Longtime Logan County Commissioner John Bayliss will be retiring at the end of the year after serving in that capacity for the last 24 years.
Bayliss, 69, who was elected to 6 consecutive terms beginning in 1996, is the longest serving commissioner in Logan County history.
“Initially, I started out thinking that I wanted to get involved in county government after serving on the Republican Central Committee for 10 years. I felt that if you’re interested in your community, you should at least attend meetings and be involved. I really thought it would just be for a couple of terms, but I’ve been fortunate enough to serve all this time thanks to the citizens of Logan County,” Bayliss reflected.
During his 24 year tenure, Bayliss has represented Logan County on numerous boards and committees. Some of the organizations he has served on include the Logan County Solid Waste District Policy Board (Chairman), CIC Board, RC&D Board, Ohio Risk Sharing Authority Board (past president), County Commissioners Association of Ohio (including various committees), Logan-Union-Champaign Regional Planning Commission (past president), EMA Policy Board, County Terrorism Advisory Board, and the County Council on Aging.
Bayliss has also been widely involved in civic and professional organizations as well including Farm Bureau (past county president), Ohio Sheep Improvement Association (past county and state president), Lions Club, and Logan County GOP Central & Executive Committee. He has also been a volunteer firefighter in the past and is a member of the Rushsylvania Church of Christ where he is a deacon.
Logan County has seen many changes over the more than two decades Bayliss has been in office. As he reflected on the many projects he has had a hand in, Bayliss had this to say, “I could probably list 24 things that really stick out. Early on, the sales tax that was passed in 1997 to support roads and bridges in the county has been a tremendous success. We’ve been able to use that money to keep not only county roads in great shape, but we’ve also been able to support townships and villages with road work through that initiative. The building of the new Logan County Jail was a large project that took a cooperative effort from many folks. The construction of the new Logan Acres Care Facility certainly stands out as one of the highlights. I feel that we now have one of the best facilities of that type in the region and I’m proud of the staff that help to keep it that way.”
Bayliss says he is especially proud of the strides that have been made with the Logan County Solid Waste District over the years as they have been able to bring recycling stations to communities around the county. “I want to thank the folks at the Solid Waste District for their leadership and particularly the citizens of Logan County for their participation in the programs. I think it has made a great impact and is one of the leading programs in the state.”
Other major projects completed during his tenure include the renovation of the old downtown jail to the Logan County Juvenile Detention Center, renovations to Memorial Hall, complete historical renovation of the Logan County Courthouse, the construction of new sewer systems for Huntsville and the Indian Lake area, numerous improvements at the Logan County Fairgrounds, and initiating discussion of farmland preservation in the county.
As he steps away from office, Bayliss says it’s the people that he’ll miss most. “The people that I’ve worked with have really made the job enjoyable. It’s been my pleasure to work with a number of different gentlemen as county commissioners as well as a many women and men on the staff and I really appreciate the time they’ve put into serving the people of Logan County.”
With more free time on his hands, Bayliss plans to spend more time working around the small farm that he and wife Sharon have. They also manage a small herd of sheep on the farm. He hopes to spend more time volunteering with social service groups and his church also. He added, “If we decide we want to take the opportunity to travel somewhere for a day or two, we’ll be able to do that as well.”
Listen to Bayliss reflect on his time in office.
Commissioner Bayliss will be succeeded by Mark Robinson, who was elected after running unopposed in the November General Election. Robinson was recently sworn in and takes office on January 2nd, 2021.