Better know your leaders: Russ Hoff
Name: Russ Hoff
Position in the county: Stark County Commissioner
For how long? Seven years
When did you move to Stark County? I have always lived in Stark County. I grew up on a farm south of Taylor and 23 years ago we moved to a farm southeast of Dickinson, where my wife and I farm and ranch.
With Dickinson growing so much, what have been some of the challenges conforming the city and county business? One of the first things that comes to my attention is zoning and, through annexation, the city usually ends up taking on what the county has zoned in the past. So we have to plan ahead to keep zoning somewhat compatible.
What challenges has the County Commission faced in other communities in the county? Keeping up with the roads throughout the county, especially in oil country, and not forgetting about the rest of the county. And trying to be as fair as possible in supporting different functions in the community.
As a farmer/rancher, what are some of the challenges you have faced with the most recent oil boom? Are they different from the boom in the late ’70s early ’80s? I would have to say one of the challenges that would affect myself and others is the impact that oil has put on the railroad and has slowed down the movement of grain. And the difference between the ’80s and now is that we are now dealing with a massive volume of oil, which in the ’80s there really wasn’t such an effect on the grain movement. That I would remember. And then there were fewer bushels of grain produced and being moved.
We hear a lot about the negative aspects of the oil boom, especially with local governments having to deal with infrastructure needs. What are some of the positive things for the county that have come out of the last few years? I would say higher paying jobs and, of course, the amount of job opportunities have greatly helped our community and county.
Who has the best coffee in the county? Well, most of the coffee I drink would have to be at home and at the courthouse. So I would have to say my wife and the courthouse ladies make a good cup of coffee and are all good company.