility for our local taxpayers. We can also partner with other community agencies to provide treatment, recovery, and training services. This idea has been researched and supported by criminal justice leaders, bi-partisan elected officials, and community members. Doing nothing and continue using our existing facility is not an option we can consider acceptable.
The sheer size of our county and spread of population will always cause the county to have transportation challenges. Ride share programs, expansion of services such as Uber and Lyft would be a huge asset while also providing some additional income for local residents, and development of phone apps to identify cost comparisons and availability of local transportation could all help. Most importantly, it is about AFFORDABLE transportation, not just transportation. We also need to find some options for those in rural areas south of I-90 at least on a limited basis (three days a week or even once a week) to get people to a place they can shop, socialize, or take care of necessary business.
Education Graduate Madison High School Studied Lakeland Community College
Training and Experience 5 year Union Electrical Apprenticeship program Journeywoman Electrician Ohio School Facilities Commission- Small and Developing Business Liaison Coordinator for Non-profit Workers Rights Organization Geneva City Council, Council President
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Covid19 is the biggest challenge. It effects every aspect of our lives. Whether you are a small business owner, unemployed worker, a teacher, a parent or a child there is a level of uncertainty and anxiety that we have never experienced collectively. Ashtabula County must take a pro-active role to provide accurate, science-based information to our residents. In addition, we should work to facilitate Fed, State and County assistance to provide for the immediate needs of the most vulnerable.
Ashtabula County is uniquely geographically centered. We are blessed with a diversified economy with access to water and ports, tourism, agriculture, manufacturing and healthcare. We must design long term strategic solutions to attract millennials and train and retrain a workforce for a sustainable future
While the county has been awarded funding for a broadband study for the long term, we must exhaust every funding opportunity and I would immediately bring together greater minds than mine in this field, to develop creative short- term solutions especially at a time when so many parents and students are home during this pandemic.
Yes. As the leaders in the County we can act to facilitate expansion. The key is being mindful of the concerns in those communities. Infrastructure is key for communities to thrive. Our role is to see the success of the entire County.
There is no doubt that a new jail is needed. The poor conditions present not only safety concerns for our public, it is hazardous to the safety forces and staff who work there. The Taj Mahal plan the commissioners envision with a rehab aspect is grandiose and I believe short-sighted. The current County Commissioners squandered away roughly $600,000 of taxpayer money by draining the rain day fund for just the study of a new jail. The Commissioners have no plan for funding its construction or a clear understanding on how to staff it, or a clear understanding of where it should be located. We need to take a closer look at this and provide a jail that is not only clean and safe but fiscally responsible.
Ashtabula County’s transportation needs are constantly changing. The County provides a lifeline for some- whether it is getting a senior to a doctor’s appointment or a young mother to her job. In order to ensure efficient, safe and quality customer service, we must fund a transportation Coordinator. The coordinator can address the immediate needs of our residents, and he or she can, in collaboration with the transportation committee develop long term goals. We must constantly thrive for upgrades and funding sources to make technologies and quality services possible.