Candidates in the Butler County Commission and Butler County Clerk of Courts races participated in a voting forum at the Lakota West Freshman Campus in West Chester Thursday night.
The event attracted a good crowd and featured Republican primary commission candidates including current county Commissioner Chuck Furmon, state Rep. Courtney Combs and political newcomer T.C. Rogers.
Also taking the stage in the commission race forum was Democrat Jodi Billerman and Libertarian Daryl R. Olthaus. Both, Billerman and Olthaus, will run in November against the winner of the Republican primary March 6.
During the forum, all candidates answered the same questions that included how they would lower the county’s debt, if the county airport should be sold, if the county can justify giving raises to its employees, if they agree with the county sheriff’s immigration policy, how can the county fund the Liberty Town Square retail development project, among others.
- Find out what is on the ballot March 6 on the Butler County Board of Elections page
- Information on the Butler County Commission race
All of candidates provided what their approaches would be in lowing the county debt, which forum host and West Chester Township Trustee George Lang said was at $90 million.
Rogers recently criticized Furmon, saying there is a “mountain of reckless spending” in Butler County government. During the forum, Furmon defended recent expenses.
As far as the airport was concerned, all of the candidates agreed that it was an asset. Only Olthaus was open to selling it, noting that it could be better run privately instead of by the government. Rogers thought it would be a good time to market the airport after seeing reports that the airport in Blue Ash will likely close. According to Rogers, another airport couldn’t be built within 200 miles of the airport in Butler County.
In regards to the pay freeze, Furman acknowledged that there is one currently – saying, “We are not issuing raises, that is not what we are about.” Although no single candidate appeared to be in favor of handing out raises, Billerman said that there should be a good compensation structure and would not favor a select few raises unless they deserve it. (more…)