AUGLAIZE COUNTY — There are two candidates for Auglaize County commissioners — John Bergman, the Republican incumbent, and Duane Stienecker, an independent.
At the end of the year, Bergman will have served as commissioner for 24 years. He’s currently president.
“It’s about community service, enjoying what you do and helping people and making sure that the tax dollars are spent properly,” Bergman said.
Stienecker is currently president of New Knoxville Village Council.
“I think that people just need a change —some new blood in there. I just think that people would like to see some fresh ideas and good, new things,” Stienecker said.
The challenges facing Auglaize County aren’t insurmountable, according to Bergman.
“Well, so far, we’re in pretty decent shape and as always the biggest challenge is that sales tax revenue stays strong. That’s the lifeblood. That’s what keeps things going because we do have to operate on a balanced budget,” Bergman said.
Stienecker agrees that revenue generation is important.
“I would like to see more business and industry. I’d like to do everything I can in my powers to help create and support that,” Stienecker said.
As far as the candidates’ backgrounds, Bergman was a township trustee for 13 years prior to becoming Auglaize County commissioner. He served on the hospital board in St. Marys for a little less than 20 years and was involved in the Auglaize Soil and Water board for nine years. Bergman earned an associate’s degree in electronics engineering from ITT Tech in Dayton. He took over the family farm but has since turned it over to his son.
Stienecker graduated in 1988 from New Knoxville High School and graduated from Edison State College with an associate’s degree in architecture. He’s served 10 years on New Knoxville’s Community Improvement Corporation board of directors. He’s been on New Knoxville Village Council for seven years and served on the Streets and Sidewalks Committee and the Electric Committee. He was chairman of the Water Committee and is currently chairman of the Finance Committee as well as president of council.
Stienecker has worked at Crown Equipment for 28 years, serving as ISO 9001 auditor and on the ISO 14001 committee.
There is one other name on the ballot for Auglaize County commissioner. Incumbent David Baumbauer is running unopposed.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.