XENIA — Three Republicans and one Democrat candidate are running to fill a seat on the Greene County Board of Commissioners.
Of the three seats on the board, two are up for election. Commissioner Tom Koogler is running unopposed for one seat. The other seat, with a term start date of Jan. 2, 2021, will be left vacant by Commissioner Bob Glaser.
Republican voters will choose Ron Geyer, Rick Perales or Debborah Wallace in the primary Tuesday, March 17, to face off with Democrat Colin James Morrow in November.
Morrow (D) described himself as fiscally conservative and socially liberal, with the philosophy that “somebody has to look out for the little guy, or gal.”
“I would separate the national politics from what goes on in the county,” Morrow said at the Greene County Tea Party’s Meet the Candidates Night Feb. 18. “If your water main breaks, your streets are broken up — that’s not a Republican or Democrat problem, that’s a problem for the county.”
Morrow is a deputy mayor in Fairborn and serves on the Fairborn City Council.
“You can see that the city is dramatically improving, and it has from a group effort from council,” he said.
The deputy mayor’s background includes working at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB) as a civil servant and contractor, as well as in the private sector. Morrow said he has 33 years of experience in the Army, including three combat tours, and currently serves as a reservist and a brigade commander.
“Veteran support is a pretty big deal for me,” he said.
Morrow said he also stands for maintaining low taxes and improving economic development. He’s running unopposed in the primary.
Geyer (R), a lifelong county resident, has owned and operated Geyer’s Office Supply for 45 years.
“I’m running for Greene County commissioner because I believe my lifetime of business experience best qualifies me for the position,” he said.
Geyer said he was concerned about the pace of property tax increase, and the residents it harms.
“The county currently has a carryover from previous years in excess of $27 million on a budget of approximately $52 million,” he said. “I think that excess should be capped at $25 million, roughly six months carryover, and I believe we should reduce the taxes for the carryover to the next year and give the county property tax back to the citizens. That will help reduce the tax burden a little bit. It’s been done once in the last four years and I’d like to see it be done every year as long as this Trump economy continues to grow.”
Geyer said he’d also work with state government to come up with a better way to redistribute taxes back to the county and to schools.
“There are term limits for a reason. New people bring new thinking and new ideas,” he said, closing. “You should demand that your elected officials have the highest of moral and ethical standards.”
Perales (R) will be term-limited after serving his fourth term in the Ohio House.
“When my wife Becka and I discussed my next steps, it simply came down to one word: service. I’ve been serving my whole life, I’m good at it, and I want to continue serving the good people of Greene County,” he said.
Perales, who also served as Beavercreek mayor and Greene County commissioner, said he’s the most qualified candidate.
“County commission is far too important a position to be looked at as an internship, a first time venture into elected office. Nor should diversity — as important as it is — be the qualifying factor,” he said. “I spent nearly two decades learning the systems, procedures, and making important contacts at each level of government.”
Perales described himself as a conservative, veteran, and second amendment and life advocate. His priorities include maintaining the budget and continuing his work with WPAFB.
Perales said he’s been endorsed by State Sen. Bob Hackett, Greene County Sheriff Gene Fischer, Koogler, and mayors from around the county.
“Why is this important? No one person can get things done by themselves,” he said. “They know I will answer the phone, work with them, and do whatever is necessary to get things done.”
Wallace (R) told voters about her 37 years of service to the community. She served eight years on Beavercreek City Council, two years as vice mayor, and is a current Beavercreek Township trustee.
“I believe I am the person who brings diverse experience to the county, has a steadfast record as a successful local business owner, and a lengthy background of service to the community and our country,” she said.
Wallace’s career includes serving in the Army as a behavioral psychologist, working as a senior staff analyst for Dayton’s Office of Management and Budget, becoming superintendent in the city and then working for six years on the Civil Service Board. She is the founder of Wallace Brokerage Service, has served on various boards and chambers, and was inducted into the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame and the Greene County Women’s Hall of Fame.
“I am open-minded, a consensus builder, and responsive to constituents,” she ended. “I want to be fair to all communities in Greene County. I’m willing to keep promoting local businesses, and to help make our county military- friendly. I will do my utmost to keep Greene County the best while penny-pinching tax payer dollars. I did not ask for endorsements because I want voters to vote from the heart for a change.”