By Wayne Allen
Bryan Davis, a local small business owner has announced his intentions on Tuesday to run for Scioto County Commissioner in the up coming primary election.
Davis currently services as the chairman for the Southern Ohio Port Authority Marketing Committee.
“My role as marketing chair is first and foremost to get Scioto County on the map and we’ve done that,” Davis said. “One of the things the (Gov. John) Kasich administration has done is pushed JobsOhio. As a part of that (Jobs Ohio) Atlas One and Ohio One online system have been created and shows properties, sites and buildings available for potential economic development in each county,” Davis said. “Through this system you can search by county, sites, buildings, square footage and many parameters. When companies are looking to located in Ohio, they will contact Jobs Ohio or they can go online and do it themselves.”
Davis said, once a company expresses interest Jobs Ohio will then ask communities if they have a space that meets the specific needs.
“Prior to March of 2013, Scioto County had zero sites listed. In some cases that responsibility was being regulated to Lawrence County,” Davis said.
Davis said other counties from around the state had been listing available sites for a while.
“All of those skills will make me a very good county commissioner as well as my people skills and knowledge of the challenges that face the county,” Davis said.
Davis said some of the challenges that face Scioto County include, “first and foremost unemployment, our unemployment level is at 11.1 percent, the fourth highest in the state, which is dismal and unexceptable.”
Davis said local officials need to work hard to get local people back to work.
“Our population over the last two years has dropped by over a thousand people. Why is that, people are leaving to find jobs. The unemployment rate in the state of Ohio has stabilized to where things are looking better else where but, we have yet to see that progress in this area. With that in mind, we need to work more and we need to work harder to make sure that happens,” Davis said. “One of the other things really hurting our area is poverty, one in four children are food insecure, our per-capata income lags the state average by $7,000 a year. Our average household income lags the rest of the state by $13,000 a year. The worst number i’ve come across is that 23 percent of the people in Scioto County live at or below the poverty line. That’s equates to one in four residents, that’s unexceptable.”
He went on to point out other issues facing the county such as, crime and substance abuse.
“A lot of people think we only have a drug problem here, we have more than a drug problem. We have a health issue, we have a drinking and alcohol issue. We need to tackle these issues more than what we are already. There are a lot of people that have their eyes on this issue and are working very hard on this, more than ever before,” Davis said. “But, now is not the time to slow down on these issues, now is the time to redouble our efforts.”
When it comes to solutions to the issues facing the county, Davis said part of the solution will come through finding employment for residents.
“Once we have the jobs our poverty rate will reduce, crime will reduce and substance abuse will as well. As we bring jobs in a lot of the social ills of our area will be taken care of,” Davis said. “At the same time we need to make sure the people providing the substance abuse counseling and our law enforcement have the money and the tools to make sure they are getting their jobs done.”
Davis one of the other issues facing Scioto County is an attitude issue.
“We have a major attitude issue in this area. We have been depressed for so long that it’s become the norm for people. We need to make sure that whenever we’re working towards these goals that instead of saying we can’t, we say why not and we find a way,” Davis said. “We need to overcome these attitudes and we need to give people a vision of a brighter tomorrow.”
He said one of the issues he would like to look at once elected is the county sales tax.
“I believe we need to have surplus, I believe we need to have a rainy day fund,” Davis said. “As revenues come in, our budgets are met and surpluses are obtained we truly need to look at the potential of lowering our county sales tax.”
Davis said he would like to lower the sales tax a quarter of a percent at a time, as long as budget projections are being met.
“By lowering that rate we allow the citizens to keep more money in their pockets and gives our small business owners a more competitive edge against businesses in larger cities that enjoy lower tax rates,” Davis said.
Davis said he formally announced his campaign Tuesday night as the Scioto County Republican Party Central Committee meeting.
Davis said this campaign has been a long time coming and is personal for him.
“This announcement has been a long time coming. This is personal for me, I have lived here the vast majority of my life. I want my children to work here and I want them to raise their families here. I may never get to see that, but when I leave this world I want for people to be able to say, Bryan Davis left it better than he found it,” Davis said.
For more information about Davis and his campaign visit him on Facebook.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT