XENIA — Two candidates on both sides of the aisle will face off May 8 for a seat on the Greene County Board of Commission.
Newcomers Dr. Steve Bujenovic and Susan Lopez are running on the Democrat side, while current Treasurer Dick Gould is facing incumbent Commissioner Alan Anderson on the Republican ticket.
“I’m a democrat. Thirty to 40 percent of the county hasn’t had much of a voice over the years and I think they need to,” Bujenovic of Yellow Springs said.
Bujenovic works as a medical doctor at a free clinic.
“As a physician, I would offer a bit of balance to the current board. They’re businessmen and lawyers. I’d offer a different perspective,” he said.
One of Bujenovic’s primary issues is the opioid epidemic. The candidate said he’s already working on a program with TCN Behavioral Health that would allow patients without transportation to have mobile Suboxone units come to them. As a physician on the board, he said, he’d have an advantage being able to talk to emergency rooms, health providers and other doctors about issues.
Lopez of Beavercreek said she’s running because she wants to be part of the solution. She said her social service background is critical to the board, especially because a large percentage of the money coming into the county is for the social service system.
The candidate noted fiscal responsibility as one main issue she’d tackle.
“They make decisions without investigating fully. They have made decisions that have affected community members. I’m asking before you do something, go into the community and talk to people. I would change that,” she said.
She also cited transparency as a major need on the board, particularly at regular public meetings. She said if elected she would explain convoluted terminology and work to get out minutes and agendas earlier to the public.
“People that know me will vote for me for my integrity,” she said.
Gould, who was elected treasurer in 2011, said the board needs a financial professional.
“We are going to be facing a lot of big financial decisions with the potential for a jail,” he said. “The fact that we are sitting on $24 million of cash at the end of March and $3 million in reserve is excessive on a $50 million budget. I think if there is a need for that cash, we should identify that need and put it to use. If not, it should be returned to taxpayers.”
Gould said the board also needs to garner better relationships with other jurisdictions.
“So much of the time it has been the county against the other entities. We are all in this together. What we can do for each other helps the county as a full,” he said.
The treasurer who lives in Xenia Township also listed economic development as a major goal, like targeting specific industries and companies to come to the county. He said his community involvement will give him an edge.
Anderson, the incumbent, lives in Caesarscreek Township and works as a lawyer and a farmer.
“I’m running for re-election for the same reason I ran in the first place. I’ve lived in Greene County all my life. I like Greene County. I like the people. I think that I am bringing to the job a person that is cooperative and collaborative with people. I respect people’s ideas. I get the best out of people,” Anderson said.
He said his experience as a law director for various jurisdictions throughout the county over the years has show him what government and elected officials can do for people.
If re-elected, Anderson said he will continue managing the county budget, valuing social services and continuing to focus on pertinent issues like the needs for a new jail and economic development so that businesses will thrive and jobs can stay local now and for future generations.
Two other seats on the board are filled and won’t be open until 2021.
Contact Anna Bolton at 937-502-4498 or follow @annadbolton on Facebook.