Giving back to the community, supporting public safety and senior services and ensuring fiscal responsibility are the top goals for Jeff Mires as he seeks to continue the final two years of an unexpired term as a Henry County commissioner.
With Commissioner Tom VonDeylen’s resignation in February, the Henry County Republican Party appointed Mires to fill the unexpired term. However, due to the timing of the resignation, the remaining two years of VonDeylen’s term will be filled by the winner of the seat in the General Election.
A native of Napoleon, Mires is a 1978 graduate of Napoleon High School and Four County Career Center. He worked at Advanced Drainage System in the city for 10 years before joining the United States Secret Service in the uniform division, retiring as a lieutenant 10 years ago. He lived in Washington, D.C., for 22 years prior to returning to the city in 2014.
Mires said he became interested in politics and served on Napoleon City Council from June 2016 through February. He was also elected to the Henry County Republican Central Committee and represents one of the wards in Napoleon.
“I enjoy public service,” Mires said. “I’ve been doing it since I started with the Secret Service. I’ve worked for the state, the city and now the county, so I’ve covered all of the bases for public service. It’s rewarding to me.”
Mires said he originally sought the appointment as a commissioner because he wants to give back to the community and he wants to continue to do so.
“I want to give back to the county like I did for the city,” he said. “I want to give back to the place that has given me so many opportunities and a great education, expanding on that from the city to a larger group in the county.”
The majority of Mires’ time as a commissioner so far has been dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic, that has included the planning and use of funds distributed to the county through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Stability (CARES) Act. The commissioners formed a small business grant program to help with costs related to COVID-19, and 39 applications were approved totaling $172,516.45 from those federal funds.
“It’s rewarding to see that go out, hopefully it made a difference and helped the businesses during this time,” Mires said. “Hopefully we can do it again in the next round.”
If Mires is elected to the remainder of the term, he said one of his goals focuses on improving public safety, including supporting requests if they are made by the sheriff, to support staffing and technology projects.
“I would be all for that ... to increase improved safety for the residents of Henry County,” Mires said.
Efficient management of taxpayer funds is also a top goal of Mires, which he said can be realized through careful spending and staying within budgeted amounts.
Improved or increased services for senior citizens is also something that Mires supports.
“Whatever we can do to improve on the services that we have or, at some point, if we need to increase them because every year we have more seniors,” Mires said.
Continuing the restoration and improvements to the county courthouse is also something that Mires supports, noting that delays will only increase the cost more to preserve the historic building.
“I think that’s good use of taxpayer money to do it now rather than in the future,” Mires said.
Mires said his experience with Napoleon City Council, including four budget cycles, and leadership skills learned in the Secret Service are assets that are beneficial to him in the commissioner’s position.
“I do care about the county and the people here,” Mires said. “I want to make it a better place for people to live and work and raise a family, whatever I can do make that happen that’s my goal.”
In the community, Mires is a member of the Napoleon Lions Club, Gideons, Napoleon Alive, Emanuel Lutheran Church and serves on the boards for Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) and Lutheran Ministries of Mercy. He has also volunteered at Henry County Hospital and Together We Can Make A Difference Initiatives. Mires has been inducted into the Napoleon High School Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame.
Mires, who is 60 years old and a Republican, lives in Napoleon with his wife, Julie. He has three daughters, Cecilia, Emma and Madelyn; two step sons, Joshua and Jacob; and one grandson.