After being re-elected as Bellville Mayor, Darrell Banks announced Monday his intent to run for Richland County Commissioner in 2016.
The move comes after Banks clinched his third term as village mayor, running unopposed last week. The mayor will run in the Republican primary race for the commissioner position currently occupied by Tim Wert.
“I want to be your next Richland County Commissioner,” Banks said to a group of about 50 gathered for a press conference at Brumby’s Coffee Shop in downtown Bellville. “I will work whatever hours necessary as commissioner to focus on bringing jobs to Richland County, responsible management of tax-payer dollars and common-sense initiatives that make our county a better place to live, a better place to work and a better place to raiseour families.”
Banks believes that his experience as a business owner, an educator and a public official has given him the experience necessary to prove an effective commissioner.
“Business people inherently know how to solve problems,” said state representative Mark Romanchuk during the press conference. “That is what we do in the government, we solve problems. I’m supporting Darrell and looking forward to working with him.”
“We have a lot of problems on the county level,” Banks said. “We have budget problems, we need to be more friendly to business and we need to educate residents about the flooding issues. We need to work together on problem solving.”
The Bellville Mayor states that his work in the village has given him a sense of the necessary action needed to stimulate the county’s economy.
“We need to take advantage of Richland County’s assets,” he said. “We need to update our workforce and get them up to par. While Mayor of Bellville I have worked with citizens, village staff, council, government agencies and other jurisdictions to accomplish many things working together. I want to bring this same community purpose and collaboration to Richland County to benefit all Richland County citizens in our cites, villages and townships.”
Banks cited his work on the village’s storm water removal systems, construction of AMVETS Community Park, the waste water treatment project, a water distribution project and the State Route 97 widening project as examples of his initiates he tackled while in office. He also states that he and other Bellville officials have worked to improve the village’s budget since 2007.
“When I took over as mayor we had a $10,000 carryover from the budget,” he said. “We now have a $140,000 carryover.”
If Banks were to be elected as commissioner in 2016, he would vacate his position as Bellville’s Mayor. The office would be filled temporarily by the President Pro Tempore of Bellville Council for one year, following that there would be a general election for a new mayor.
“I’m not going to leave Bellville behind,” Banks said. “We need a better county government to help Bellville. There is a good staff (in place in Bellville), a good village administrator and council.”
The position of President Pro Tempore of Bellville Council will be decided after the first meeting of 2016. Banks would take his seat as Richland County Commissioner in January of 2017.
Bellville Mayor Darrell Banks speaks to the crowd gathered a Brumby’s Coffee Shop in downtown Bellville. The current mayor announced he intends to run for Richland County Commissioner in 2016.
Reach Jones on Twitter @Bellville_Jones or via email at [email protected]