Mark Welch for 2017 West Chester Trustee: Maintaining the great economic growth of a Cincinnati suburb correctly managed

IMG_4719.JPGI feel privileged to live in one of the best places in the United States, West Chester, Ohio.  I remember when it was called Union Township and was much more rural as a kid, and have watched it grow into essentially a city without losing its spirit of accomplishment which is rare in the world.  Over the years I could have moved anywhere and would have if I thought the opportunities for my family would have been better, but they aren’t.  While I don’t live in West Chester, I do work there and it is a part of my daily life most days of the week.   I have to credit George Lang with a lot of the government foundations which have allowed West Chester to become such a wonderful place.  As a politician you have to know when to manage a situation and when to leave it alone and George has managed to do that over the years even when hostile liberals pretending to be Republicans operated openly in ways that usually destroy communities—people like Cathy Stoker and Lee Wong—so it hasn’t been easy.   But George has done a very good job of being active where he needed to be and hands off depending on the situation and that style of government should be the model for the rest of the country.  The best thing however that happened to West Chester from the perspective of government is when Mark Welch joined George as a trustee in 2013. Over the last four years West Chester has exploded with opportunity and a lot of that silent credit goes to those two guys who have removed the barriers of creation and investment into business and landed many great opportunities to such a thriving, and diverse community.  If the benefits of Republican run government could be better shown anywhere in the United States I’d know about it—but that evidence has yet to present itself.

I was having lunch with some friends at the new Chuy’s Tex-Mex restaurant that just opened in West Chester and had the opportunity to sit outside on a mild day that was very pleasant.   From there the Top Golf facility towered over my head, the Main Event was thriving with business and Barnes and Noble sat proudly as one of the few area bookstores to have survived the hard transition of Amazon’s influence on the publishing industry. Across the highway hotels had sprung up much to my advantage because out-of-town guests now had many places to stay when they visited—I no longer had to drive them to downtown Cincinnati to stay in a decent place for the night when visiting on business.  West Chester, the relatively new exit along I-75 had the optimistic feeling that I typically feel when I visit the Disney World complex in Orlando—the money is flowing which is the lifeblood of any economy and people were enjoying themselves on a daily basis with lifestyle options.

My kids had told me about Chuy’s and recommended that I try it out.  We had all just returned from Canterbury, England where we had dinner at a Tex-Mex place they had in the center of town there—which we thought at the time was the best we had ever had.  The decorations alone were extraordinary so we thought that type of experience was a once in the lifetime event.   But then Chuy’s opened and it was everything and more that you’d expect from a Tex-Mex style of operation, so in that context I was quite impressed.  As I turned around from my seat I could see the newly opened Deluth Trading company complex offering yet another shopping experience to West Chester guests.  Behind Deluth IKEA loomed on the horizon and I had to think how many people it took to make all this happen—and the answer is a good Republican plan that transpired over many years to make it happen and attract all these investments from all over the world to build West Chester into such a world-class destination for commerce.  George Lang and Mark Welch were smart enough to not inject themselves into the mechanisms and when they needed to they did a lot of soft selling to help push some of those deals over the top—and that really has been the difference.

I mentioned that I grew up around West Chester so I’ve had a front row seat to many of the positive things that have taken place over the last three decades of development.  But my optimism doesn’t come from a lack of perspective.   My observations from Chuy’s comes after I recently took my wife shopping at Harrod’s in London after having dinner at the Restaurant Gorden Ramsay in Chelsa just a few weeks prior to that experience.  We also had plenty of experiences in Paris which most people swoon over—but I have to say, having lunch at Chuy’s with Deluth literally right next door was far better as an experience than anything I’ve seen overseas.   I also recently had a trip to Japan where they have several facilities like Top Golf to serve as entertainment destinations in their land restricted environment—but none of them that I was able to see were as good as that West Chester facility.  Top Golf is an entertainment destination that is a very high quality experience—quite remarkable.  It is worth an out-of-town visit just to stay at that facility and play golf in such a unique way.   Mark Welch didn’t build any of these places, but as a successful businessman and corporate sales executive prior to his own entrepreneurial activities he had the experience to get out-of-the-way when all these investment opportunities were considering utilizing what West Chester offered, economically, demographically, and in supported infrastructure.

But of course I’ve just been talking about one little part of what has become one of the top interstate exits in the Cincinnati region.  Just north of these West Chester destinations are three more exits of the same type of explosive growth—everything from a new Cabela’s to the Cox Road shopping destinations. Which are extensive.  For a community that still has a small town tradition it now has all the amenities of a big city including a great hospital.  And in the middle of all this activity is one of the largest Metro Parks anywhere at the Voice of America, lots of top-level soccer fields, baseball fields, fishing, hiking, and boating—it is an astonishing place for something that is just a few hundred yards from the entrance to a Target, or a T.G.I Fridays across the street.

Mark Welch is up for election this year and has done so much in his first term that it would be crazy not to return him to the current position he holds which is president of the board of trustees.   There are a lot of con artists out there who put the much-needed “R” in front of their political affiliation to get elected in Butler County, but Mark is the real deal.  It isn’t easy to manage such a large township with so much fiscal wealth flowing into it, and still represent people the correct way.  Not everyone gets what they want, but I have watched Mark balance some really intense debates over the last few years with great skill and still not discourage investment.  Not an easy thing to do.  I attribute a lot of that skill to his success as a private citizen well before he was ever a trustee.  Now he has an opportunity to do it again for another term.   It’s important to keep him in the role he is currently so that more opportunity even yet may continue to flourish in West Chester.

It is important for everyone involved to work toward the correct objectives in this upcoming election.  After November, likely there will be a special election for another trustee seat and when that occurs we’ll need another strong Republican to work with Mark to keep the votes out of the hands of the many closet liberals who are lingering in the shadows looking for some way to get attention for themselves. So a clear strategy is needed to settle the minds of the many business opportunities that are looking at West Chester for stability and continued growth.   The first objective of course is to get Mark re-elected.  The second is to hold that second vote.  The ability to do that will go a long way to maintaining the explosive opportunities that West Chester residents have gained over this last decade, and to carry great optimism into the next and beyond.  West Chester is a unique place in the world and we should keep it that way with good government led by Mark Welch who truly understands how to go about it.

Rich Hoffman

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