Local elections over the last several years were punctuated by vicious campaign ads, personal attacks and dozens of candidates who had made a conserved effect to uproot the status quo.
In the ashes of the aforementioned political disruption, there were a smattering of those who have won their races and taken their seats throughout Hamilton County pledging to work across party lines.
In Ohio, many issues loom heavy on voters’ minds; cost of housing, cost of gas, cost of healthcare, student loan debt, abortion access, violent crime, immigration, and rising food costs, just to name a few. The elected officials that we spoke to realize this and hope that operations and policies in their respective offices will not add to the burdensome worry.
"It’s a privilege when voters entrust you,” said Brigid Kelly, Hamilton County’s newest auditor, a lifelong Hamiltonian growing up in Norwood. Kelly said she is most excited about the preceding comment, the upcoming property reappraisal that Hamilton County conducts every six years and to ensure the process is responsibly handled.
Brigid Kelly, Hamilton County Auditor
Kelly also said the modernization of the auditor’s office is a top priority while continuing to ensure that all office operations deliberately “meet people where they are.”
"Our office has always possessed a high level of customer service and, moving forward, we want to continue that high level of transparency.”
Other Hamilton County officials who secured victories in their respective races over the last few years said they'll also seek to bridge divides and work to cool the passions across party lines.
“We are in a transformative time,” said Jill Schiller
, the current Hamilton County treasurer elected to office in November 2020. Due to a twist in Ohio law, she did not officially begin her role until September 2021.
A member of the Democratic Party and Hyde Park resident, Schiller has been focused on using technology to run a more efficient county office.
Jill Schiller, Hamilton County Treasurer
"If all of us work together, we will be able to do a better job, save taxpayer money and produce a better product for Hamilton County residents,” said Schiller who took a complete inventory of the operations of the treasurer’s office when she took office. “I needed to understand why things were being done ensuring that procedures were in place because they were the best way to do things and not in place just because it’s way things have always been done.”
“One of the first things I wanted to change when I took over was the culture,” said Pavan Parikh, Hamilton County Clerk of Courts. “There was a huge alliance with the status quo.”
Pavan Parikh, Hamilton County Clerk of Courts
Parikh, who took office in early 2022 when he was appointed to fill the vacancy left by now-Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval, has made strides to incorporate principles from his own experience to ensure that the services provided by his office really help the people it serves. “Over the last year, we have worked diligently to create services which are customer focused,” said Parikh. “Not only have we moved many of our office’s processes online, but we’ve also incorporated translation services to our help desk operations. We are in a transformative time, and I am focused on collectively using technology to be more efficient in the way we operate.”
As personified by Scott Crowley, a registered Democrat who was elected as Hamilton County recorder in November 2021, who said that he, and his fellow elected county members have the potential to bridge service gaps.
Scott Crowley, Hamilton County Recorder
“It is an absolute honor and privilege to be called upon by the people of Hamilton County to serve in this role,” said Crowley. “I am excited to work with my colleagues and county commissioners to continue to provide exemplary service.”
The promise of cooperation and pining for bipartisanship are common during many political campaigns and in the weeks after elections have been won. But the inspiring wins of some of the most fervent elections since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic offers the promise of some eased tensions.
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