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The Journal Gazette

  • Beck

Tuesday, February 13, 2018 1:00 am

Lifetime of preparation

Rich Beck

Rich Beck is a candidate for the Republican nomination for Allen County Board of Commissioners.

Recently, I filed my candidacy for Third District Allen County commissioner. I took this step after thinking long and hard about what, after years as a banker and business leader, I could offer to local government and, most importantly, my fellow Allen County residents.

After considerable thought, I concluded that my credentials, my experience and my desire to help Allen County do more could transcend politics and be meaningful.

I believe I can build a more tangible and valuable connection between government and you, the people it serves.

We have a rare opportunity in Allen County this year to make new choices, to set new priorities and to ask new things from government. I want to be a part of that.

I am not new to the work of government. I have fought alongside our county leaders for jobs, opportunity and efficiency for long enough to know that I can be your next Allen County commissioner and bring something unique to the job.

For the past 13 years, I have served on the county's Redevelopment Commission, including a decade as its president.

I have never been one who believed government creates jobs. I believe government's greatest role in an economy is to clear hurdles and foster an environment welcoming and open to the private sector.

Under my leadership, the Redevelopment Commission delivered Wal Mart's new dairy facility and the bustling Stonebridge Industrial Park. We are partnering with Fort Wayne on downtown redevelopment. The Bluffton Road corridor, B.F. Goodrich, General Mills and XPO Logistics are also growing because of the work we have done to clear hurdles and make Allen County ready for tomorrow.

When Allen County began a land-banking program, it entrusted $4.8 million to the Redevelopment Commission to make the program a reality. We wisely invested these funds to make prime sites for development shovel-ready catalysts for jobs.

Like good stewards of the public trust, we realized smart returns on those investments through market-smart sales of those properties.

This is what I have done my entire career: make smart choices based on fresh ideas with the best return on investment in mind. That is what a lifetime in the private sector allows me to offer you.

It is important that our community is a place where you can find both a job and peace of mind, and public safety is close to my heart. I have spent 40 years as a reserve Allen County sheriff's deputy, rising to the rank of deputy chief of operations.

The commissioners, as custodians of Allen County facilities, face huge public safety questions in the years ahead. Is our jail big enough? How do we provide the treatment beds needed to help neighbors suffering from addiction?

With my experience and background, I know I can help make those decisions.

As a product of the private sector, I look at what government does through a different lens. I believe in being bold and being unafraid to try another way. I offer you a rare combination of experience. Together, those talents make me an ideal candidate for Allen County commissioner.

Our community has already trusted me with many responsibilities, and that trust has paid off. I ask for your trust as well, and your vote on May 8.

I can do this job – and do it uniquely. In many ways, I already have.