LIMA — Allen County Commissioner Greg Sneary announced his retirement from the county’s top board Friday morning.
Sneary, who was first elected county commissioner in 2002, plans to officially step down at the end of this year, Dec. 31, 2019.
“People kept electing me to the position. It’s something to be proud of and thankful for,” Sneary said.
Prior to his public career, Sneary said he had never imagined he was going to be a public servant until a zoning issue with American Township convinced him that he might be a better trustee than the people who were in charge at the time. He ran for the position in 1996 after getting encouragement from his wife.
After serving as a township trustee for eight years, Sneary won the Allen County commissioner seat in 2002, running as an independent. Since then, he’s focused much of his public career on resolving the county’s budget issues and ensuring funds are available for the county’s list of capital needs, such as the recent update to the Allen County courthouse and construction of the new Juvenile Detention Center.
“It’s been very helpful coming in as new commissioners to have Commissioner Sneary’s knowledge of how things are supposed to work and what has transpired in the past. Commissioner (Cory) Noonan and I learned our new ideas weren’t so new,” Commissioner Jay Begg said.”I wish him well in retirement, but I don’t want to see him go.”
With retirement plans in place to leave, Sneary spoke well of the team of county officials he’ll be leaving behind. Both fellow commissioners Begg and Noonan have been heavily involved in past years of budget negotiations, Sneary said, and he gave high marks to the other departments comprising county government.
“We’ve got a good group of elected officials,” Sneary said. “People should be proud of their county.”
Sneary, 63, said he plans to spend his retirement doing some traveling. Both RV trips and potentially a cruise or two are currently in the works.
As for Sneary’s replacement, Allen County Republican Chairman Keith Cheney said the party will start accepting resumes for the position closer to Sneary’s final day. At a later time, the official schedule for accepting resumes and appointing a new commissioner will be announced. State law requires a replacement within 45 days of vacancy.
Due to Sneary winning re-election just last year, the appointee will run out Sneary’s term up until 2020, at which point, the seat will require a special election. Because of the shift, all three county commissioner positions will have elections that year.
Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.