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Local leaders spend day at Statehouse

David Goodman, Ohio Development Services Agency and keynote speaker at Legislative Day, said Lawrence County is one of the few counties in the state to show the initiative to take part in such an event.

“I can tell when I look across and see all of you that you care where you come from, understand the challenges of where you come from and get up each and every day and work hard because you know nothing will happen if you don’t,” Goodman said. “There are 88 counties in Ohio and I can tell you not many do what you’re doing.”

Goodman went on to discuss Ohio’s moving up in national development rankings, Medicaid and education reform and the importance of continuing to move forward for a better Ohio.

State Senators Bob Peterson and Joe Uecker and State Representatives Dr. Terry Johnson and Ryan Smith all spoke during a luncheon after the breakout sessions. Each had a different message they focused on, but they all mentioned their commitment to making Lawrence County a better place.

Johnson, like Goodman, commented on the importance of events such as Legislative Day in bringing legislators and their constituents together.

“No matter who we are in this room, we are all serving a bigger purpose,” Johnson said. “Everybody in this room is a leader. Everybody in this room is important to the future of Lawrence County.”

After leaving Ironton at 6:45 a.m. and eating a big lunch, the Lawrence County crew was beginning to wind down as they left the Statehouse and walked back to the charter bus for the trip home. Even so, discussions of various things they heard throughout the day continued the two and a half hour trip back.

Jerry Rowe, president of the Chamber, said that shows one of the things Legislative Day is about networking.

“This is relationship building,” Rowe. “The legislators may change throughout the years, but oftentimes those behind the scenes stay the same. So it’s important to put faces to names and develop those relationships because that’s how you get things done.”

Rowe said building relationships is good for everyone, public officials to private business owners. He also commented on persistence being the key to getting things done, and one of the ways he said Lawrence County stays persistence is by connecting with its elected officials at Legislative Day.