After the untimely death of County Commissioner Mike Crabtree, the process of appointing a new Commissioner has begun. According to the rules, the vacancy must be filled within 45 days. Commissioner Bryan Davis explained that the Republican Central Committee would be the body to appoint the new Commissioner. Davis went on to say that letters of interest should be forwarded to the president of the Central Committee, Rodney Barnett.
Currently, there are 18 applicants for the position. Additional applications, or letters of interest, are still being accepted. Here are the names of the 18 people that have officially submitted paperwork to the republican Central Committee.
With the 45-day deadline in the state’s requirement, the current schedule of the Central Committee may need to be updated to include a special session. The next scheduled meeting is Tuesday, January 12th, 2021. If there is no other meeting is held, the committee will need to make their final decision on that date.
The committee has wide latitude when making this appointment. To be sure, they will be looking for a candidate that possesses three key qualities. Are they a Republican? The Republican Central Committee, of course, wants to appoint a Republican for the position. Next, are they able to serve the county with the time required to fulfill the duties of the office? This is an administrative body tasked to ensure that all of the agencies under their responsibility are fully funded, board members of those agencies are competent and productive while keeping the county fiscally healthy.
The final consideration of the committee members is if the person they appoint has the ability to be re-elected. Although the term for county commissioner is a four-year term this appointment will be for 2 years. After two years, that person must be able to run a full and competitive campaign to be re-elected to a permanent 4-year term.
If additional applicants make their interest known, we will update you on the situation. Although this process is rare and came on the heels of a local tragedy, through the Ohio Revised Code, a plan of action has been laid out.
After the initial release of this article, we have been notified there are more people who have joined these 18. We are working to get the update of the additional names. This process is very unusual to the public and we will do our best to keep as much sunshine on it as possible. The Republican and Democrat Central Committee members are elected officials. Due to the lack of interest in these committees, many of the seats are appointed. Either way, they are an elected body. Their actions fall under all Ohio Open Records requirements and we will help to ensure there is transparency in these proceedings.
This is no different than reporting the names of the applicants for the City Council position. This is an elected body that is making a nomination. The public has every right to know what their elected officials are doing in their names.
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