Voter Guide

The counties included in the voters guide are: Montgomery, Warren, Miami, Greene, Clark, Champaign, Preble, and Butler.

NOTE: Not all communities have issues or candidates on the ballot.

Greene County Commissioner

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  • Candidate picture

    Dick Gould
    (Rep)

  • Candidate picture

    Susan Lopez
    (Dem)

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Biographical Information

What are the 3 biggest challenges facing the county and how would you deal with them?

Greene County is growing, particularly in the Beavercreek and Sugarcreek Twp. areas. Residents are concerned developers are being catered to without consideration for what residents want. If elected, what can residents expect from your leadership in terms of controlling and managing growth, both residentially and commercially?

What makes you qualified to be a commissioner?

The Greene County Jail is aging and the current commission has approved a study to evaluate the needs for a new jail. What should a new county jail look like in terms of operations, location, and cost?

The county is currently involved in litigation with the city of Xenia regarding the annexation request of Central State University. Lawyer fees and court costs will be covered by the taxpayers. What would you have done differently to avoid costly litigation with Xenia?

What will you do to bring jobs to Greene County?

The county is currently involved in litigation with county judges regarding the use of Courtroom 3 in the historic courthouse. The county is required to cover all costs on both sides in this case. What would you have done differently to avoid litigation?

The gun control debate continues to be hot as mass shooting incidents continue to occur across the country. Commissioners this year decided to allow public office holders, such as the treasurer and auditor, to decide whether they want to allow employees and members of the public to carry firearms inside their offices? What do you think about that decision and what do you think should be done to prevent more mass shootings?

Experience I started my working career as a police officer in Fairborn. There I served as both a patrol officer, hostage negotiator, and undercover narcotics officer. That experience provided unique insight into understanding people and the issues they face every day. I have a master’s degree from Miami University and am a Certified Public Accountant. I continue to serve my community in many ways. I am a past-President of both the Fairborn and Beavercreek Rotary Clubs. I currently remain on the foundation board of the Beavercreek Rotary Club. I also currently serve on the finance committee and board of directors of the YMCA of Greater Dayton. There, we oversee a budget of over $25 million dollars. I have been involved in securing funding for the REACH Project, which will provide a new YMCA, Senior Center, and college classrooms in western Xenia. As Greene County Treasurer, I serve on numerous boards and committees. I am a member of the data board, regional planning commission, the debt committee, board of revision, and budget commission. I am chairman of the investment advisory committee and manage investments for the county of over $130 million. At the state level, I serve on the County Treasurer’s Association Legislative committee, where we work directly with legislators on laws that affect our offices. I am an active, long-time, member of the Beavercreek, Fairborn, and Xenia Chambers of Commerce. Through these organizations, I have regular contact with business and community leaders and hear their concerns and suggestions.
Education BS Management/Accounting Park University, Master of Accountancy Miami University, Certified Public Accountant
1. The county needs to continue to attract quality businesses that will provide good paying jobs and opportunities for our residents. To achieve this, we need to have a total understanding of our county’s assets and then market those assets to targeted businesses and industries. Having attended numerous site selection seminars and briefings I hear professionals tell what they consider to be the strengths and weaknesses of our region. By recognizing both, we can highlight and market our strengths and work on our weaknesses.

2. The opioid epidemic. It is taking an enormous toll on families and our workforce. It is straining both public and private resources to their breaking points. We must work closely with an agency such as the Mental Heath & Recovery Board of Clark, Greene, & Madison Counties to identify resources that are available. They, or a similar organization, can help identify and eliminate duplicative services that exist in so many treatment organizations. By eliminating waste, we can maximize our resources and establish a "best practices" treatment plan.

3. The growing tax burden. Residents want, and deserve, good, efficient government. As Treasurer, I hear the concerns of the taxpayers when they pay their bills. As an active member of the community and numerous chambers of commerce, I see and hear about so many services that are duplicated entirely, or at least partially, throughout the county. These services all take tax dollars. We should look at more ways to encourage collaboration among the various governments to more effectively deliver those services. The county should serve as the facilitator to start the discussions.
Greene County is a great place to live and there is a constant demand for housing. Residents must be heard so there is not a decrease in the quality of life. Ultimately the growth is controlled at a more local level, either by city, village or township officials. They control zoning and have the final approval on developments. The county is the facilitator of the Regional Planning Commission, but it can merely make recommendations. The county has economic tools it can use to facilitate certain development, generally commercial, and they have been often.

I believe it would be a good idea to establish a countywide vision committee made up of all the jurisdictions. The various entities could hold local meetings and solicit resident input to determine what they desire. After those are complete, the groups could come together at the county level and again solicit resident input to develop a long-range vision plan. This would be the road map into the future.
First and foremost is my understanding and love of the county. Throughout my life I have dedicated myself to making it a better place to live. I started my working career as a police officer in Fairborn. There I served as both a patrol officer, hostage negotiator, and undercover narcotics officer. That experience provided unique insight into understanding people and the issues they face every day.

When I completed a Master’s degree from Miami University and became a Certified Public Accountant, I continued to serve my community in different ways. I became a board member of the Fairborn Senior Center and became active in Rotary International, holding several leadership positions, including President of both the Fairborn and Beavercreek Rotary Clubs. I currently remain on the foundation board of the Beavercreek Rotary Club.

I also currently serve on the finance committee and board of directors of the YMCA of Greater Dayton. There, we oversee a budget of over $25 million dollars. I have been involved in securing funding for the REACH Project, which will provide a new YMCA for the Beavercreek and Xenia areas.

As Greene County Treasurer, I serve on numerous boards and committees. I am a member of the data board, regional planning commission, the debt committee, board of revision, and budget commission. I am chairman of the investment advisory committee and manage investments for the county of over $130 million. At the state level, I serve on the County Treasurer’s Association Legislative committee, where we work directly with legislators on laws that affect our offices.

I am an active member of the Beavercreek, Fairborn, and Xenia Chambers of Commerce. Through these organizations, I have regular contact with business and community leaders and hear their concerns and suggestions. I believe it is important to have regular interaction with a variety of community entities to better understand the diverse needs and desires.
Whether the current jail is updated, or a new facility is built, it will carry a large price tag. When a new jail is discussed, the focus is obviously placed on the cost. Too often it’s only the construction cost that’s considered. Modern jails are designed to require a much lower staffing for the same number of prisoners. If properly designed, the cost, over the long term, will be lower due to reduced operating costs such as wages and benefits and energy savings. As a CPA I have the background and knowledge to identify and analyze the positive financial impact that a new facility could provide.

The county has engaged a nationally recognized consulting firm to determine how it should look and what it should offer. The firm has received input from the Sheriff’s office, the courts, drug and alcohol treatment providers, and community organizations. They will deliver a recommendation based on all of these factors. Personally, I believe that the facility should incorporate rehabilitation and treatment as a means of keeping recidivism rates lower. Doing so may help us reduce long-term operating costs. I am confident that those will be incorporated in the final report. After they deliver their report, it can be vetted with these organizations and fine tuned to deliver what Greene County needs and wants.

Communication. The county has had some strained relations with many of the jurisdictions in the county. I have worked to establish personal relationships with key personnel in most jurisdictions. Conversations about the issues “could” have kept this from becoming a court case. It is my understanding that there were several flaws in the annexation petition. If all of the points were addressed ahead of time, the commissioners would have had no choice but to approve the petition. The fact that they were not addressed proactively means that there was a breakdown in communication. If the disagreements had been discussed beforehand, and the petition proceeded, in spite of that, the commissioners would have had to ignore their legal counsel and the county Engineer’s findings in order to approve it.

So many problems can be avoided when the parties communicate and neither let their egos get in the way of doing what they feel is right.
As I stated above, I would identify businesses and industries that we want to bring to the county and then educate them about the benefits of locating here. For large scale projects, the avenue is usually through the State’s Jobs Ohio program. Jobs Ohio works with the Dayton Development Coalition (DDC) to direct projects to our region. I routinely interact with members of both organizations. I believe we need to stay in front of the DDC to push for more of the projects to be directed to our county. I believe that commissioners should be constantly involved in the entire county as well as the region. We should foster cooperation with all the entities we deal with and look to assist them in any way possible.

We have a fantastic Career Center and Clark State is opening a new facility targeting workforce development. We should be engaged and know what our assets are and how they can be employed. A commissioner should always be actively engaged in everything that is going on throughout the county and region, as these all can impact our residents.
The discussion about the use of Courtroom 3 has been going on for over a year and a half. The discussions and negotiations have involved the commissioner’s office as well as the general and probate divisions of common pleas court. It is my understanding that the commissioners were working with both divisions to establish a shared use plan but an agreement between the two courts could not be met.

The situation came to a head when the commissioners were served with conflicting orders from the two common pleas courts. The commissioners do not have the legal authority to chose one over the other. Sadly, the only option was to appeal both orders to a higher court for guidance.
As a former Police Officer, I fully support the new policy that allows licensed concealed carry permit holders to carry a firearm into the office. It is much rarer that gun violence occurs in locations that allow legal carry of concealed weapons. When the legislature passed the law last year, I immediately asked for my office to allow concealed carry. While it was initially denied, I worked behind the scenes to push for approval. We were given the option in January and I immediately allowed it.

Criminals don’t follow laws and they will find access to guns no matter what the laws are. Most of the mass shootings involve people with mental illness, often young students. We should devote more resources to mental health treatment. Additionally, there should be mental health professionals in every school. These professionals can serve the needs of the children whose mental state lead them to consider violence as well as identifying potential risk factors.

Finally, we must ensure that courts and agencies that are required to submit background information to background system do so. This will make the background checks more complete and comprehensive.

Experience Current Director of a nonprofit family resource center, small business owner, previous eight-year county employee. Very active on county committees and service organizations. Twenty years experience in social sciences. Military family. Named Top 25 Women to Watch 2018 in Miami Valley. Currently working on a bi-partisan project concerning Human Trafficking; Education, Prevention & Youth Recovery in Greene County. This has links to our current drug epidemic. Greene County Family Services Planning Committee (FSPC) member for Greene County Job & Family Services Department since 2007 (11 years). Greene County FSPC member for Children’s Services since 2013 (5 years). Adult Advisor for Partnerships for Success, 14 years--a youth-led leadership group. Advisory Group Member with Greene County Career Center--Satellite Teachers. Served on numerous other committees and task forces within the county. Member of Greene County Township Association.
Education Bachelor's degree in Social Sciences; hold other certifications. Continually taking advantage of educational opportunities and have received numerous certificates of achievement, primarily in areas related to social sciences. Taking action as a Leader with education; believe in serving. Chose to take voluntary furlough hours, while working in the county, when other employees of the County were forced to take furloughs in hope to save jobs.
1) We are anticipating two multi-million-dollar projects, for infrastructure improvements and for the jail. Simultaneously our county systems and agencies are overburdened due to the drug epidemic. There must be a holistic and bold approach taken to meet these challenges without overburdening the taxpayer. I plan to evaluate commissioners spending priorities in a transparent and collaborative manner. I will work to identify innovative, cost-effective solutions that improve all lives in a coherent and inclusive way. I vow to better balance budget decisions to include measures that serve the most people possible.

2) Protecting our lands: The County Board of Commissioners must push harder against annexation efforts from other counties by pressing for state legislation that protects our townships while allowing citizens to keep the rights they hold dear. They must also evaluate protecting our natural water resources.

3) Making county government more transparent and accessible to every citizen. I would make information easier to understand and allow citizens more time to provide input. Also add quarterly morning or evening meetings to allow citizens a greater opportunity to share input or concerns in decisions that affect their community and how their county tax dollars are allocated.
I will not take campaign donations from development corporations, period. I view that as a conflict of interest in objectively weighing important decisions affecting so many.

Our townships lack land protection. Development often counters long-range land use plans which were developed with input and consideration from numerous entities in our communities. This plan should be consulted prior to commissioners voting or approving development. Following this plan could help reduce growth of open space or farmland from dense-packed residential areas which overburden our school and the tax-payer.

The County must push harder against annexation efforts from other counties and press for state legislation that protects our townships while allowing citizens to keep the rights they hold dear. The Ohio Revised Code currently prevents commissioners and townships much latitude in making decisions. I vow to advocate for this to change.

It must be recognized that development of land is also affecting our waterways. The Little Miami River’s flow has been changed and the quality of its environment has been threatened. Residents are asking for protection and responsibility to our natural environment. I would use the professionals we have in Greene County to consult about these matters.
I worked for Greene County at Family & Children First, managing a Resource Center. I worked and continue to work with community members, agencies, & organizations throughout the County. An active committee, task force & volunteer in the County with more than 20 years of experience in social services; I understand the structure and the interconnection of county departments. Social services collectively represent the largest budget item in the county; that is my background -- I am the voice that is missing.

I am collaborating and working on an important project that is bi-partisan, human trafficking, an issue that is affecting our families, our citizens, our children. I will always put our communities and people first.

A small business owner & nonprofit director, I understand working within a tight budget and the importance of effectively working with different funding streams. I value input from community, will listen, consider all aspects and not waiver from making decisions that I believe will best resolve issues. Through my own experience, I understand the importance of Wright-Patterson AFB to our communities. I have always advocated for changes that need to be made to better serve our communities and the people within. I am devoted to serving all communities, all citizens and our businesses.

Since campaigning, much of my platform has been publicized and the commissioners have adopted many of the ideas I have put forth.
Our county jails are overcrowded due to the drug epidemic and the facilities are in disrepair. Our social service system is overburdened due to this crisis. Our modern system of incarceration must be addressed on federal, state and county levels. I feel one solution that must be considered is long-term treatment. It is more cost effective and successful in preventing re-offending. Any comprehensive plan for the jail must incorporate a long-term rehab component; it saves taxpayer money and is a proven effective practice. I have stated this several times previously, and thereafter the commissioners held a meeting which other professionals confirmed these statements; the need for long-term treatment and it reduces costs.

Building of a new jail is most likely going to be the outcome of the study currently being conducted. I would evaluate the opportunity to utilize the current jail locations, as well as the Greene County Career Center location as they have plans to build elsewhere.

Reports through the county estimates the cost of the jail will be at least $40 million, most likely more. State and Federal monies must be aggressively pursued. Even with an immediate need, this project will take years to fruition. We must reduce the burden of the tax-payer as much as possible. We must move some “rainy day funds” into a reserve account before asking for taxpayers to do more.
I think the commissioners have forgotten about us, the tax-payer. They should have listened and mediated a decision versus forcing tax-payers to once again pay for legal fees. I believe much of this could have been prevented by working diligently to identify and seek solutions, to mediate, by listening and compromising. Bringing people together at the table to discuss opportunity. Finding out what the intended result would be for Xenia, Wilberforce and for Central State, then discussing this with all parties. Seeking a resolution that didn’t involve litigation. Solving problems BEFORE being slapped with a lawsuit.

A large part of my life's work is collaboration and building community and relationships. Our municipalities deserve a good working relationship with the Board of County Commissioners. I’ll fight for responsible government spending of our tax money to be spent on serving our people and communities and not payments in litigation. You can count on it.
We need to implement a smart growth strategy which brings jobs into our community that provide our citizens a livable wage. I will work for a strategy that helps our rural communities achieve development and growth while maintaining Greene County’s distinct rural character.

Businesses come to places they see as thriving with a healthy community for families. We must look at supporting our cities and townships in having what they need to be a community business wants to be included. To pull together Miami Valley Regional Planning, the Department of Development, Greene Works, Ohio Means Jobs, and the Board of Commissioners to work for the better good of all citizens and businesses.

Research has shown the educational attainment level of a population is the single most important factor shaping regional economic success. Therefore, we must champion our educational institutions while also concentrate on Workforce Development to assure our county has a steady stream of trained people to fill existing jobs. We must support and combine efforts with our existing educational system to push forth and meet this need.

The county's Department of Development has indicated the need for an additional position. I would evaluate this need along with a request by Townships for the need of a grant writer.

II vow to work toward finding ways of remaking economic development to bring jobs into our area and keep our existing businesses viable. Working on a long-range plan that involves sustainability. One that involves engaging our youth, so they stay in our area versus moving out of Ohio. And, a plan devoted to improving services and systems that support growth.
First, tax-payers are paying legal fees for three entities, not two, due to this litigation: for the judge suing the commissioners, for the commissioners and for the other judicial parties involved. I would have taken the judge’s concerns seriously when first approached, listened, mediated and found a mutually beneficial solution. I would have talked with other court officials to get their opinion and visited other court systems to investigate their usage of courtroom space prior to making any decisions. I would have made certain lines of communication remained open, follow-up occurred and all parties made aware of steps in the process.

I would not believe I knew better about a court system than the people currently working in those positions.
I am against this decision. The Violence Free Workplace and Unauthorized Weapons Policy signed by commissioners in January 2018, contains contradictions. The language is ambiguous, which makes stipulations in the document and even who they are referring to unclear.

I do not believe anyone other than law enforcement officers should be allowed to carry weapons into a government office. According to Provision C of the policy, concealed carry handguns are prohibited in any building with prohibitive signage on the main entry door. As commissioner, I would make this signage available to every county building.

This document is hard to find online and needs to be majorly revised. In addition, policies are generally directed at employees, and I cannot see how this directive can be upheld for the public by a court of law. It is important that county employees receive active shooter training which is not mentioned. Since I have stated this previously, one of the commissioners requested such training.