The 2016 Meet the Candidates was held Wednesday Evening at the Kenton City Schools Administration building.
Incumbent republican Randall Rogers is facing Democrat Joe Hord for the January 2nd seat.
Hord is a former Kenton City Council Member and was on a number of committees. Rogers has served as Hardin County Commissioner for the past 4 years and is a member of many local boards.
Independent candidates James Bostater and Roger Crowe and Republican Bob Carder are vying for the January 3rd seat.
Bostater worked at the Ohio Emergency Management Agency and became the lost prevention director and is a sitting member of many local boards. Carder was a Union president for employees of the Ohio Northern University system and was a branch manager for a local company in Kenton for many years. Crowe worked as deputy for the Hardin County Sheriffs Office before moving to the Kenton Fire Department as a Captain and is a board member of many local organizations.
The first question of the evening was about funding for local law enforcement to fight crime and the drug problem.
Carder started of this round of questioning and says they need to “Continue to find more resources to continue on with their training and better their education and how to do more with drug related crimes.”
Crowe adds that the “collaboration of the multi-agency crime task force is an excellent use of resources. It reduces duplication of effort, and it allows different areas to get the extra manpower and resources needed to fight the crime and drugs in the area.”
Hord was next and he says that “funding is the biggest problem, I would like to see more funding. The State of Ohio has granted Hardin county an $80,000 grant, its going to be useful, but it is not near enough.”
According to Rogers “ This is a community problem, and it takes strong community based effort to fight it. I believe our community is stepping up though, we are seeing more involvement from churches, community groups, and schools. Working with our law enforcement agency and drug courts. As a commissioner I'm very supportive of this work in our county.”
Bostater says “I think that when it comes to the drug problem in Hardin County, I believe we can do better. I think we should look at some option, find out what is successful, and maybe review the process with the judicial system, law enforcement, and the prosecutor. To see if there are alternative solutions we can find to make a more economical way to make the problem go away without creating a worse problem in the debt.”
The candidates were asked about the area housing codes and about nuisance properties in Hardin County and how they would handle to situation as commissioner.
Crowe was the first to take this question and according to him “I think some type of nuisance board and enforcement ability is an excellent tool to get a handle on nuisance properties. Currently the county has no building codes and has no enforcement agency.”
According to Hord “Nuisance properties and code enforcement has been a problem in the county for some time. It's a funding issue and legislation must be passed by municipalities and they have to follow it.”
Rogers adds its about “Money, Money, Money. You've got to have money to do all of those things. Certainly other counties have a county wide zoning which solves part of that problem. As you know there is no county wide zoning here, we do have nine of the fifteen townships that are zoned and do have zoning boards.”
Bostater adds that he “also supports the concept of looking into a zoning board for the county. I think that if we sit down with the municipalities, as well as the county commissioners, and the county government we can find a solution. We can find a solution and we can find the funding through fees and items like that.”
Carder says he would “rather do a local zoning committee, since we don't have one try to establish one on our own before the State would happen to step in, because the State would have tougher laws and be more costly."
Early voting has begun and can be completed now until election day on November 8th.
The complete Meet The Candidates forum can be heard here: http://wktn.com/podcasts/wktn-radio-audio-clip
Below are individual clips from the forum: