Contact Information

Board of County Commissioners
500 Court Street, Suite A
Defiance, Ohio 43512

James E. Harris Jr., Commissioner
Thomas L. Kime, Commissioner
Otto L. Nicely, Commissioner

Sherry Carnahan
Administrator/Finance Manager

Stephanie Metz
Clerk

Lanie Lambert
Human Resource/Financial Deputy Clerk

Emily Meyer
Receptionist Deputy Clerk

P: (419) 782-4761
F: (419) 782-8449
commissioners@defiance-county.com

Office Hours:
Monday - Friday
8:00 AM to 4:30 PM
Closed Saturday, Sunday & Legal Holidays

Defiance County Board of Commissioners

The Board of County Commissioners is the policy making and legislative body of this County. It is the County government's taxing, budgeting, appropriating and purchasing authority and holds title to County property. The Board is also responsible for hearing and ruling on annexations, approving drainage improvements through the petition ditch process, and making improvements and providing for solid waste disposal.

With the exception of Summit and Cuyahoga Counties, all Ohio counties have three county commissioners: two are elected at the time of the presidential election and one is elected at the time of the gubernatorial election. The county commissioner elected at the gubernatorial election takes office on January 1, and the two elected at the presidential election take office on January 2 and 3. Candidates for these two commissioner positions must file for either the January 2 or 3 position.

Individual Commissioners have no power to act independently. The Board of County Commissioners act as a single body. All formal and official actions must have a majority or unanimous vote before they are passed.

The Board of Commissioners has direct oversight of several departments including:

  • Building and Grounds/Facilities – Maintenance
    • Courthouse
    • Courthouse Annex
    • Commissioner’s Annex
    • Defiance County East
    • Evergreen Lane Office Complex
    • Key Bank
    • Sheriff / 911
    • Sarah's House
    • EMA Building
    • Senior Centers in both Hicksville and Defiance
  • Child Support Enforcement Agency
  • Dog Warden
  • Environmental and Administrative Services
  • Family & Children First/Help Me Grow
  • Job & Family Services
  • Landfill
  • Public Safety Services
  • Records Center
  • Senior Services
  • Wastewater Operations

The organizational meeting of the Board of County Commissioners (ORC 305.05) occurs on the second Monday of January each year, when they must organize, elect a president and appoint a clerk. The Commissioners must hold at least 50 regular meetings per year (ORC 305.06) and as many special meetings as necessary to conduct their business. The salaries of Commissioners are established by state law, based on population.

Otto L. Nicely

Otto L. Nicely was elected a Commissioner on Nov. 21, 1995. He has been an active participant in several boards and committees including: CCAO Board of Trustees, NACo Agricultural and Rural Affairs Steering Committees, CCNO Executive Committee and is currently Chairman of the Four-County Solid Waste District Board and CCAO Board of Trustees.

Prior to becoming a County Commissioner, Mr. Nicely served in the United States Army, was a Noble Township Trustee for fourteen years and worked as the Defiance County Highway Superintendent. He has served as a volunteer at the Noble Township Fire Department for over 32 years.

Commissioner Nicely and his wife, Donna, reside in Noble Township and are active members of St. John Lutheran Church. They have two daughters who remain in the area.

Thomas L. Kime

Thomas L. Kime was elected Commissioner on January 2, 2001. Prior to becoming Commissioner, he was in private business in Defiance and served on the Brunersburg Water and Sewer District for five years, and as its president the last 1 1/2 years of his term. Mr. Kime graduated from Tinora High School and after almost three years in the Army attended Bowling Green State University graduating with a Degree in Business Administration. Commissioner Kime and his wife, Pam, reside on a farm in Tiffin Township. They have two children, Aaron and Kathryn.

James E. Harris, Jr.

James E. Harris, Jr. was elected Commissioner January 1, 2007.

A graduate of Tinora High School, Jim has taken management courses at Northwest State Community College and numerous business management classes through the State of Ohio. Memberships include Township Trustee Association, Farm Bureau, Pheasants Forever, North American Hunting Club and Tinora Athletic Boosters. Jim completed three terms as a Noble Township Trustee, worked for the Defiance County Engineer's Office as superintendent of the Highway Department, and retired in 2004 as the Administrator of the Defiance County Soil and Water Conservation District, where he was awarded Administrator Employee of the year in 1995.

A lifelong resident of Defiance, Jim and his wife, Cathy (Sines), have two children, Michael and Lindsay (David) Stehulak -- and granddaughter Ella. Jim has enjoyed working for the public most of his adult life, serving the citizens of Defiance County for more than 36 years, and is looking forward to the continuing commitment as Defiance County Commissioner.

Sherry Carnahan

Administrator / Finance Manager

The primary objective of this position, under the general direction of the Board of County Commissioners, is to oversee the general operations of Defiance County to include implementing the policies of the Board of County Commissioners. Duties include assisting the Board in preparing, administering, and monitoring operational appropriations budget; organizing and directing overall activities of departments under the jurisdiction of the Board of Commissioners; establishing and monitoring policies, practices and programs; and serve as an official County representative to provide information and act as a liaison between the Board of Commissioners, elected officials, department heads, employees and the public.

Sherry has worked for Defiance County since 1994. She worked two years for the Environmental Services Office and began working in the Commissioner’s Office in 1996 as the Fiscal Deputy Clerk. In May of 2013 she was promoted to the Finance Manager/Administrator’s position. She is a graduate of Northwest State Community College.  She resides in Ayersville with her husband Keith and they have two children, Shawn and Lizzy.

Defiance County prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation or political beliefs. Defiance County is also an equal opportunity employer.

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