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Patterson vows to boost growth

Democrat George Patterson will focus on continued economic development if re-elected to his seat on the Lawrence County Commission.

Thursday, September 28, 2000

Democrat George Patterson will focus on continued economic development if re-elected to his seat on the Lawrence County Commission.

"Our future is bright, with the industrial park at South Point and some unannounced expansions," Patterson said. "They will bring needed jobs."

The attitude the commission should take now, and in the future, is one of readiness, he said.

"We have worked with the chamber and LEDC to bring some of this about," he said. "I believe the commission here has always put themselves in the position to help, whatever it takes."

If the LEDC thinks an industry needs a tax break, that group should have the authority from the county to grant that break, Patterson said.

Funding for LEDC and chamber activities should continue, he said.

"Whenever they’re into something, the commissioners need to be there. When they need me there, I’ve been there. You’ve got to make yourself available."

Patterson, 60, and his wife, Mary Gene, live on Sharp’s Creek and had eight children. He has served on the county commission during several terms, for 16 years total.

He graduated from Coal Grove High School, served three years in the U.S. Marine Corps where he was trained in personnel administration. He attended Ashland Community College’s business administration school.

He serves as chair of the Lawrence County Caucus of the Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission, sits on the Ironton-Lawrence County CAO board and has served for 14 years on the Southeast Ohio Emergency Medical Service board.

Patterson said he is running on his past record, especially touting his behind the scenes work as commissioner to boost job growth.

He served on the committee that wrote the Empowerment Zone grant and attends many meetings relating to economic development, he said.

"People who have dealt with me know I’ll be up front with them and help them if I can," he said.

Patterson said he will continue that type of response to Lawrence County residents.

"I pride myself in dealing with people’s problems," he said. "People sometimes get frustrated with the system and need somewhere to go to get their message across."

The commissioner’s job is more than just dealing with the county budget on a daily basis and boosting economic development – it is one of responsibility to the people, he said.

Commissioners should act as a go-between with the people and state and federal agencies, he added.

Working with Scioto County to develop solid waste programs – like a garbage transfer station that would keep dumping fees local and make it more convenient on consumers – and continuing to develop rural water also tops Patterson’s list.

"They’re laying the pipe out now on the matching grant we received for Hecla and we’ll continue applying for any and all monies available to assist people who desperately need that water," he said.

But the biggest thing a commissioner can do is the job itself, Patterson said.

"Put it all together, economic development and all, that’s your job – to help the people," he said. "That’s why we’re here."

Patterson will face Republican Les Boggs at the Nov. 7 polls.