Halleck to seek re-election as county commissioner

LISBON – Columbiana County Commissioner Mike Halleck is the latest incumbent to announce his intention to seek re-election.

The 61-year-old Republican filed his candidacy petitions Monday with the county elections board to seek his party’s renomination in the May 6 primary election.

“An old farmer once told me just do what you say you’re going to do, and that’s what I’ve tried to do,” he said, noting that in 2010 he promised to focus on economic development and the drug problem in the county.

Halleck said commissioners last year reinstated the county economic development director position and hired assistant county prosecutor Tad Herold for the job, “and that is something that will eventually benefit every community.”

Halleck also touted the close working relationship he has developed with representatives from oil and gas development companies operating in the county and region. He said “networking with those officials has been to the benefit of the county and will hopefully foster future development.”

“While there’s still a lot to do, unemployment was as high as 15 percent at one point and it is now about half that,” Halleck added.

Commissioners have used some of the proceeds received from the state casino tax to help pay salaries in police departments that committed to assigning officers to the county drug task force. Halleck said this resulted in six additional officers for the task force – four part-time and two full-time.

“We’ve been able to make a noticeable difference in the number of cases and the number of arrests and amount of drugs taken off the street” as a result of those additions, he said.

Halleck said commissioners have also addressed a number of needs over the past three years, such as replacing building roofs, resurfacing the courthouse parking lots and demolishing the former welfare office building, “things that needed addressed or had never been addressed.”

If elected to a second term, Halleck said he would like to seek additional funding to continue with the housing demolition program begun last year with money awarded the state.

Halleck and his wife live in Perry Township, and they have one daughter.