There are many ways to get involved and share your thoughts with government officials

| February 3, 2021

First Ward Councilman Mike Gross can be emailed at [email protected]

With all of the chaos and issues that have been going on in the world, mostly at a national level, these unprecedented times can have people wondering what they can do, how they can help and how they can get involved.

Whether one is looking to get involved on a federal, state or local level, there are ways to get involved, to voice one’s thoughts and opinions or to ask questions. As Tim Ross, the District Director for Congressman Bob Gibbs said, “never be afraid to reach out to government officials and express your viewpoints or opinions. Not everyone does that, so there’s a good chance your opinion is a reflection of others’ opinions.”

Ross also said, “if you’re not sure which level it is that you need to contact, just reach out to one, and I’m sure you will be directed to the appropriate office.”

For those who live in a township, township trustees would be the persons to contact at the local level. However, those who preside in a village or city would contact their mayor, city council members, or county commissioner’s office.

Ross encourages Coshocton County residents to “find out when your city council, state legislation or congress are meeting and watch those meetings. Be aware

Second Ward Councilman Chad Johnson can be emailed at [email protected]

of what is going on, what is being voted on, take notes. Reach out. Send a note to your congressman or to your senator. Don’t assume people working in government know what is going on with every area. Many of these people have specialties, but they are not higher than you. We all put our pants on one leg at a time. It is always helpful to hear from people with a different perspective or who have different experiences or specialties.”

Each county in Ohio has eleven elected officials. Those officials include three county commissioners, an auditor, treasurer, prosecuting attorney, clerk of courts of common pleas, an engineer, coroner, recorder and a sheriff. Each of these elected officials has some executive authority.

Coshocton County Commissioners

The Coshocton County Commissioners Office is the government entity in the county with the taxing, budgeting, appropriating and purchasing authority. They are the ones who hold titles to county property. In addition, commissioners appoint department heads of offices and appoint members to various boards and commissions for which they have responsibility. Similarly, they serve on some boards and are responsible for hearing and ruling on annexations, establishing and making improvements to water and sewer districts, and approving drainage improvements. Commissioners work with all other county elected officials and with judges too, for the purpose of assuring they are properly funded to perform their duties.

Third Ward Councilwoman Jackie Salmans can be emailed at [email protected]

According to the Commissioner’s Handbook, “Individual commissioners have no power to act independently. All formal and official actions must be taken by the board of county commissioners acting as a body by majority or unanimous vote.”

The Commissioner’s Handbook and further information regarding the duties and responsibilities of commissioners can be found on the County Commissioners Association of Ohio’s website: www.ccao.org.

Dane R. Shryock, Gary L. Fischer and Rick Conkle serve as Coshocton County’s Commissioners, and they serve every resident of the county. Their bios and contact information can be found on the website: coshoctoncounty.net/boc/.

The Coshocton County Commissioners meet every Monday and Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. Meetings are open to the public; however, currently the commissioner’s office is closed to the public because of COVID. Therefore, meetings and appointments are being conducted via Zoom or teleconference. Residents can call the office at 740-622-1753. “Once the COVID restrictions are lifted, our office will once again be open to the public at all times,” said Mary Beck.

City of Coshocton

Fourth Ward Councilwoman Kayley Andrews can be emailed at [email protected]

Those who serve as council persons are elected individuals who vote on proposals and laws regarding a variety of community issues at the local level in a city or a town. For instance, a council person makes decisions on legislation such as how to use funding, matters of land use, budget and community development projects. They also vote on issues such as street repairs and garbage and recycling programs, to name a few.

Coshocton residents can view and/or participate in city council meetings on the second and fourth Mondays each month. Committee meetings typically start at 6 p.m. and council meetings begin at 7 p.m. The meetings are presently taking place on Zoom, and are viewable via You Tube by searching for Coshocton City Hall.

“The public is invited to speak at every council meeting. They can email their questions to [email protected] and they will be read to council during the public input portion in each meeting. Agendas are posted on a bulletin board on the Eighth Street parking lot and on the city’s Facebook page (City of Coshocton – City Hall). President Biggers follows closely to the agenda which always has a portion for public input” said Council Clerk Cherry Wilson.

Contact information for council members is as follows:

President Cliff Biggers – [email protected]

First Ward Councilman Mike Gross – [email protected]

Second Ward Councilman Chad Johnson – [email protected]

Third Ward Councilwoman Jackie Salmans – [email protected]

Fourth Ward Councilwoman Kayley Andrews – [email protected]

At Large council member Michelle Turner – [email protected]

At Large council person Glenn Mishler – [email protected]

At Large council member Roger Moore – [email protected]

General questions or questions for the council’s clerk, Cherry Wilson, safety-service director Max Crown, property code inspector Jeff Corder, or Mayor Mark Mills can be sent to [email protected].

Village of Warsaw

The Village of Warsaw holds their council meetings on the third Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Village of Warsaw Offices building located at 331 E. Main St. Mayor Ron Davis, Council President Ed Kent, Fiscal Officer Tammy Pope, Administrator Ed Robinette and other members Jerry Funk, Brenda Davis, Corey Fischer, Jesse Fischer, Chuck Donnell, and Deputy Bob Wagner are all part of city council.

Council members can be contacted at 740-824-3600 or by emailing [email protected]. For more information residents can go to the Village of Warsaw’s website: www.warsawohio.us.

Village of West Lafayette

The Village of West Lafayette council meetings are at 7 p.m. on the second and fourth Mondays of each month. They take place in the municipal building but are currently viewable on Zoom. Citizens of West Lafayette are invited to log into Zoom to watch and/or take part in the meetings. Residents are able to make comments and ask questions during the meetings.

Mayor Stephen Bordenkircher presides over these meetings. Council members can be contacted if needed: Ronald Lusk – 740-545-7335 or [email protected]; Rich Wheeler – 740-610-3373 or [email protected]; Tim Cheney – 740-545-9992 or [email protected]; Craig Bordenkircher – 740-545-5048 or [email protected]; Christine Maurer – 740-502-1286 or [email protected]; and Bo Fortune – 740-502-2828 or [email protected].

For more information residents are encouraged to go the city’s website: www.westlafayettevillage.com.

State and Federal Level

To get involved at the state or federal level, residents can go to one of the following websites: www.ohio.gov or www.ohiosenate.gov.

When contacting a government official, Ross strongly encourages citizens, “in your approach, be respectful but let them know what is on your mind.”

Aside from getting in touch with government officials, people can take part in and get involved with what is happening in their community by voting in every election, joining a local board or a campaign, serving as a poll worker, or running for office themselves. In any case, citizens are always encouraged to get involved.

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