Three men who are no strangers to public service are seeking the Jan. 2 term of county commissioner.
The incumbent, Democrat John Payne, who was appointed to the position when Penny Traina resigned last year, has served as mayor of East Liverpool, was on East Liverpool City Council and a former director of the Columbiana County Board of Elections. He also worked on the congressional staff for former Congressman Charlie Wilson and taught high school and was an administrator and instructor at the former Ohio Valley Business College.
Longtime Democrat John Wargo, running as an independent, has a lengthy resume of elected positions. He has served as township trustee for three years, county recorder for six years, state representative for 12 years and county commissioner for 12 years.
The third man, Republican Tim Weigle, has served as Unity Township trustee for 23 years and also serves on the Columbiana County Port Authority.
All three candidates have different, but not conflicting ideas about how to bring economic growth and jobs to Columbiana County.
Payne wants to resurrect the county Progress Council that was the driving force in bringing the federal prison to Elkton back in the 1990s.
Wargo, who played a large role in landing the prison project, wants to push the long-delayed project of linking U.S. Route 30 to state Route 11 to fruition.
Weigle would like to build cooperation between the various chambers of commerce organized throughout the county together with the county Port Authority. Working together instead of separately is the way to accomplish things, Weigle believes.
All three men bring a wealth of public service, but one Tim Weigle hasnt spent most of his time in elected or government-appointed positions, as the other two have, and we see that as a plus.
Weigle brings 40 years of private-sector experience, construction experience specifically, which we feel will be an asset in the commissioners job. We believe he would bring a fresh approach compared to the two other candidates, who have spent the vast majority of their careers in government. Weigle has the right combination of private sector-public service. That is why we endorse Tim Weigle for the Jan. 2 county commissioner term.