An ongoing chance to learn

It’s a privilege to serve as a Washington County commissioner. The citizens of Washington County gave me this opportunity and it has been three years since I started on Jan. 1, 2011.

Being a commissioner is certainly an ongoing learning experience. My wife Jane, along with other family members and friends, have been fully supportive and encouraging. Former and current officeholders along with the county staff have also been very helpful. I would like to share some observations as a commissioner.

County government is the local arm of state government. Counties cannot make any laws. There are 14 elected officials in county government each charged with specific duties and the operation of their respective office. Each runs their department and is accountable to the voters, not another county officeholder.

County government provides many crucial services. Almost all of these are mandated by Ohio law. A partial lists includes the courts, law enforcement, child protection, roads and bridges, elections, and veteran services. County employees come to work every day and strive to provide excellent service. I would like to thank them for their dedication and commitment to you, our customers.

As a commissioner, I am invited to many events, dinners and fund raisers. I never realized how many organizations, groups and individuals in Washington County give of their own time, energy and other resources to provide assistance for those in need. As one example, there are 17 volunteer fire departments serving our county. The list if very long and serves a vital role in our communities.

As with any position or job, some parts are more enjoyable than others. There are issues or problems that can’t be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction. You make your best decision with the information available at the time the roll is called.

My term as a commissioner ends on Dec. 31 this year. After careful thought and consideration I have decided not to be a candidate for a second term. Thank you for allowing me to serve as commissioner.

Tim Irvine

Little Hocking