Thomas looks to retain commission seat

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – Current Belmont County Commissioner Mark A. Thomas announces his intent to file for the seat he currently holds on the Belmont County Commission.

Thomas was appointed to the seat on Dec. 5, 2013, by the Belmont County Democratic Party Central Committee and is currently serving the unexpired term through Dec. 31, 2014.

His name will appear on the Democratic ballot at the May 6, 2014, ballot.

‘I am truly grateful and thankful to the party’s central committee for their vote of confidence in my ability to help lead Belmont County through its current and future growth. I too appreciate my colleauges’ support and willingness to collegially work together as we help foster the spirit of cooperative, transparent and effective leadership. It has been an interesting two months for me but I am now very comfortable that I am current on all of the issues facing Belmont County. We are facing some critical, positive issues and I am determined to work hard daily to see that each decision we make is well-thought out and thoroughly discussed prior to any decision being made,” Thomas said.

Thomas held a commission seat for eight years, serving from 2001-2009 and was a part of two boards that were instrumental in providing the means for dramatic infrastructure growth. The expansion of water and sewerage has been the foundation of some of the county’s growth in all areas and will continue to be in the years to come. “The Board of Commissioners are excited to be discussing future upgrades and expansion to our water and sewer lines, throughout the entire county, so that we are best able to set the table for what could be rapid county growth in the next ten years,” Thomas said.

Presently, the board recently agreed to fund water well and sewage pump station/water tank upgrades along with working with the Fair Board and the Villages of Bethesda and Barnesville for water/sewer line upgrades, to name a few.

In addition, Thomas has played an integral part in the creation of the Belmont County Port Authority, the Belmont County Regional Airport Authority, the Belmont County Transportation District, the Eastern Ohio Regional Industrial Park and many other vital boards, integral to Belmont County’s success. His most important issues’ focus is on maintaining balanced county budget while looking for other revenue streams to help fuel growth with our roads, water and sewer lines.

‘With my past and current experience on the board, I have the knowledge and drive to focus on the daily issues of creating a positive, safe work environment for all of our employees while being fiscally conservative with our monies to insure that all of our taxpayer dollars are spent to equally benefit all areas of Belmont County,’ Thomas said. ‘Additionally, it is my continued goal to collectively work with all of our elected officials and department heads so that we run as efficiently and properly as possible,’ he added. Most importantly, Thomas wants to better listen to all residents having ideas that will ultimately be good for the entire county and welcomes any comments any time. ‘It is important that I, and all other elected officials, be acutely aware that we are elected by the people to be their public servants and I strive daily to listen. An effective leader is one who first listens to those around him and politely and sincerely dialogues on the issues at hand prior to making any decision,’ Thomas said.

‘While I thoroughly enjoyed my first two(2) terms as commissioner, I love that I now have at least one year to do my small part to help the county grow and I welcome the opportunity to serve this great county for four(4) more years if I am so fortunate. Based upon my prior and current years of service and commitment to Belmont County, I feel that I am the best candidate to lead the county in what is a time of positive, fruitful growth in the coming years,’ Thomas concluded.