A seat on the Delaware County Board of Commissioners will be up for grabs in the general election as current Commissioner Barb Lewis seeks reelection, while Democratic newcomer Tiffany Bukoffsky hopes to win her first term.
Lewis assumed office in January 2015 following seven years of service as a trustee in Genoa Township, and she was reelected to the board in 2018 for a second four-year term. During her time as a commissioner, Lewis has been elected as president of the board by her fellow commissioners in 2016, 2019 and 2022.
“It’s actually been very fulfilling and that’s because I’ve been able to accomplish a lot,” Lewis told The Gazette of her time as a commissioner.
Lewis said that among the accomplishments she is most proud of is the key role she played in the creation of the Delaware County Pre-Hospital Care Advisory Board.
“The level of emergency medical services in Delaware County is outstanding,” she said. “However, the commissioners created the Pre-Hospital Care Board to bring our excellent services to an even higher level. And the collaboration and cooperation of the board have enabled, really, all EMS providers, whether it’s our county EMS, whether it’s the cross-trained fire and EMS departments, or our first response department, to implement cutting-edge technology and best practices. And the good thing is this has been done at a reduced cost to each service provider, and that’s something that will continue, too.”
Asked what has kept her in public service roles, Lewis said there’s a “sense of accomplishment” in public service, as there are a lot of opportunities to work with terrific people.
“It really is a sense of accomplishment in that I’ve been able to make a difference in those roles. … Public service is definitely challenging, but if you work hard and you really love to build on the relationships you’re able to form, that makes a key difference,” she said.
Lewis said the role of a commissioner is “very broad,” and much broader than that of a trustee. However, she said serving as a trustee had a significant impact on her ability to find success as a county commissioner, specifically because both roles rely heavily on collaboration with other people.
“I think, overall, my contributions to the improvement of the predictability, stability, and professionalism of Delaware County’s government, those contributions are, I feel, my greatest overall accomplishment. And those contributions have remained steady through time,” Lewis said.
As for what led her to seek reelection, Lewis said she truly enjoys the work she’s doing and knows she’s been able to make a positive difference in the county. Lewis called her recent work alongside her fellow commissioners and Delaware County Auditor George Kaitsa to reduce the Delaware County property tax by a half mill for the next year “one of the most gratifying accomplishments” during her time as a commissioner.
“We were able to save taxpayers nearly $5 million and that, to me, was so important because of inflation,” she said. “And we are well aware, all of us, that our constituents have these burdens placed on them that are increasing. We just wanted to do our part in reducing their cost.”
Looking ahead, Lewis said there is one particular project that will have a significant impact on the county, and it’s one she would like to help the county navigate.
“Intel presents a really unusual set of both challenges and opportunities, and that is something that I really want to be involved in,” Lewis said. “We’re working on it now. But with Intel being the single biggest economic development in the history of the state of Ohio and so near to Delaware County, we will face both challenges with infrastructure, with housing, and with transportation, and I’ve really found that being in office has increased my expertise in those areas. … To be able to handle those issues thoughtfully and with the community in mind, it presents a really big challenge but also a great opportunity. So I want to be around to take part in that.”
Editor’s note: The Gazette reached out to Tiffany Bukoffsky for comments on her campaign but had yet to hear back from her by press time.
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.