The Lima News sent questionnaires to every candidate in races in Allen, Auglaize, Hardin, Putnam and Van Wert counties for this election section. Candidates had the opportunity to give biographical information and discuss major issues in their races. Candidates also had an option to submit a photograph. Only names and residences identify candidates who did not return a questionnaire yet. We continue to receive more questionnaires every day, so check back here soon to see the latest submitted answers.
[image#1, align=left, size=thumbnail]Thad Lichtensteiger
Residence: Kreischer Road, Van Wert
Relevant experience: Served 15 years on Crestview Local School Board of Education, serving as both president and vice president of the board with significant negotiating and hiring experience; trustee of the Van Wert County Foundation; partner in Lichtensteiger Farms
Education: Graduated from Crestview High School in 1979, bachelorís degree in agriculuture from The Ohio State University in 1983; continuing education in German at Bowling Green State University
Years living in area: With the exception of college, all my life
Major issues: With an unemployment rate of 15 percent, economic development and the retention of existing business simply must be the first and highest priority. Finding funds is especially challenging now, but it would be my goal to allocate more resources to economic development to enhance effectiveness. I would like to have regular interaction with the economic office as to the progress we are making towards that end.
Second is fiscal responsibility. With declining revenues and empty coffers, the luxuries have been dispensed with, and even the programs that were perceived as necessary must be scrutinized. Every program, every department, every line item, every work order needs a fresh new analysis.
Next is image. There are perceptions that the visibility and cooperation between the commissioners and other departments, agencies and offices needs to be improved. Whether real or imagined, it would be my goal to repair that perception. Availability and approachability are absolutely essential for good government. On a side note, there is no such thing as too much input.
Fourth is networking. I would like to immediately start collaborating with all other agencies for cost-savings ideas. All of us have empty checkbooks and need to become more efficient. If we can all come to the table with the best interests of the county in mind, we can find things that would be mutually beneficial to all of us.
Candidates: Van Wert County Commissioner