Commissioner Gary Merrell

Gary was elected to his first term as Delaware County Commissioner in November 2012 and assumed office on Jan. 2, 2013.  In both 2014 and 2015, Merrell was elected as President of the Board of Commissioners.

Merrell’s career began in Oklahoma where he worked for The Oklahoman newspaper; this ultimately led to several moves and many executive positions in the newspaper field.  Merrell was recruited to Columbus, Ohio, from Oklahoma in 1986 by The Columbus Dispatch.  After 14 ½ years and several promotions, he left The Columbus Dispatch in 2002 as Vice President of Advertising. That year he moved to Athens, Ohio, where he served as publisher of the The Athens Messenger and group publisher of Brown Newspapers in Southeast Ohio.  In 2007, Brown Publishing brought Merrell to Delaware as vice president of various papers in central and northwest Ohio, as well as publisher of the The Delaware Gazette.

He has served the Chamber of Commerce in Athens and Delaware County (formerly board member and executive member), Rotary International and the United Methodist Church in communities where he has lived. In addition to being an active member of the Delaware Rotary Club, Merrell also has served as secretary of the executive committee on the board of the United Way of Delaware County and is currently on the board of the Strand Theatre. Previously, he also served on the development council for the Stratford Ecological Center.  He is a presidential appointment to the Board of the County Commissioners Association of Ohio (CCAO) for 2015 and 2016 and a member of the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) in 2015 and 2016, as well as serving on the executive committee of MORPC.

Merrell is always well prepared for the tasks at hand and enjoys working with his fellow commissioners to the benefit of Delaware County residents.  He hopes to accomplish a number of goals in 2016, with the support of Commissioners Benton and Lewis, related to saving taxpayer dollars and increasing economic development opportunities within the county.  His mantra will continue to be that of striving to do more with less, and he will continue his efforts to avoid duplication of services and bureaucratic inefficiencies to the benefit of Delaware County residents.  

Merrell considers major successes to be the Sawmill Parkway extension; the new justice center, which is now under construction; the negotiations for the new outlet mall at the intersection of I-71 and Routes 36/37 that is set to open in June 2016; and the sanitary sewer master plan, also to be completed in 2016.  Merrell believes that, to prepare for the future, Delaware County must have a strong retail base, a thoughtful residential growth, and—the area that requires the most work—quality job creators providing opportunities in our county.  Additionally, all of this can and should be done while valuing and protecting the rural and agricultural areas of our county—a truly unique asset.