Candidates Reese, Black and Najoli vie for open county commissioner seat
BY CHRISTO FOSSE, Guest Writer
A four-year term, the county commissioner exercises financial control of county expenditures, authorizes public works projects and purchases land and buildings. The commissioner also appoints other officials to head various apartments, in addition to other responsibilities.
Andy Black (R)
Experience: Black is the Senior Vice President for Financial Supermarkets, a Cincinnati-based company. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Miami University of Ohio and masters in business from Bellarmine University.
Economic Plan: He asserts that the COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated Hamilton County’s financial struggles. To revitalize the economy, he supports “fundamentally changing how we look at our county’s finances,” including removing underutilized assets, like Paul Brown Stadium, off the books to invest in other resources.
Storm Water Management and Lead Abatement: He will advocate for increased funding of the Storm Water District and its oversight committee. Increased funding, Black asserts, will initiate the creation of plans to improve and address water quality.
Promoting Social and Racial Justice: Black believes that it is critical to engage in dialogue that moves us “forward.” Black supports underserved communities by “unlocking funds” currently committed to underutilized resources.
Alicia Reece (D)
Experience: Reece is the marketing consultant community developer radio producer. She has previously worked in the Cincinnati City Council and Ohio Statehouse.
Economic Plan: Reece recognizes the significant impact of the pandemic. She emphasizes the creation of a “pro-growth” agenda that assists struggling citizens and rewarding hard-working ones. She cites her work with the MLK interchange and the Duke Energy Convention Center as an example of her ability to accomplish this.
Storm Water Management and Lead Abatement: Reece promises to “convene a task force” that will represent all sides of the stormwater dispute and give it a deadline to issue recommendations. For lead abatement, she plans to work with the Ohio governor.
Promoting Social and Racial Justice: As president of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus, she worked to enact laws that built trust between law enforcement agencies and underserved communities. She plans to do the same as commissioner.
Herman J. Najoli (I)
Experience: Najoli is a professor of business and global issues at Indiana Wesleyan University.
Economic Plan: He proposes two initiatives: the Hamilton Entrepreneurial and Economic Drive and the Hamilton County Reinvestment Action for Local Disbursement. These, he believes, will promote entrepreneurship in Hamilton County, contributing to a vibrant economy.
Storm Water Management and Lead Abatement: He believes that the Metropolitan Sewer District “must be transformed into a Major Success Demonstration.” He recognizes that lead in homes is an emergency situation, and Napoli will respond by unveiling his “Standards, Education, Responsiveness, Volunteers, Execution plan.”
Promoting Social and Racial Justice:
Herman J. Najoli: To fight for people “living on the margins,” Napoli will construct a County Office for Regional Research on Eliminating Causative Tendencies in Individuals with Vulnerability Experiences, that will bring change in a “compassionate” manner.