Preble County voters decided to make a change in the commission office last week, voting out three-term Republican incumbent David Wesler.
Twin Township Trustee Rodney Creech won the Republican nod to be on the ballot in November with his victory over Wesler on Tuesday, May 6 in the primary. No Democrats will be on the ballot in November. Gasper Township Trustee Eric White took out a petition to run as an Independent.
Creech won with nearly 54 percent of the vote (3,171-2,731).
“I’m very excited,” Creech said moments after the unofficial results were posted Tuesday evening. “This is what I’ve been waiting for. I knew it would be close. Dave’s been in there three terms and I felt like I had a good chance. Thank you Preble County. It’s time for the new vision and new energy that we’ve been talking about.”
Creech said he’s not going to be afraid to make tough decisions as part of that new vision, if selected as the county’s next commissioner in November.
“What we’ve been talking about, getting a good business mind in there. Somebody’s that not afraid to make tough decisions and someone that’s going to get in there and mix with the people.” Creech said. “We’re ready. I’ve been waiting for a long time. I’ve been waiting two years for this. People knew I was taking it serious. I’m ready to hit the ground running. It’s a good feeling.”
Part of what Creech calls the “new vision” is planning into the future. He also said he believes the people want to be listened too.
“The big thing is just having a plan,” he said.
Wesler was gracious in defeat, while noting some of the things that were accomplished or attempted to accomplish while he was in office.
“The people spoke,” Wesler said. “I’ve worked so hard to try and bring in more sales tax revenue, because that’s really the only way that we can get more money, to have more money for the budget. People told me they wanted me to live within the budget and I’ve done that. I’ve always voted against tax increases.”
Wesler said he believes the county is in much better shape that what it was when he took office nearly 12 years ago.
“I’m pleased with my 12 years of service,” Wesler said. “I want to thank all of my supporters and all the people I’ve run into that have had kind words.”
Wesler said he plans to support Creech and help out in any way he can.
“We’ve really got some challenges down the road and I was looking forward to continue working on those. Obviously, at the end of the year I’ll pass the reigns on to Rodney,” Wesler said. “I’ve always cared about Preble County. Always have. I’ll always be willing to help.”
Countywide, out of 27,000 registered voters, just under 7,800 voted last week.
TCN, NT levies pass
Voters in the Tri-County North Community approved a 1 percent earned income tax that will generate approximately $960,000 for the district a year for the next five years.
The issue passed in the county 886-606.
Earned Income Tax includes only earned income and self-employment income of the residents of the school district. The tax excludes all other types of income that would be taxable under the traditional income tax base such a interest, dividends, capital gains and pensions.
Voters in the National Trail School District approved a .75 percent renewal by a wide margin (933-502).
The tax will be in place for a period of five years and will generate approximately $804,000 per year.
The revenue generated from the income tax helps with operating expenses such as utilities, fuel for buses, classroom supplies, employee costs, building and grounds upkeep and maintenance, according to NT Superintendent Jeff Parker.