TROY — The candidates for the Miami County Board of Commissioners spoke to a full house at Tuesday night’s Meet the Candidates event.
On the March ballot, incumbents Jack Evans and Richard Cultice will be challenged by Cindy Lillicrap and Greg Simmons, respectively.
The event was hosted was by Leadership Troy Alumni and featured Republican candidates with opposition in the March Primary.
The candidates addressed what they felt are some of the top issues facing the board, including aging county infrastructure, and highlighted their financial and managerial experience.
Evans and Cultice pointed out some of the highlights of their tenure on the board, including capital improvements to the courthouse and Safety Building, balanced budgets since 2008, the planned opening of a third pod at the Incarceration Facility, and upgrades to the county’s Communication Center.
“I’m proud of what this board has been able to do,” Evans said.
Simmons argued that improvements to the Safety Building were not as effective as they should have been.
“I know that they’ve put a lot of money into it to repair it, but I think a lot of that money’s been spent as a Band-Aid,” Simmons said.
Former city of Piqua employee Lillicrap said she is running because she wants to make a difference in the county and isn’t afraid to go against the grain. She stated that the people have lost confidence in the current board.
“They’re not approachable, they’re not as honest as (people) want them to be, and they’re definitely not transparent, and I would be all three of those things,” Lillicrap said.
Evans shot back on the issue of honesty.
“I’ve handled people’s finances for a long time as an insurance agent and they’ve put their confidence in my integrity and my honesty and I’ll stand by that,” he said.
Each of the candidates stressed their financial backgrounds.
Cultice said that his fiscal experience sets him above his opponent, saying that he has managed accounts of hundreds of millions of dollars.
“My financial background is much broader than my opponents. I’ve dealt with much bigger budgets,” Cultice said.
Simmons agreed, but argued that he has had a broader range of experiences, from working in children’s services and county courts to running a correctional facility. He also added that he aims to lead with integrity, transparency and accountability.
“I’m not a yes man,” Simmons said. “You can go back and take a look at the commission and see how they voted. It’s public knowledge — ‘yes, yes, yes.’ I’m not afraid to stand up and say, ‘No, I disagree with that.’”
Evans claimed that the opponents lack an understanding of what the board does.
“The county commission is not a legislative board, it is an administrative board. So there’s not going to be a lot of different votes going on because you have to pay the bills, all contracts come before us. Those are things that most of us all understand and agree on,” Evans said.
Reach Cecilia Fox at [email protected] or at (937) 552-2205.