Candidate Profile: Ron Gerlach

Ron Gerlach
Ron Gerlach

Name: Ron Gerlach

Age: 54

Immediate Family Members: Martha Gerlach and Edmond Gerlach

Occupation: Temporary Forklift Operator

Office Sought: County Board Member, District 25

Party Affiliation: Republican

Previous elected positions years served: Elected Precinct committeeman

Why are you running?: I have lived in Cahokia all of my life, and, of course in St. Clair County all my life. I want to see the Cahokia area brought up with better jobs, more well maintained properties, and better opportunities for our youth. As of now, Cahokia is a poverty-stricken area, not a first choice of places to live. I want to change that. That in and of itself will go miles for St. Clair County.

What is the biggest issue facing St. Clair County, and how should elected officials and county staff approach it?: I would say the biggest issue is the lack of jobs in St. Clair County and high real-estate taxes. As of now, people aren’t seeing a lot of opportunity to succeed in St. Clair County, particularly in Cahokia. Elected officials and county staff can work to create a tax and job situation that people like a little better. Better representation from elected officials will help with that. We want this to be somewhere people want to work, live, and make good for everyone.

What are your views on MidAmerica Airport, and how should the county handle the future of the airport?: I think the county needs to turn it around from being a tax-payer loss to a tax-payer gain. It was a cash deal for high officials on the St. Clair County Board. All of St. Clair County is paying for this airport, but it’s not doing much good for the county, especially in the Cahokia area where many of us can not remember the last time we even rode a plane.

What improvements do you want to see in how the county is run?: I'd like to see the county representatives to be more responsive to the needs of the everyday person. I keep hearing a need for structuring projects - better roads, sidewalks, cleaner water - I want to see stuff that will benefit everybody in their everyday life.

Do you plan to serve the full term of office?: Of course, and then some if the people will allow it

Why should people vote for you?: Because now they have a real choice. I have a different view, I have worked all my life in blue collar jobs, I know what it’s like, and I’m here for the everyday St. Clair County person.