The election season is in full swing and nowhere is safe, not even the meeting of the Fayette Chamber of Commerce hidden away at Camp Palmer in secluded Harrison Lake. Present at the latest meeting were Keith Torbet of Wauseon who is currently running for Sheriff along with his opponent, Roy Miller, of Delta. Also present was Becky Thatcher, currently on the ballot for Fulton County Commissioner, and Ray Ramsdale representing Jeff Bunk who is currently seeking election as a State Representative for the 47th District.
Much different than the federal political climate, the candidates present at this meeting didn’t take any shots at each other and were quite friendly. Mr. Torbet and Mr. Miller both seemed to agree on mostly everything and each stated that no matter which one people voted for, Fulton County would have a more than able Sheriff. The vote really comes down to which candidate voters decide is most qualified for the job.
Mr. Miller has served with the Sheriff’s Office for 22 years, was a 2004 FBI National Academy Graduate, 1990 graduate of Columbus State with an Associate of Applied Science in Law Enforcement Technology, Assisted in implementing new technology in the Sheriff’s Office, composed and gained a government grant for department cruiser in-car computers in 2007, is a Buckeye Sheriff’s Association member, a State and
National FBI National Academy Associate, represents Fulton County as a Board Member of Northwest Ohio Juvenile Detention Facility, and is endorsed by the current Fulton County Sheriff, D.E. Merillat.
Mr. Torbet has 28 years of law enforcement experience in multiple roles. He has 14 years of command experience, 12 years of administrative command experience, 8 ½ years as Wauseon’s Police Chief, he graduated the Police Executive Leadership College and the Certified Law Enforcement Executive Program, has been twice re-certified as a Certified Law Enforcement Executive, is a member of the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police, the OACP Education Committee, and the Executive Institute Committee overseeint the Police Executive Leadership College. He is a member of the Certified Law Enforcement Board of Directors and is currently serving on the Board of Directors for both the First Call for Help and the Center of Child and Family Advocacy. With help from his staff, he was able to cut more than $150,000 out of his budget and keep from laying off any employees during the worst fiscal period in thirty years. He has served on both sides of the negotiating table as a union director and a member of management to successfully negotiate six consecutive contracts without having them result in arbitration, and has successfully drafted grants which have brought more than 1 million federal dollars to the city and non-profit organizations.
Becky Thatcher, candidate for Fulton County Commissioner, also talked about what she would do if the voters grant her the position she seeks. Becky Thatcher is a Wauseon resident who grew up in Archbold. She has been in business, gone to school, been in administrative roles, gone back to school, served as a state auditor, and more. The last degree she earned was with the expressed goal of running for Fulton County Commissioner. Mrs. Thatcher is against the privatization of the Ohio Turnpike, as is her opponent, Paul Barnaby, who is the currently serving and has for some time. However, Thatcher would seek to make the Fulton County Commissioners more accessible to the public. She says that the times the current Commissioner meetings are held don’t give normal people with normal jobs a chance to attend. She would seek to fix that and also thought that a moving meeting that possibly met at the same time as a local Chamber once a month would be a great idea to get open up more avenues of communication.
Ray Ramsdale was present at the meeting representing Jeff Bunk who is currently running to be the State Representative of District 47. Mr. Bunk was a successful government teacher, coach, and administrator. He is a lifelong resident of Northwest Ohio and has a BS and M. Ed from the University of Toledo. He is a Department of Education Adjunct Professor at BGSU, and has numerous endorsements from teachers’ groups and unions. Mr. Ramsdale said that Jeff Bunk is against all of the cuts to education that have been going on in the new Governor’s administration. The amount of schools that have had to turn to passing levies due to loss of state funding has been way up in the last couple years. Jeff Bunk would seek to increase state support for education, infrastructure (police, fire, EMT, roads, parks, bridges, etc.), and job creation that keeps jobs here in Ohio.
The Presidential election may be the most important election going on at the moment, but it is not the only one. There are many things out there that hold importance to local voters that often fly under the radar, such as Issue 2 concerning the redistricting of Ohio.