Mike Belding of Waynesburg has announced his candidacy for Greene County commissioner and will run in the Republican primary May 21.
Belding, 55, retired as a colonel from the U.S. Marine Corps in 2012 and returned to Greene County because of “fond memories growing up here, the deep-rooted ethics and values exhibited by hard-working individuals and the genuine friendliness of people.”
Belding, a graduate Waynesburg Central High School and Penn State University with graduate degrees from Webster University and the National War College, spent 27 years as an aviation officer, pilot, strategic planner and analyst before returning to Greene County and using that leadership and experience to serve the county and its organizations.
“My wife and I love this place and chose to come back here to raise our children and spend the rest of our lives,” he said.
Reflecting on master’s degree studies in both management and national strategy, Belding said “the organizational structure of the Greene County government is ineffective, dysfunctional and lacking in every characteristic of good governance.”
“Since 2012, every social standard, economic metrics and measurable demographics of Greene County has been in decline,” he said.
As commissioner, he said his top three priorities will include combating the opioid and illicit drug crisis, diversifying the economy and reforming the government toward principles of good governance.
“I’m a registered Republican, but my initiatives are less politically driven and more by the needs of the taxpayer – principles over politics,” he said. “At the county level, we should all be focused on what is important to our future: the safety of our children, strength of the economy, success of our education system, and opportunities presented to the next generation, not results of the next election.”