Four vie for Putnam County commissioner's seats


OTTAWA -- Two of the three commissioners' seats will be decided in November when Putnam County residents take to the polls.

In the three-year term commencing on Jan. 2, 2013, four candidates have thrown their hats into the ring in an effort to help lead the county.

Incumbent Travis Jerwers has one term under his belt at the commissioners' table and is the Republican candidate for the seat while Ottawa native and county insurance agent Mark A. Schmiedebusch earned the Democratic nod to run for the postion.

There will also be a pair of Independent candidates vying for the position, in Ottawa's Michael A. Lammers and Ottoville native Dan Honigford.

Lammers is a newcomer to the county's political arena while Honigford is a former Ottoville village fire chief.

Profiles of the four candidates follow:

Name: Dan Honigford

Age: 60

Address: 301 Walt Street, P.O. Box 315, Ottoville

Education: Ottoville High School graduate, 1971

Family: wife, Ruth

Occupation: owner/operator of D&R Ag Repair for 20 years

Previous political offices: member of board of public affairs/water board for village of Ottoville; Fire Chief village of Ottoville; president of Putnam County Fire Association

Party affiliation: Independent

What are your qualifications for the position: I have held numerous positions in both government and civic organizations within Ottoville as well as the county. I have also worked very closely with the public in the day-to-day operation of my business.

Top three goals (and how you expect to achieve them): 1. Maintain a balanced budget based on the best interests of all county offices and agencies. 2. Promote better communication between county residents and the commissioners' office by utilizing various media outlets and online sources. 3. Support the development and expansion of small businesses as well as the creation of new business by introducing economic incentives to encourage growth.

Name: Travis Jerwers

Age: 37

Address: 18106 U.S. 224, Kalida

Education: Kalida High School graduate, 1993; currently finishing bachelor's degree at the University of Northwest Ohio in Lima

Family: wife, Dawn; daughter, Emma

Occupation: sales representative

Previous political offices: one term as Putnam County commissioner

Party affiliation: Republican

What are your qualifications for the position: I have deeply ingrained small-business ideas that I have used during my first term (as commissioner) and will use in a second term.

Top three goals (and how you expect to achieve them): 1. To eliminate our 0.25-percent sales tax hike! 2. I want to see that property rights are stood up for and develop safeguards for property rights against government! 3. To limit government spending with all the tools at my disposal. This in order to stop government debt and the problems it causes for the tax payers

Name: Michael Lammers

Age: 54

Address: 17451 Fairway Drive, Ottawa

Education: Miller City High School graduate; Ohio State University graduate; Cleveland Institute of Electronics

Family: wife, Diane; daughter, Amanda; son Thomas.

Occupation: owner/operator of Log On Computers for 25 years

Previous political offices: N/A

Party affiliation: Independent

What are your qualifications for the position: I have 25 years of helping businesses reduce costs and solve problems, while building and managing an honest and successful business.

Top three goals (and how you expect to achieve them): 1. Reduce budget costs with technical improvements to information technology infrastructure. Every dime we save today saves our children and grandchildren a dollar. 2. Drop sales tax with new revenue from county share of Ohio casino tax; and dropping current tax needed from debt reduction, as new jail and closed garbage dump debt are retired in Jan. 2013. 3. Saving the county $60,000 on the first day in office by refusing medical package, almost $15,000 per year for four years. My wife and I have paid our own way so far, why should I burden the taxpayers asking them to pay our coverage for a part-time job.

Name: Mark A. Schmiedebusch

Age: 58

Address: 215 Gemstone Drive, Ottawa

Education: Ottawa-Glandorf High School graduate, 1971; University of Dayton, 1972-74; The Ohio State University graduate, 1979

Family: wife, Debra; daughters Shari and Sarah; grandchildren, Brandon and Ayden

Occupation: Ottawa insurance agent since 1979

Previous political offices: N/A

Party affiliation: Democrat

What are your qualifications for the position: I have a lot of background in community organizations such as Knights of Columbus, Eagles, United Way and baseball officiating.

Top three goals (and how you expect to achieve them): 1. To put a more positive picture on the commissioners' positions. 2. Being available and willing to talk and act in a timely manner to all concerned and to be accountable to the whole county in a fair and equitable manner. 3. Assign money and manpower where it is needed.

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