GUEST COLUMN: New Allen County Commissioner seeks excellence, pledges openness

Richard Beck and Therese Brown were sworn in as Allen County Commissioners Monday by Allen Superior Judge John Surbeck. Nelson Peters is the third commissioner. ( photo by Kevin Leininger)

As my first step as an elected officeholder, I want to give something back to the citizens of Allen County who gave me the chance to serve as your next county commissioner: my thanks for this incredible opportunity. I am humbled by the support I was shown during the 2018 campaign and I am anxious to repay that support by serving you to the best of my ability.

Allen County is known throughout the state of Indiana as a thoughtful and creative unit of local government. While others already look to Allen County as a leader in innovative ways to provide service, I will always strive to see us build on that reputation. How do we do that? We must work every day to create a tangible relationship between government and you, the people it serves and the people who pay the bills. That means listening to your hopes, concerns and complaints and serving in the way you want elected officials to serve.

It is virtually impossible to make a decision that everyone will always agree with, but we can try. My objective will always be to gather the facts, analyze them, gain feedback from the appropriate stakeholders and make decisions with the best information we have. I have already been doing my homework to get ready for the job ahead. I have immersed myself in learning about the challenges we face, both short-term and long-term. That list of challenges is long and indicative of the size and complexity of our community.

Some might throw up their hands when thinking about how to solve jail overcrowding, the opioid epidemic and conservation of the natural resources of an agricultural economy. They might be intimidated by the idea of operating and maintaining the county’s vast inventory of facilities, including 1,400 miles of roads and approximately 400 bridges. I will not give up nor be intimidated. You hired me to do a job and I will not let you down.

The decisions made regarding these initiatives will impact all residents of Allen County. That is why it is imperative that sound decisions are made and that transparency and communication are hallmarks of how we do business, and that the letter of the law is continually followed. As citizens of Allen County your feedback and involvement are important. In every possible way, the citizens must serve as the fourth county commissioner. Together, we can turn Allen County government from a leader in the state to the premiere local government in the Midwest.

My door is always open and I am anxious to start a long and productive discussion. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me at 449-7555 or Again, thank you for this tremendous opportunity to serve you!

Richard Beck was elected Allen County Commissioner in November and took office Jan. 1