Adam Rhodes for Licking County Commissioner
Adam Rhodes for Licking County Commissioner

The Issues

Building a Better Licking County

Building a Better Licking County

Equitable Economic Development

Across the county we have dozens of tax incentives in place to encourage new businesses to locate here and to help our existing business to expand. But while the state gives us wide latitude to design those incentives all too often they are simply used as a blunt instrument. But new ideas are starting to appear in the Economic Development arena. 

By using Community Benefit Agreements that tie tax abatements to specific metrics we can create better jobs not just new jobs. We can also encourage better training opportunities for our workforce and work to integrate our new businesses into our communities.

We should also be using our economic development program to help our existing business expand and thrive right here in the county. Rather than looking outside for new businesses I'd encourage a renewed focus on the business employing so many of us right here in our backyard. 

In partnership with the Licking County Chamber of Commerce and GROW Licking County we can embrace a new philosophy and improve the business life and the economic lives of folks across the entire county.


Transportation

Let's spend our public transit dollars more wisely. Rather than spending more money year after year for the same service, let's take a long hard look at what we're doing. Let's examine what's working and what isn't and work to address the areas that aren't meeting our needs.

Lancaster, Zanesville, and other surrounding cities of a similar size to Newark have fixed route buses. Those bus systems serve their community better than a Demand Response model. But we can't abandon the Demand Response model because what works in Newark won't work in the rest of the county. But by partnering with new initiatives and by refocusing on the core mission we can make our public transit system a model for counties across Ohio.


Engaged Government Participation

We're facing so many difficult issues that are all deeply intertwined: intergenerational poverty, drug addiction, homelessness, transportation issues, mental health concerns and families caught up in all of it. The only way to address these issues is by having an engaged, thoughtful, listening government. A government that is working to help all of its citizens, not just its businesses. 

By attending meetings on these and other issues we can start to build a network of relationships that will help our social services connect across silos. We can also engage our citizens in efforts to rebuild community connections that have languished. As a strong, resilient community we can stand stronger together than we can on our own.