Tom Horst sat in on his last meeting as a Highland County Commissioner on Wednesday as the former sheriff prepares to retire at the end of the year after 40 years of public service.
Terry Britton will fill Horst’s position on the board of commissioners beginning in January.
On Wednesday, commission board president Shane Wilkin and commissioner Jeff Duncan presented Horst with a proclamation in his honor, and both expressed their appreciation for his service. The honor proclaims Dec. 28 as “Tom Horst Day” and is a salute to his achievements and service to the public.
“I know everyone is appreciative of your service, Tom,” Wilkin said.
“It’s been fun,” Horst said of his public service career that began in the mid-1970s when he drove a school bus in Lynchburg. He ran for sheriff in 1976, Horst said, and was defeated in the primary. But that defeat opened up the opportunity for him to join the Lynchburg Police Department, he said. He went on to the Hillsboro Police Department, and then made another bid on the sheriff’s office in 1988. He won that election and was reelected to that position in 1992 and 1996.
Horst then served with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, the National Child Safety Council, Homeland Security, and as a training officer with the Ross County Sheriff’s Office before he was elected to the Highland County Board of Commissioners in 2008.
“I want to thank the people of Highland County that gave me the opportunity to do this, to serve them,” Horst said of his years serving the public.
With his commission board term up at the end of 2016, Horst said he decided not to run again.
“I think it’s time for somebody else to sit in this seat,” he said Wednesday. “It’s been good.”
In honor of Horst’s four decades of public service, a “Roast and Toast” will be held on Friday, Dec. 30 from 2-4 p.m. in the Highland County Common Pleas Courtroom.
The Highland County Board of Commissioners will meet in regular session on Wednesday, Jan. 4 at 8:30 a.m. on the second floor of the county administration building, 119 Governor Foraker Pl., Hillsboro. An organizational meeting is scheduled to take place on Jan. 9 at 9 a.m. The meetings are open to the public.
Reach Angela Shepherd at 937-393-3456, ext. 1681, or on Twitter @wordyshepherd.