In the race for Scioto County Commissioner, Trampas Puckett (D) and incumbent Bryan Davis (R) both boast their personal experiences and individual passions for the local community as factors which set them apart from their opponent.
In working as the Business Agent for Carpenters Local 437, Puckett states that he has had the opportunity to interact with students from various schools in Scioto County, and often hears that students want to leave the county due to the lack of job opportunities and other issues within the county, just one reason he is seeking election.
“According to the Census Bureau, our county has been losing over 500 residents a year on average since 2010. This trend is going to continue unless changes are made. We can do better,” said Puckett.
Puckett states that high unemployment and poverty rates are a second reason he’s running for county commissioner. “Our county ranks among the highest in poverty and unemployment compared to the rest of the state. Many people would love to find work here locally but must travel up to 4 hours a day to find gainful employment. We have to do better,” said Puckett.
The lack of transparency in local government is another issue that Puckett feels compelled to change.
“Our current commissioner meetings are held in the mornings twice a week. Let’s be honest, most working people will never be able to attend these meetings, let alone find the meeting room in the basement,” said Puckett. “Most voters I’ve spoken with think the current “Facebook Live” feed is a joke. This creates a distrust in our elected officials.”
Although the commissioners have offices in the basement, they meet every Tuesday and Thursday morning on the first floor.
Puckett feels that he has the necessary passion and experience to address the current issues at hand, which makes him the best candidate for the position.
“I know I have the experience and passion to address these issues. I’ve been a carpenter for over 20 years working my way up to superintendent in a short amount of years. I am very knowledgeable with bid specs along with contract language for construction projects due to this career choice. I am currently the Business Representative for the Carpenters Union and have been for the last 9 years,” said Puckett. “I’ve built valuable relationships that have led to gainful employment for members and contractors alike. I am also a member of the Workforce Investment Board which allows me to hear the needs of businesses and the skills they desire in a workforce. I am also a board member of the South Central Ohio Education Service Center. We oversee the programming of budgets, grant writing along with the educational needs of various schools. I currently serve as the President of Community Action, a position I am humbled to be in. We are involved with helping the elderly, youth and impoverished in our area with services they may need. Lastly I am a hard worker, I’m honest, trustworthy, and knowledgeable and am eager to get this county moving in a positive direction.”
Puckett listed his main goals for the county as bringing jobs and economic growth to the county, putting Scioto County residents first on projects instead of out of state workers, increasing broadband internet across the county, creating an industrial park and bring in new business, and lastly increasing transparency with evening meetings the public can attend around the county. Puckett states that he has earned the endorsements of Carpenters Local 437, Electricians (IBEW) Local 575, Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 577, Laborers Local 83, Painters Local 555, Painters District Council 6, Teamsters Local 100, Tri-State Building and Construction Trades, Communication Workers of American Local 4510, Shawnee Labor Council (AFL-CIO) and the Portsmouth Ohio Fire Department IAFF Local 9 during his campaign. “I am humbled to have so many believe in me and my goals for this county. If given the opportunity to be your next Commissioner, I pledge to work hard for all of the residents in this great county,” said Puckett.
Davis believes that in his time as a Scioto County Commissioner great strides have been made in improving the quality of life in Scioto County.
“While progress takes time, I genuinely believe we are heading in a positive direction. A vibrant and positive feeling is in the air and it is being felt by many of our citizens. In the last few years we have seen our fiscal condition improve dramatically with balanced budgets, budget surpluses, and a ranking as one of the most financially stable counties in Ohio. Even Ohio State Auditor Dave Yost described Scioto as the “Comeback County”.
Davis promises that while he serves in office the county will never go back to the tax and deficit spending policies of the past, which put the county in fiscal emergency.
“We simply as a county cannot afford to do that again. As a small business owner, I promised to run the county like a business. We have done that and the proof is in our fiscal strength,” said Davis.
Davis says that thanks to the county’s fiscal strength, commissioners have been able to fund important projects while growing surpluses. Davis lists waste water sewer infrastructure as the main concentration, which has prepped the Minford area for future development at the Greater Portsmouth Regional Airport, as well as the Briarcliff pump station project which will replace the old plant and increase development opportunities in the area, among other infrastructure projects.
“This huge win will give Scioto County great flexibility to serve new and existing businesses as new economic development opportunities present themselves,” said Davis. “We have assisted with matching grant dollars to pave roads to grow and attract jobs. We have assisted Townships, Villages, and other entities, with Community Development Block Grants to refurbish senior centers, pave roads, and assist with recreational opportunities. We have successfully applied for and been awarded CHIP Grants that have brought over $1.6 million into our area to help refurbish owner occupied middle to low income housing helping dozens of citizens to save their homes. We helped fund a new county-wide GIS system to facilitate growth and development and we increased funding to the Soil and Water Conservation District this year to support agriculture, a major part of our economy.”
Davis lists funding needs to assist law enforcements and courts, using local labor to continue courthouse renovations, the implementation of the Scioto County Land Reutilization Corporation, the purchase of the Courthouse Annex, the establishment of the Earl Thomas Conley Splash Pad, and the hard work of communicated the needs of the area from the courthouse as far as the White House as major accomplishments achieved by a strong board of Commissioners. “We have worked hard to communicate the needs of our area from the courthouse, to the statehouse, to the White House. We have visited Washington DC 3 times in 3 years to fight for jobs and support of our workers. I have personally visited Congressmen, Senators, State leaders and administration officials to fight for our people. I always say, “Our area has many problems, but it has even greater potential,” said Davis.
Davis states that the fight must be continued for generations to come.
“I have made myself available to everyone, and worked hard to solve problems for our citizens. In a time when it seems labels are put on everyone and everything, I have chosen to see everyone as a neighbor, friend, son or daughter of Scioto County and most of all, an American. Our best days are not behind us, they are ahead of us. And together we can continue to see progress IF WE ONLY BELIEVE and have Faith that God will bless our area once again. I am the only commissioner candidate with the experience and knowledge to continue this mission and I promise to continue the fight for you and your family and to better the lives of ALL our fellow citizens,” said Davis.
Reach: Ivy Potter (740) 353-3101 Extension 1932