Conkle eager to help community in his new role

Conkle eager to help community in his new role

Retiring after 25 years of working for the Coshocton County Engineer’s Office and 19 years as a Jackson Township trustee, Rick Conkle still wanted to help his community. So he ran for a seat as a county commissioner and was elected. His first month has been filled with learning the position and looking to the future.

“After working for the engineer’s office and as a trustee, I wanted to learn more about how our local government works. Those jobs got me interested, and I feel very fortunate to have been elected. I’m excited to get started,” Conkle said.

Conkle is a life-long resident of Coshocton County. He grew up in the Roscoe area and has been married for more than 20 years to his wife, Nancy. When he is not working, he enjoys building projects such as home improvements, hunting and fishing.

Conkle said right now COVID is one of the biggest issues the county is facing. “We are working with other agencies and departments to make sure everyone has what they need to get people vaccinated. We have a call center set up for appointments and set up the clinic in the former Hopewell Industries building,” he said.

Conkle said the clinic seems to be working well so far.

When he was campaigning, Conkle focused on two main issues: the four-lane highway and the need for a new justice center. “I had heard how things are in the justice center, and I definitely see the need for a new center. I was excited to see the new sheriff elected; he has some good ideas to deal with the drug issue,” he said.

Conkle also said the commissioners would look into grant money toward building a new justice center.

“I think we really need the four-lane highway to be completed. I heard they are looking at it again, and I want to help in any way I can. I’m ready to work with the Coshocton Port Authority and everyone to try and get it done,” Conkle said.

Communication between elected officials and the community is another issue Conkle is thinking about. Because of COVID, many meetings are held through Zoom, which saves the commissioners time and travel expense.

“We use social media, the radio and newspapers to make sure everyone knows what’s going on in Coshocton,” Conkle said.

Conkle said new issues come up every day. Sometimes, those issues can be dealt with quickly while others take more time.

Communication between the commissioners and other departments and agencies also is important to Conkle. “We work together to make sure everyone has what they need, whether it’s financial or just advice,” he said.

“I always wanted to give back to the community, and this is an awesome time to do that in whatever way I can. I really appreciate the support I have, and I plan on working hard and learning as I go to make the best decisions for Coshocton County,” Conkle said.