Commissioner candidate Fred Zoeller said he wants to bring a business sense to the Seneca County Board of Commissioners.
Zoeller, has run Laminate Technologies for 28 years. His campaign slogan is, "I am a businessman, but a politician," and he said he is running for commissioner because he wants to give back to Seneca County.
"I've never been involved in politics in my life," he said. "In my mind, government has always been more of an annoyance and something that I didn't pay attention to. I was devoting 100 percent of my time towards the success and the future of Laminate Technologies.
"So now I'm fortunate enough to surround myself with good people, and I'm at the stage of my life now that maybe I can do something for other people."
He also said that if elected, he would allocate funds to promote Seneca County through advertisements in business magazines. He said he also plans to have quarterly, informal meetings with county department heads.
Zoeller said he wants to "improve the atmosphere for people to spend in Seneca County" to increase sales tax revenue.
Zoeller said he has a lot to learn about politics, but his business experience can benefit the commissioners' office.
"I think it's going to be the most frustrating four years of my life," he said. "I realize that government does not run as fast as business. Decisions are not made as fast. Now realizing that business is on lightning speed and government in on snail speed, I think what we need to do is create an atmosphere of somewhere in between."
He said the current commissioners have been "adequate," but they spend too much time "kicking a can down the road," which he said refers to their indecisiveness in problem solving.
"If I would take this much time to make a decision on anything in the business world, I wouldn't be in business," he said. "The focus needs to be put on - no different from what I put on business - is economic development. In business, what I do is grow sales. If you increase revenue in government, what we need to do is increase the tax base. This needs to be the focus. You focus on the top line and you manage the bottom line."
Zoeller said that while he may not have much experience in politics, he does have an extensive background in finance.
"My background is pinch a penny as tight as you can pinch it because it's your own money," he said. "In essence, as commissioner, yeah it may not be my own money out of my checking account, but it's the people's money that elected me to this position and they expect me to take the same attitude of spending their money, as what it would be when I spend my own money."