Evans said he always had an interest in government.
In high school, he and a fellow student pushed statewide in 1966 for lowering the voting age to 19. Their advocacy included meeting with state legislators. The effort failed but the voting age was dropped to 18 just a few years later.
His venture into local politics started in a race for Monroe Twp. trustee, a position he held for 19 years before he was appointed county commissioner. The appointment by fellow Republicans came in 2003 following the death in office of Commissioner John Dugan.
“I really enjoyed my time as township trustee. It was totally different from being a commissioner. When you are a township trustee, there is no one really to delegate stuff to. You get the phone calls, you have to do it,” he said.
Evans also liked being commissioner tackling the tasks of the county budget, buildings and contracting agent for the county.
The most recent project was completion in the fall of the Courthouse Plaza Renovations, a $3.6 million effort. “I am really proud of it. I think the residents are proud of it. We get lots of comments about it, all positive,” he said.
He’s also proud of the county’s financial health.
While he’s been commissioner, the county’s budget operated in the black for all but one year – during the 2008 economic downturn. The county reserves have grown to more than $20 million. “That has been one of the things I have been proudest of. It has been an effort on everybody’s part,” he said.
Only one commissioner has served longer than Evans since the 1940s. That was Commissioner Robert “Bob” Clawson of Piqua, who served 24 years.
Evans, 71, has three children and six grandchildren.
“I am going to miss the people more than anything else. It has been an honor,” he said of his public service. “I really have thoroughly enjoyed the job. I hope I made a difference. I hope that someday they will say, ‘He was a pretty good guy.’”
Wade Westfall, a Republican from Troy, will take Evans place in January on county commission.
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