Fischer retains county commissioner position

| November 7, 2018

Coshocton County Commissioners Gary Fischer and Dane Shryock shake hands after unofficial election results revealed that Fischer won the race between himself and Rick Conkle. Josie Sellers | Beacon

COSHOCTON – Fifty-one percent of Coshocton County registered voters turned out on election night, Nov. 6, and gave their support to numerous local issues and levies. Voters in the county also chose to retain Gary Fischer as their county commissioner, which was the only locally-contested race.

“I’m overwhelmed by the support from the county residents,” said Fischer. “I truly appreciate it. There are times when you wonder why you do this job, and then times like this make you appreciate the fact that you have people who support you. I couldn’t do this without the support of my wife, my family, my friends, and the committee that helped me. They were there 12 years ago to help me and we got together and did the same thing we did 12 years ago. I’m overwhelmed by the support of the community.”

Fischer received a total of 8,306 of the county votes and challenger Rick Conkle received 3,044 votes.

After seeing the final election results, the first word that came to Coshocton City School Superintendent Dr. David Hire’s mind was grateful.

“We are really grateful for the community and grateful for the voters,” he said.

Coshocton City School District had a renewal levy on the ballot that received 2,099 for votes and 1,285 against votes.

“This is as much an economic development issue as it is an educational issue,” Dr. Hire said. “We are very thankful and grateful for the support the community continues to show us. We are going to continue to be good stewards of the funds this provides us with.”

Voters in the city also passed the city streets levy with 2,339 for votes and 1,179 against votes.

“We are very appreciative of the continued support for what we are doing with the streets,” said Mayor Steve Mercer. “We ran a low key campaign and allowed the last four years of paving projects to speak for themselves.”

In the Village of West Lafayette voters gave their support to an advisory election that allows council to enter into negotiations with the City of Coshocton for purchase of municipal water. Yes votes totaled 429 and 247 no votes were recorded.

“This is a win-win situation for everybody,” said Mayor Stephen R. Bordenkircher. “It will be good for the village and economic development. I’ll have to appoint a committee and then we will set meetings to get the ball rolling on getting an agreement worked out.”

County wide levies that passed included: Hopewell – 6,799 for and 4,828 against; senior center – 6,801 for and 4,874 against; and 911 – 7,759 for and 3,957 against.

“I want to thank all the Coshocton County voters whom came out in support of the levy,” said Lt. Jim Crawford. “With the renewal of this levy we will be able to keep up with all the technological advances that are in development within the Enhanced 911 system. Without this levy it would have put a huge burden on the County’s general fund.”

Laura McCloy, activities director at the senior center, wanted to thank voters for their support.

“I’m really excited that the levy has passed,” said McCloy. “We want to extend a sincere and heartfelt thank you to our county and we want everyone to know they are making a difference in the lives of our county seniors.”

Steve Oster, superintendent of the Coshocton County Board of Developmental Disabilities also thanked the voters for supporting the Hopewell levy.

“The Coshocton County Board of Developmental Disabilities/Hopewell appreciates that the community continues to support some of the most vulnerable citizens,” Oster said. “I want to thank my staff for their continued passion for those they work with and the voters for believing in us.”

The only county levy to fail was children services. More than 6,000 people were against the children’s services levy with a total of 6,190 against the levy votes being cast compared to 5,446 votes in support of the levy.

“Obviously, I’m very disappointed,” said Danny Brenneman, director of Coshocton County Job and Family Services. “However, I absolutely respect the will of the voters. What we’ll do now is go back to the drawing board and see how we can continue to provide quality services to ensure the safety of children. It’s an issue that is affecting the whole state of Ohio, so I believe there will be assistance from the state level on this issue at some point. It’s an issue that we face, not due to the fault of the kids or administration costs, but there’s simply an increased cost in care. We have very little control over that.”

Statewide Issue 1 also failed in the county with 9,507 people being against it and 2,227 people voting for it.

Coshocton County has 23,099 registered voters and during the election 11,912 cards were cast.

All results are unofficial until certified by the Coshocton County Board of Elections.

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