The Van Wert County Courthouse

Monday, Oct. 22, 2018

Burkley, Schlegel discuss election issues

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

The two candidates for Ohio’s 82nd House District have lots of business experience, but only one has held public office before.

Whichever of them is elected, Paulding County businessmen Tony Burkley and Pete Schlegel will bring a wide array of experiences to the Statehouse in January.

Burkley, who is currently a Paulding County commissioner, is also owner of the Paulding NAPA and Tru-Value Hardware stores, a family-owned enterprise.

A Wayne Trace High School graduate who has also taken business classes at Defiance College and business training from the National Auto Parts Association, Burkley has been in business in Paulding for more than 40 years and has been a commissioner for 15 years.

Schlegel is a 1984 graduate of Paulding High School and a 1990 graduate of the Ohio Highway Patrol Academy. He also graduated from flight school in 1993 and has spent time as a Patrol trooper, and EMS helicopter pilot, as well as been a small businessman who started his first Subway development at the age of 28. He has also a country music manager at the national level and states he has hands-on experience in building new businesses and in taking corrective measures to save existing businesses.

Both cite the economy and jobs creation as the No. 1 issue facing the 82nd District.

Burkley feels he is the best person to do something about the economy if elected to the Ohio General Assembly. “My years of business experience have taught me what it takes to create jobs,” Burkley said. “I would listen to members of the business community and address the governmental regulations and obstacles hindering them from hiring.

“Whatever the obstacle is, I would attempt to adjust or eliminate the obstacle through legislative action,” he added.

Schlegel goes further to state that, in order, his legislative priorities would be: 1. Economic development, 2. Job creation, 3. Eliminating unfunded mandates, and, 4. School funding.

“We need to work together and strive to make Ohio more business friendly,” Schlegel noted. “Make common sense decisions, and truly have job creation on our minds every day.”

He also said he feels legislators need to address the issues surrounding school funding.

The candidates differ on the question of whether renewable fuels is a viable option for Ohioans.

Burkley noted that he would support tax incentives that would encourage the use of ag-based products in renewable fuels, and would also support assisting Ohio universities, through research grants, in developing new technology to make renewable fuels more competitive in the marketplace.

Schlegel has said he feels that renewable fuels need to be made more cost-effective and efficient. “To continue to fund with tax dollars doesn’t seem to be working or make good sense,” Schlegel noted.

Both also addressed the question of what they would do about Ohio’s election laws.

Burkley noted that he would support a uniform adjustment to the hours of operation of Ohio’s election boards during voting periods. “To accommodate various voter work schedules, the office could open later in the day and stay open later,” Burkley explained. “This would not overburden the counties financially, because it could be done with the same number of employees and hours currently worked.”

Schlegel talked about the state’s Issue 2 on the ballot next Tuesday, noting that, while he likes the idea of stopping “Gerrymandering” — the process of creating legislative districts for the sole purpose of giving an advantage to one political party — he was also concerned that Issue 2 would “create another state agency with little or no oversight.”

POSTED: 10/30/12 at 6:33 am. FILED UNDER: News