I've known for eight years that -- given voters' approval to continue serving -- that the final six months brought on by term limits would eventually arrive. And they have.
For this entire year, I've been asked two or three time a day, "So what are you going to do beyond 2016, Ron?" My answer has been the same: Every job assignment I've had throughout my life has come rather suddenly as a surprise. And, I haven't had that surprise yet.
That answer changed abruptly in July with the sudden, unexpected death of Jim Carmichael. He had been our county commissioner for the better part of eight years and had served our county in the Ohio House of Representatives for eight years prior to that, much of it in leadership positions. And that's just for openers.
It dawned on me almost immediately that the county was now faced with bringing on two new commissioners of the three that make up that board. This is because Commisisoner Scott Wiggam chose not to run for re-election, instead seeking the house seat I'm vacating.
I sensed that a call was coming my way to consider stepping up to help build a bridge to the future with the rest of our county officials and many other community partners.
I'm actually excited about this challenge. And why would that be? Isn't this a step down? That is not how I see it. Wayne County provides far more direct services to our citizens than does state government -- much of it on behalf of state government. I do expect that being closer to the direct delivery of services ranging from airport operations to wastewater treatment has its challenges. But I like working with people to solve problems, and this should offer an abundance of opportunity!
Two parting comments:
- No, I'm NOT running in competition against Sue Smail. She is seeking election to the post being vacated by Scott Wiggam. I'm running for the seat for which Jim Carmichael was a candidate.
- I've been through a lot of election cycles, but none remotely as bizarre as this time around! I'll just leave it at that.