The senior member of the Fulton County Commissioners has retired after serving four terms.
Paul Barnaby, known for his passion for the county, agriculture, and education, has stepped down after serving on the board for 16 years. “My greatest privilege serving as Fulton County Commissioner is that I’ve been happy to promote Fulton County from east to west. Fulton County is something special,” he said.
He began his service as a commissioner in 2001. During his tenure, Barnaby was instrumental in negotiations for the Northeast Water System, and has been an active supporter of Area 7 Workforce Development and the Fulton County Senior Center. Throughout his term, he also served on the Recovery Services of Northwest Ohio Board, 911 Board, Fulton County Airport Board, Water and the Sewer Board, among others.
Quick to note that he was one of three commissioners, Barnaby takes no sole credit for any accomplishment. However, some of his most notable accomplishments include implementing the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system and Advanced Life Service units still in existence. He also supported the creation of the Fulton County Board of Disabilities recycling program at Triangular Processing.
Barnaby and his fellow commissioners were instrumental in getting 31 tornado sirens installed throughout Fulton County, as well as the installation of a dry hydrant system. He was involved in the process to have the Fulton County Courthouse named on the National Register of Historic Places, and consistently supported maintenance and repairs for preservation of the courthouse.
His service has also included the Area 7 Consortium for Workforce Development, the Audit Review Committee, the Board of Revisions, the Consortium for Aging through the Fulton County Health Department, the Emergency Medical Services Committee, the Four County Joint Board of Defiance, Fulton, Henry and Williams counties, the Job and Family Services Advisory Board, the Maumee Valley Planning Executive Council, and the County Employee Benefits Consortium of Ohio (CEBCO), among others. He also supported the Fulton County Christmas Cheer and Food Bank, United Way, Toys for Tots, and the Fulton County Fair.
Barnaby graduated from Metamora High School and attended Ohio State University, graduating with a degree in agriculture. He also received education certificates from the University of Toledo and Bowling Green State University, and was a teacher in Evergreen Local Schools for 36 years, teaching at the elementary and junior high schools and in Occupational Work Adjustment (OWA) and Future Farmers of America (FFA). He has also been a dairy farmer and a fireman.
Outside of his role as a commissioner, Barnaby has been elected to the Agriculture Hall of Fame and awarded Honorary State Farmer, Honorary American Farmer, and Associate Farmer of the Year. He resides in Amboy Township with his wife, Ruth, and enjoys spending time with his two children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
“The thing I’ve enjoyed the most about being commissioner is talking to people, and promoting the county. It’s also the thing that I will miss the most,” he said.