COLUMBUS – Versailles native, Cheryl Subler serves as Executive Director for the County Commissioners Association of Ohio (CCAO) and has the privilege of working with 282 elected county officials statewide along with various key professional staff who help the commissioners do their jobs and duties.
“It’s a really awesome job,” Subler stated.
A Versailles alum from the class of 1987, Subler played in the high school band and had plans of possible studies in pharmacy after graduation.
“I am very proud of our town and school,” Subler stated. “Versailles is a great place to raise families. Versailles just really promotes a lot of community values, hard work, good work ethics as well as taking care of families. A lot of times everything centers around your family, your extended family – it’s a great place to grow up.”
“I was not planning on being in public policy but I was in the middle of maybe becoming a pharmacist, was at a meeting over at ODOT (Ohio Department of Transportation) on some different transportation issues and the executive director of CCAO was there. He had a job opening and it was all history. He was a great mentor beginning my career and I’m just really fortunate.”
Now with the association for 26 years, Subler coordinates the CCAO legislative program, is liaison for the general government and operations committee and is President of the Service Corporation.
The Versailles native has a Bachelor’s Degree from Miami University, she addressed governmental regulations and publications at the Ohio Township Association, was a legislative aide, Ohio house and page, for the Ohio Senate, and past president of the Ohio Lobbying Association.
The CCAO has had many great accomplishments over the years under the guidance of Subler including what she believes to be several of their greatest accomplishments.
“Our association prides itself in doing like a three or four legged stool,” she stated. “First and foremost we’re an association that helps with advocacy and helping the commissioners, county and county council members understand what is being debated at the state house as well as how to connect with state resources, state grants and programs.”
“The other big item our association does is the service program to help the counties stretch a dollar whether it’s in providing health insurance to their county employees or property liability insurance,” she continued. “It’s pulling together the different counties purchasing power to make programs stronger and services better statewide and last but not least, we do a lot of work in terms of training and education. We focus more on our members but we are also trying to do some publications to help the public better understand county government because it can get sort of complicated understanding local government and the role of counties and partnering with the state.”
Subler shared her legislative agenda goals for the new year at the state level in Columbus.
“Two key goals this year are restrains on cuts to the local government fund, is a way that the state shares a portion of their revenues with the counties, townships and municipalities during economic times,” said Subler. “When the state was short of funds those dollars got ratchet back. Now that the state is flushed and doing great things we think that’s an appropriate time to reset and to put the ball back on the playing field and bring it home.”
“The other item, we are continuing to do to work on indigent defense funding as well as look at some pilot programs how the state can actually take over providing attorneys to individuals who can’t afford it,” she added.
Continually building good relationships in Columbus while working with the Legislature in Ohio is definitely a strong suit for Subler.
“Right now there is a lot of uncertainty in terms of how the Legislature, particularly the House is setting up some of its internal structure,” she said. “Overall the legislature here in Ohio has some amazing talented dedicated public officials who really want to make a difference for the state of Ohio and their communities so I feel really fortunate to get to work with them all.”
“I would like to see CCAO to continue with advocacy, working with counties with additional service programs and just be the go-to organization of all counties,” Subler shared of her next five year goals.
With no plans for retirement in the near future, Subler did share what it may look like when the time doescomes.
“I would like to do some international travel,” Subler said. “I would love to go back to England, I would love to go up to Switzerland, just different places, Italy would be great. I think you learn so much from travel, just meeting different people, exploring different cultures, areas. It’s something we all should take more advantage of,”
“I always try to make Darke County proud,” Subler concluded with a smile.