Races heating up in Columbiana

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DAN BING * (D).Education: Graduate Perry High School in Massillon, Ohio; attended Kent State University Stark Campus; graduate of Ohio School of Broadcast. Employment: Columbiana Commissioner since 2007..Family: Wife, Jane; children Jamie C. Bing, Daniel T. Bing Jr., Mikala Pritts, Erin T. Bing, Jarod C. Pritts, Kyle J. Bing..Priority: To finish projects, including new buildings for state offices in the county and completion of the countyÕs wireless 911 system.

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MIKE HALLECK (R).Education: BachelorÕs degree from Youngstown State University..Employment: Self-employed business consultant..Family: Wife, Chris; daughter, Mariah..Priority: Creating jobs, fight growing drug problem, and changing property reappraisals every six years to every 10 years.

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MELISSA BYERS-EMMERLING.Education: Wellsville High School; Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, B.A.; University of Akron School of Law J.D..Employment: East Liverpool Municipal Court Judge since 1990..Family: Husband, Atty. Fred Emmerling, one son..Priority: To take 20-plus years experience as a Municipal Court Judge to Common Pleas Court.

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SCOTT WASHAM Education: David Anderson High School, Lisbon; Kent State University, Bachelor’s Degree; University of Akron, C. Blake McDowell School of Law. Employment: Magistrate for Columbiana County Common Pleas Juvenile/Probate Division since 2007. Family: Wife, Mary Kay, children Emily, Rosalyn, and Owen. Priority: My number one priority if elected judge is to continue to be fair and impartial in the administration of justice.

By D.A. Wilkinson



Columbiana County Commissioner Dan Bing, the incumbent Democrat, is facing a challenge by former Republican Commissioner Mike Halleck.

In the race for Columbiana County Common Pleas Court judge, East Liverpool Municipal Court Judge Melissa Byers-Emmerling, a Democrat, is facing Republican Scott Washam, a magistrate in the Columbiana County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile/Probate Division since December 2007.

Bing said, “Four years ago, I promised to work hard to rebuild and move Columbiana county forward, to restore civility to the courthouse, be accountable, work with other officials, other leaders of government, businesses and organizations of all kinds through collaboration, cooperation, communication and listening.

The “collaboration, cooperation, and communication” slogan was created by Penny Traina, the president of the commissioners, to improve relations within county government.

Bing said his qualifications are his strong communication and collaborating skills. He is a trained conflict-resolution mediator.

“The relative issue in Columbiana County is to bring opportunity to the county and to continue to progress into economic prosperity,” he added.

He did not give any examples of pending economic- development programs.

Republican Mike Halleck said he wants to be the “third piece of the puzzle on our board of commissioners.” Traina and Commissioner Jim Hoppel, the other two commissioners, are not up for re-election.

Halleck said that as a commissioner, he helped bring in the federal prison to the county in the 1990s, along with a new county jail and new water-treatment plants.

Halleck said that he wants to change state law over property appraisals that are done every three years. One is a major review and the second is a smaller update.

If the law were changed, Halleck said, “I would propose appraisals every 10 years.” Halleck said that the change would save over $1 million a year for the county and save over one hundred million dollars in taxpayers dollars in Ohio.

Judge Byers-Emmerling said she would bring over 20 years of being a municipal judge to common pleas court. She is the only judge at the court in East Liverpool. She oversees the clerk of court’s office, the bailiff who serves court documents, schedules court hearings, processes juror selection and oversees the budget.

“I can stretch a dollar and still maintain a sound court,” she said.

She has instituted a variety of programs, including intensive supervised probation programs that were entirely funded by state funds, community service projects, a litter patrol and electronically monitored house-arrest at the defendants’ cost.

Washam said he brings 20 years of legal experience while practicing law. He was named a magistrate in 2007.

He said he could not say what if any changes he would make until he was elected.

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