Fisher paved the way

Delaware County Commissioners paid tribute to former Commissioner Donald Fisher during their meeting Monday.

Commissioner Gary Merrell said having the tribute was an honor for the board and something they had wanted to do for some time, but wanted to do it when the family could attend.

Fisher passed away Dec. 26 at the age of 87, while residing at Ohio Living Sarah Moore in Delaware.

Merrell said Fisher had been a commissioner and later the first county “administrator in the 70s and 80s.”

According to the commissioners’ tribute, Fisher served as county commissioner for two terms from 1967 to 1975 and also as the first county administrator from 1977 to 1987.

Merrell said he had the “privilege of meeting” Fisher a couple of years ago where he shared some history of the county that was not available through other sources. He said he had a “delightful time” talking with Fisher that day.

“I thoroughly enjoyed that hour and a half, two hours,” he said.

During the tribute, Fisher’s youngest son, Jim Fisher, stood and introduced his mother, Pauline Fisher; his sister, Diana and her husband, Michael; his uncle, Richard; and Fisher’s granddaughter, Melanie Pickett.

“The Commissioners of Delaware County wish to express their gratitude and admiration for Don E. Fisher,” Merrell read from the tribute prepared for the occassion. “We honor Don upon his passing for his decades of public service to the residents of Delaware County.”

Merrell read that Fisher was “instrumental in establishing the Delaware County Emergency Medical Services” and worked on the board of directors for Del-Co Water.

As Merrell read, he came to a list of Fisher’s achievements that, to this day, continue to benefit the residents of Delaware County.

Among the many were the development of Alum Creek, the county sewer district, the county jail, the Regional Solid Waste District, the Buckeye State Sheriffs Association, 4-H Council, Delaware Area Chamber of Commerce, Delaware Rotary Club and the Hyatt United Methodist Church.

Merrell said the commissioners mourn the passing of Fisher and expressed their gratitude for such a “great public servant, the legacy,” and the “lessons of civic achievement that Don E. Fisher generously left us all.”

Commissioner Barb Lewis asked if there was anything that Fisher didn’t do for the county.

“What wonderful example he has shown for Delaware County,” she said.

Commissioner Jeff Benton said he didn’t know Fisher, but he did have a brief conversation with him about the county’s Emergency Medical Service.

“He was involved in the founding of the EMS, and I didn’t know he was involved in so many other things which are pretty remarkable,” he said. “The things he was involved with are really important strategic initiatives that make Delaware County as successful as it is.

“A real visionary as well as a successful leader,” Benton added.

In other county business, the commissioners had a moment of silence for the two fallen Westerville police officers, Eric Joering, 39, and Anthony Morelli, 54, who were killed Saturday while responding to a 911 hang-up call.

All three commissioners expressed sorrow for the pain that the families of the two officers are going through.

Benton said Delaware County EMS responded to the scene in Westerville Saturday.

“Our hearts go out to those families and the people affected by it,” he said.

Commissioners approved a joint meeting with Delaware City Council for Thursday, Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. in the Delaware City Hall Council Chambers, 1 S. Sandusky St., Delaware.

The board approved an agreement with Trane U.S. Inc. for work on the Hayes Building.

“This agreement with Trane is to upgrade the building’s controls of the HVAC (Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning),” said Jon Melvin, director of facilities. “Last summer we built the air handling units on the rooftops. This is the control that ties those together along with all the sensors in the building.”

According to the agreement, total compensation shall not exceed $20,600.

By D. Anthony Botkin

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Contact D. Anthony Botkin at 740-413-0902. Follow him on Twitter @dabotkin.