Weigle for commissioner

Columbiana County Commissioner Tim Weigle, a Republican, in his bid to win a second term, is opposed by Beaver Local school board President Jerry Barnett, a Democrat.

Barnett seems focused on the fact that all three Columbiana County commissioners are Republicans and feels that electing a Democrat would restore “checks and balances” to the commission.

Barnett, however, could not name a decision made by the current board that he felt was affected by partisan influences, and neither could we.

Barnett is very passionate about his accomplishments on the Beaver Local school board and wants to bring that hard work and energy to the commission.

“I seriously want to get in there and make a difference. That’s why I’m doing it,” Barnett said

We think Barnett could make a difference, but many of the areas he cited as needing commissioners’ attention, such as fighting drug abuse and securing more state funding for the battle, are more under the control of the state legislature than they are commissioners.

We believe Barnett would make a good commissioner, but Weigle has done an outstanding job as commissioner so far. Weigle is a valued and active member of the commission. He remains a hard-working commissioner whose accomplishments include updating the 911 system to the next generation and placing the 911 director’s job under the EMA, which improved the efficiency of 911 while also saving money. He also closed the Area Office on Aging to save money and helped created the county land bank which is helping rid the county of dilapidated and abandoned buildings.

Weigle has been active in the war on drugs by continuing to support local police departments who place officers on the drug task force, by providing $100,000 to help reimburse them for the officers’ time.

Weigle is also involved in plans to turn an underused part of the county jail complex into a long-term drug addiction treatment facility and wants to start the anti-drug education in county schools at an earlier grade than the current DARE program addresses.

We admire Barnett’s obvious passion for public service and encourage him to seek a countywide elected office in the future, but we believe Weigle needs to remain on the county commission.

The Morning Journal editorial board endorses Commissioner Tim Weigle for a second term.