Huron County Sheriff Todd Corbin and Willard City Manager Jim Ludban shared their stories of growing up in the city and how it has shaped them into the men they are today, as well as how the community can reclaim its once-safe neighborhood.
Ludban discussed the successes of the Willard industries and road work, and about the men and women who make it function, “like Sheriff Todd Corbin,” something that makes him “proud to call Willard home,”
“It is my honor and my privilege to serve you and bring our community back to what we once knew — a safe environment for the kids, a beautiful place to enjoy and to get rid of this heroin epidemic that has been destroying everyone’s lives,” said Corbin, who grew up in the city.
The sheriff then touched on the growing drug problem throughout the county, as well as what helped him when he was young, growing up in Willard.
“I need your guys’ help,” he said. “I need everyone to start standing up against this epidemic of drugs. I’m tired of people allowing drug dealers to control what you do, how you do it, when you do it. ... So I’m down here pleading for your help to do my job for you guys. I can’t do this alone.”
This fight, Corbin said, isn’t just in Willard though.
“Some people talk about the drug epidemic and they say it’s just in Willard,” he said. “From the sheriff’s perspective, it’s not just in Willard. It’s in Wakeman, Norwalk, Willard, Greenwich, New London, Bellevue. It’s here.”
Ludban agreed, adding that drugs weren’t going to be tolerated in Willard.
“Drug dealers, this is a one-shot deal,” he said. “Change your ways, leave Willard or eventually face the consequences. Enough is enough. Our resolve is absolute. We will provide protection to make sure that you and I feel safe in our town, in our homes.”
That can change though, Corbin said, if the community is willing to “give people a chance.”
“No one thought that I would grow up to be the sheriff of Huron County. No one thought because of my actions in Iraq that I would go on to go to the White House to meet the president. No one ever thought someone would give me a chance,” the sheriff added.
“I saw the good in people around me and I truly believe it takes a village to raise a child. ... I am the man I am today because of the people I surround myself with. My message is this: Be better than — be better than all this stuff. Do something for someone else. Be unstoppable. The people (who) gave me an opportunity made me who I am. They saw past the stuff that I was going through.”
It’s because of citizens like those that both Ludban and Corbin said they were proud of their hometown.
“I am proud to say today this is still home to me,” Corbin said. “I’m proud to say that it is because of people like you that I am here today.”
“This last year has been one of the most gratifying years of my life,” Ludban said. “I’m proud to call Willard home. After a year of service, I love Willard. I’m proud to call this my home.”