Bob Corbett seeks county commission seat


Staff report



Corbett

Corbett


Editor’s note: Each Republican candidate for Champaign County Commissioner on the May 3 ballot was invited by the Urbana Daily Citizen to participate in a survey. The candidates are Bob E. Corbett, Marcia Bailey, David Faulkner and Nino Vitale. Those surveys received by the deadline are being published in a series of articles. No Democrats filed for the election.

Name: Bob E. Corbett

Address: 3894 Corbett Road, North Lewisburg, Wayne Township

Qualifications: My name is Bob Corbett and I reside in Wayne Township near North Lewisburg in northeast Champaign County. I came from a farm background and I still am involved in farming to some degree. I worked for Navistar International 40 years before retiring. I served on the Triad School Board for eight years and the County School Board and the Hi-Point Board for 11 years each. During my school board years I was President of the Southwest School Board, served on the legislative committee and the board of trustees for the Ohio School Board Association. I have been a part of the Commissioners Office for 27 years and have represented the Commissioners on a number of committees locally, and at the state level with the County Commissioners Association of Ohio. During that time I have helped create a very user friendly building complex with the Champaign County Community Center, the court house has been remodeled, a regional jail was built and a county building department was created to name a few of the accomplishments that I have been a part of. Even with these investments the county currently has no debt and is financially strong. I have been a hard working commissioner that cares about the county and the people that live here.

Question: What is your position on granting tax-favored status to renewable energy projects in Champaign County?

I have put a lot of time and thought into this subject because it is a major step for the county and it affects a lot of people in many different ways. The County has an adopted comprehensive plan that needs to be followed. You could potentially be obligating the county to a decades-long commitment. You would be accepting a set financial package that will be of very little value toward the end of its life. Property rights for the land owners and the many other people that will be directly and indirectly affected must be taken into account. There are questions that need answers such as do we have the right to obligate future generations to this type of an agreement with no option to terminate it and what about the present and future value of long term agreements like these. Another big question that goes along with these types of projects is what happens to these projects if in the near future a better, more productive type of energy source comes along? Is the project just abandoned and left to be an eyesore for the community? What burden is placed on the county taxpayers if the tax favored status is granted? These are all things that must be considered before a decision to grant that status can be made.

Question: How would you help position the county for economic growth in the next 20 years?

Positioning for economic growth over the next 20 years is a very tricky subject because different groups have different ideas of what it needs to be. One group might think the approach is to attract and build everything that is willing to come, while others may say keep everything as near to what we currently have as possible. I think the way to keep positioned for the future is to move slowly and with caution. We need to build our tax base with what fits our county and maintains our rural atmosphere that we now enjoy. Tax abatements can be a tool to use as long as they are handled properly and work to help our tax base and not burden the average taxpayer.

Question: What is the biggest asset for ensuring the county’s future viability? And what is the biggest challenge for the county?

Our biggest asset for ensuring the county’s future viability is a strong financial base produced by good jobs in the area along with our strong agricultural atmosphere. These two financial elements, along with the majority of people’s desire to live in this county because of what it is and the way of life that it offers will ensure its viability. We enjoy a way of life that is hard to find anymore. The biggest challenge is to work to ensure that these things are maintained at the levels they are today and to find a way to preserve them for future generations.

Corbett
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Staff report