Bellefontaine Examiner

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9 townships have contested trustee races

In the contested township races, voters will be asked to approve two trustees in nine of Logan County’s townships — Harrison, Jefferson, Perry, Richland, Rushcreek, Stokes, Union, Washington and Zane. There is also a four-way race in Jefferson Township to fill the unexpired term of the fiscal officer.

Candidates in those contested races were mailed a survey by the Bellefontaine Examiner staff and the responses of those who replied by the stated Sept. 30 deadline are printed as they were submitted.

Candidates also were asked to submit photos or have their photographs taken in the Examiner office, and photos accompany those who complied.

Harrison Township

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David Jackson (I)

Position sought: Harrison Township Trustee

Age: 59

Current occupation: Self-employed farmer

Previous political experience: Two terms township trustee

What are the primary issues in your jurisdiction? With the continued decrease in funding, the responsibility of maintaining our roadways in good condition, along with keeping our equipment updated has been a challenge.

Why are you seeking office? I find satisfaction in providing for the residents of Harrison Township. I feel it’s important to listen to concerns and address them as quickly as possible.

What makes you the best candidate? My previous experience as trustee has provided knowledge of government regulations. I am very concerned with the safety of our roadways and will continue making good decisions for our township.

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Miles Pickering

Position sought: Harrison Township Trustee

Age: 58

Current occupation: I am the owner and operator of Excel Auto Body and Paint, 1274 Township Road 204.

Previous political experience: I am not a politician. I have a great deal of experience with problem solving.

What are the primary issues in your jurisdiction? What I hope to bring to Harrison Township is sharing information with Harrison Township citizens using modern tools (regular newsletter, Web site, social media). Publishing regularly a balance sheet of Harrison Township’s income and expenses. Being available to help solve problems. Develop a lasting plan to address zoning as Harrison Township moves forward to a diverse community.

Why are you seeking office? I am seeking this elected position as Harrison Township trustee because I want to serve and help. I am at a time in my life when I am able to work to insure the future is equal to the success of the past. I am a lifelong resident of the township and love the community. It is time for me to give back and try to help get better and better.

What makes you the best candidate? Lived in Harrison Township since 1961. It’s time all the residents know who the trustees are, what they do and how to get a hold of them. And I will make that happen.

Also running in this race are Joseph Brenner and Darin Collins (I).

Jefferson Township (trustee)

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Scott Armentrout (I)

Position sought: Jefferson Township Trustee

Age: 43

Current occupation: Honda Assembly East Liberty Auto Plant

Previous political experience: Incumbent Jefferson Township Trustee, 4 years.

What are the primary issues in your jurisdiction? Our funding has been cut 30 percent by the state of Ohio. If re-elected I want to continue working on restrooms for our park, continue monument repair in the township cemeteries, road safety.

Why are you seeking office? Because I love the job and working with the community. I have enjoyed serving the last four years and would like to continue.

What makes you the best candidate? I have been in office for the past four years and I have had a  hand in the Veterans Memorial, recycle center and the cemetery monument repair. I feel I have good communication with employees, other trustees and the community. I have been a Tri-Valley volunteer firefighter for 25 years and still serving. I’m committed to the community.

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Anthony Bernard

Position sought: Jefferson Township Trustee

Age: 34

Current occupation: Owner of Quality Lawn Treatments, LLC

Previous political experience: 2009 Jefferson Township candidate for trustee.

What are the primary issues in your jurisdiction? The decline in revenue, cuts all over are making us learn to do more with less. It is very important that all of our services such as fire and rescue are able to function with proper funding and our roads are kept up on proper maintenance.

Why are you seeking office? I have an interest in our community. I want to see it continue to stay strong for our children. Jefferson Township is a great place to live. I want to  help it stay this way.

What makes you the best candidate? The past few years have allowed me to be self-employed with a chemical lawn care business. I have the ability to make a flexible schedule and put in any hours the township may require for any duty that may arise. Owning a business has taught me how to make a dollar go further. I will do the same thing with our township dollars.

Gary L. Lockwood

Position sought: Jefferson Township Trustee

Age: 60

Current occupation: Truck driver

Previous political experience: None

What are the primary issues in your jurisdiction? Maintaining roads, parks, cemetery.

Why are you seeking office? Worked with trustees in the past on projects.

What makes you the best candidate? 50+ years in Jefferson Township, CDL license, farming background.

Also running in this race is Donald Rea King.

Jefferson Township (fiscal officer)

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Heather N. Clapsaddle

Position sought: Jefferson Township Clerk

Age: 36

Current occupation: Stay at home mom

Previous political experience: Currently President of Village Council of Zanesfield (2006-Present)

What are the primary issues in your jurisdiction? For this particular position, the primary issue is filling the unexpired term for the previously elected clerk who moved out of the township.

Why are you seeking office? I take pride in my community, and I am very involved in any organizations and functions that go on. I currently am on Village Council for Zanesfield, and I look forward to being involved in Jefferson Township.

What makes you the best candidate? I have 15 years experience in bookkeeping, accounts payable/receivable and budgeting for several businesses. I also have the knowledge of how the Village/Town business is run, and feel that this experience can help me with this position.

Also running in this race are Tony Fink, Debbie K. Horney and Patricia M. Nelson (I, appointed). Mr. Fink and Ms. Horney filed information past the Sept. 30 deadline.

Perry Township

H. Merle Ackley

Position sought: Perry Township Trustee

Age: 72

Current occupation: Farmer

Previous political experience: I have been a Perry Township Trustee for the past 20 years.

What are the primary issues in your jurisdiction? Maintaining our roads, the cemeteries and our park. Keeping the fire department and ambulance department up-to-date by maintaining and replacing equipment as needed and by meeting the needs of the crews as they come up.

Why are you seeking office? I enjoy being a trustee. I find the job both challenging and fulfilling.

What makes you the best candidate? I have 20 years’ experience as a Perry Township Trustee. I know the requirements of the job and can fulfill those requirements.

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Bill Brown

Position sought: Perry Township Trustee

Age: 55

Current occupation: Self-employed

Previous political experience: None

What are the primary issues in your jurisdiction? The lack of long-term goals to meet an objective, spending could be managed better, through long-term financial planning.

Why are you seeking office? To share my life experiences to benefit the residents of Perry Township.

What makes you the best candidate? My years as managing a manufacturing facility gives me good financial planning when it comes to multi-million-dollar budgets.

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Josh LeVan

Position sought: Perry Township Trustee

Age: 33

Current occupation: Utility Coordinator for the Village of West Mansfield

Previous political experience: NA

Why are you seeking office? To help the community and residents of the township.

What makes you the best candidate? I have experience working with electric, mechanical repair, water and sewer line repair, tile repair along with operating power equipment and large trucks. I have served as zoning inspector for the Village of West Mansfield. I hold EPA licenses to operate water and waste water treatment plants and I have been a firefighter since 1999.

Also running in this race are Terry Cook and Jeff Rosebrook.

Richland Township

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Phil Alloway

Position sought: Richland Township Trustee

Age: 66

Current occupation: Semi-retired

Previous political experience: None

What are the primary issues in your jurisdiction? Road maintenance, cemetery maintenance, development.

Why are you seeking office? I believe in public service. I have served on the Belle Center Board of Public Affairs, Belle Center Council, Belle Center Police Dept., Logan County Sheriff’s Deputy, chairman of the Restoration Committee at the Holland Theatre and member of the Logan County Health Board.

What makes you the best candidate? My years of experience in public service from law enforcement to restoration of the Holland Theatre, to the health department give me a unique background. I feel this will be beneficial to the citizens of Richland Township.

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Teresa A. Johnston

Position sought: Richland Township Trustee

Age: 54

Current occupation: Computer Operator, Nash Finch

Previous political experience: Mayor Village of Belle Center 2008-2012

What are the primary issues in your jurisdiction? I believe the issues of most concern to the residents are roads and cemetery maintenance.

Why are you seeking office? I wish to continue and further my civic duty with our surrounding communities and to aid in the leadership of our government.

What makes you the best candidate? My experience as Village Mayor has established the relationships necessary for a good working environment with other government agencies. I am willing and able to educate myself on any issue that I am not familiar with and to be very aware of the laws pertaining to our township.

Also running in this race are John William Jordan and David Miracle.

Rushcreek Township

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Ted W. Case

Position sought: Rushcreek Township Trustee

Age: 60

Current occupation: Dairy farmer and orchard produce

Previous political experience: Seven years Ben Logan Board of Education, Logan County Agricultural Board 10+ years.

What are the primary issues in your jurisdiction? 1. Road maintenance, 2. property maintenance, 3. emergency services.

Why are you seeking office? I’ve served on a school board and county fair board and I enjoy public service. I would like to return time to an area that my family has been a part of for over 100 years.

What makes you the best candidate? My occupation as a dairy farmer allows me a flexible schedule to do township duties.

Also running in this race are Mike Hamilton and Robert M. Schrader

Stokes Township

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Tim Hart

Position Sought: Stokes Township Trustee

Age: 50

Current occupation: VP Operations, Hart Industries

Previous Political Experience: Stokes Township Board of Zoning Appeals – 10 years

What are the primary issues in your jurisdiction? Keeping Indian Lake an economic driver for the region. We must continue to address drainage issues, improve street lighting to keep our homes safe, continue maintaining our roads, balance zoning and private property rights, and work with our partners in neighboring Townships and Villages.

Why are you seeking office? I have lived around Indian Lake for 20 years and have been active through the local community service organizations, the Stokes Township Board of Zoning Appeals for the last ten years, and a past Vice President of the Tecumseh Island Civic Association. I believe that I have a lot to offer to the citizens of our area. I want to give back to this community that has given so much to me.

What makes you the best candidate? I am available and involved. I have 25 years experience in our family owned business and I am not a new face or name to our area. I am approachable and someone that you can rely on to return your phone calls and will listen to your concerns. I am a problem solver, transparent and have a strong work ethic. I will help to keep our township a place where people want to live, work and raise a family. I would appreciate your vote on Nov 5th.

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Bob Lehman

Position sought: Stokes Township Trustee

Age: 61

Current occupation: Retired, tooling trade

Previous political experience: Former Stokes Township Trustee, Jan.-Dec. 2011. That time in office gave me firsthand experience working on issues impacting Stokes Township.

What are the primary issues in your jurisdiction? Primary issues include township budget management, crime control, safety of township residents and visitors, road maintenance, snow removal and drainage issues.

Why are you seeking office? I believe that I have the knowledge and experience to help lead Stokes Township in maintaining township services and improving on those services where feasible, while still being fiscally responsible. Equally important I will work with local law enforcement and surrounding communities to control crime and keep the people of Stokes Township safe. To keep Stokes a vibrant thriving community and a wonderful place to live and raise a family.

What makes you the best candidate? I am retired and will be a full-time trustee. As a former trustee I have the experience of knowing and doing the job. I have a record of giving immediate attention to issues that arise.

I am a leader and team player. I retired from the tooling industry where I was a project leader and operations manager. I worked with engineers and a diverse staff to get the job done.

Since I was a young boy I have been coming to the Indian Lake area. I have owned and invested in property for over 22 years. I have invested in Stokes Township and want to keep it a great place to live, be safe and raise a family.

As a former trustee, I responded immediately when contacted by residents to resolve their issues and concerns. I will work hard to continue to do so. I would appreciate your vote on Nov. 5.

Also running in this race are Lanny Davis (I) and Dennis Wischmeyer (I). 

Union Township

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Mike Altstaetter

Position sought: Union Township Trustee

Current Occupation: Own and operate a cow/calf herd with my wife and son’s family

Previous political experience: None

What are the primary issues in your jurisdiction? The new CAUV valuations on farmland may have an impact on future tax issues that may come before the voters of Union Township.

What makes you the best candidate? I choose to stay current on real estate tax issues that have an impact on the residents of Union Township. Through my 30 years of experience in the retail business, I have learned to listen to people and help them solve issues.

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Rob Kauffman (I)

Position sought: Union Township Trustee

Age: 52

Current occupation: Farmer and Union Township Trustee

Previous political experience: Union Township Trustee for the last four years

What are the primary issues in your jurisdiction? The number one primary issue in my jurisdiction is making roads safe for the traveling public.

Why are you seeking office? I am up for re-election and want to continue serving the public of Union Township, not only by maintaining our roadways such as mowing ditch lines and plowing, but preventative maintenance, such as chip and seal and culvert replacement as well.

What makes you the best candidate? The safety of the traveling public is first and foremost the most important. This job is not 9-5, we are on call 24/7 including holidays, especially during the winter. I watch the weather regularly and when I know bad weather is coming, I am out checking our roads all hours of the day and night and plowing and gritting when necessary.

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David L. King (I)

Position sought: Union Township Trustee

Age: 68

Current occupation: Retired from Honda

Previous political experience: Township Trustee

What are the primary issues in your jurisdiction? I plow snow in the winter; I mow grass at the township house and the two cemeteries, repair and replace road signs. There is much upkeep on the roads including repairing and repaving, also roadsides and culverts need attention.

Why are you seeking office? I enjoy the type of work as a trustee. I was born in this township and I’ve lived in this township and I enjoy working in this township.

What makes you the best candidate? I’ve been a trustee for four years. I’ve learned this job and I enjoy this kind of work and I think I’m really good at this responsibility.

No other candidates are running in this race.

Washington Township

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James Hurley (I)

Position sought: Washington Township Trustee

Age: 63

Current occupation: Capital Equipment/Services Buyer HTM

Previous political experience: Eight years Washington Township trustee (currently serving).

What are the primary issues in your jurisdiction? Road maintenance is the primary issue, requiring the largest amount of the budget and affecting the greatest number of citizens. Derelict properties, protection of citizens and property, drainage, zoning, playgrounds and recreation areas and upkeep of cemeteries are major issues requiring action. Prioritizing and funding the needs and wants of these issues, within the limits of decreasing budgets is a challenge within the township.

Why are you seeking office? I have a desire to listen to issues brought by the citizens, seek causes and work to find equitable solutions, all to make the township a better place to live for all citizens. I enjoy the challenge of finding ways to stretch the budget to adequately cover the many demands of the township. I have not grown complacent in the office and wish to continue to act as a sounding board for the citizens.

What makes you the best candidate? Experience in office which has given me the knowledge of how to address issues as they are presented. The knowledge of what works and what doesn’t, who to call on to help solve difficult problems and the openness to seek new technologies and new ideas. I also can and have aided the road crew by plowing snow, operating equipment, cleaning trees from roadways and other tasks as needed.

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Don Lewis

Position sought: Washington Township Trustee

Age: 56

Current occupation: Budget controller/HTM facility building project

Previous political experience: None

What are the primary issues in your jurisdiction? 1. Police Dept., parks and cemeteries need more support from the trustees. 2. Local government funding is decreasing so collaboration with other entities such as government, schools and the state will need to be focused on. 3. Phase out of PPT tax from the state of Ohio. 4. Loss of estate tax monies. 5. Annexation attempts by the local village for funding purposes is a threat to the township and cannot be supported by the trustees.

Why are you seeking office? I’ve been actively involved with this community for some time. I am retiring Jan. 10, 2014 and will have plenty of time and energy to carry out the passion I have for making a difference in the township that I live in and representing the people of this township and their desires for change and/or improvements.

What makes you the best candidate? I will have the time to commit to being a full-time trustee to fulfill the needs of the township. 15 years of management experience and I feel I have a heartbeat for the needs of Washington Township residents having served the community on the board of zoning appeals, Washington Township Park Board and many Indian Lake School events as well as Washington Township Ball Association.

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Melissa Miller

Position sought: Washington Township Trustee

Age: 46

Current Occupation: Homemaker

Previous political experience: n/a

What are the primary issues in your jurisdiction? The three Issues you will see on this year’s ballot is a 1 mill 5yr. police protection renewal for Washington Township Police department. Indian Joint fire District is asking for a 1 mill 5 yr. fire and emergency medical protection renewal and the Indian Lake schools are asking for a 7.2 renewal and increase to provide for emergency requirements. I know money is tight for many, myself included. But for the safety of the community these mills need to be passed. Also you will see Logan County Childrens Services asking for a replacement of 1.15 for 5 yrs. to protection, and placement of abused, neglected and dependent children.

Why are you seeking office? I’ve reached a point in my life where I have the time to dedicate myself to our community. I’ve been involved and active in our local government, but now I am fully committing my time and energy to seeing needed changes happen.

What makes you the best candidate? For two years I have attended Washington Township and Russells Point council meetings. I have watched, listened, and waited for change. Whether you phone, knock on my door or stop me on the street. I will listen and try my best to address your question or problem. If I don’t know the answer I will find the correct information and get back with you. I see what the Lake as a whole needs and I will give one hundred percent of myself to our community. As a parent and grandparent I am a true believer of supporting our service men and women. Bringing new business to the community and supporting the schools.

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Robert “Cob” Reames

Position sought: Washington Township Trustee

Current occupation: Maintenance manager

Previous political experience: I have served on the Russells Point Village Council from September of 2008 to March of 2012. I am currently serving on the Russells Point Board of Zoning Appeals since April of 2008.

What are the primary issues in your jurisdiction? The primary issues that has existed in this jurisdiction for many years is the oil and water type of communication and cooperation between the townships and the villages in the Indian Lake area. Whenever resources can be pooled together the end result will be more profitable for all parties involved.

The existence of dilapidated structures, vacant business and poorly maintained properties is also a primary issue. While these issues increase the opportunities for growth decreases.

Why are you seeking office? The majority of the voters in Washington Township reside within the village of Russells Point. I believe that the village deserves proper representation at the township level. A portion of the real estate taxes that are paid by village residents go to Washington Township. The village residents need to be able to see what that money is doing for them.

What makes you the best candidate? I am one of the best candidates because I am committed to do my best to insure that the health, safety and welfare of all residents of Washington Township is taken into consideration when decisions are made by their representation. I will insure that all opportunities for grant funding will be taken advantage of in order to better serve those who elect me. I believe that the entire Indian Lake area needs to build bridges of communication and cooperation in order to better serve our residents both permanent and seasonal. This is a huge task. It needs to begin soon. I intend to be the first plank in building these bridges.

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John Stemble (I)

Position sought: Washington Township Trustee

Age: 62

Current occupation: Farmer, meat cutter, auction clerk

Previous political experience: Eight years trustee, 12 years Board of Zoning Appeals

What are the primary issues in your jurisdiction? The primary issues for Washington Township are police protection, fire protection, EMS service, zoning and road maintenance.

Why are you seeking office? In working with today’s budget and fiscal responsibilities of the township, it is necessary to work closely with all respective agencies to offer the residents a safe and secure environment.

What makes you the best candidate? With my flexible work schedule I can keep in close communication with all township department  heads. I can also operate all township equipment.

No other candidates are running in this race.

Zane Township

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Doug Henry

Position sought: Zane Township Trustee

Age: 56

Current occupation: Self farm

Previous political experience: Nine years Benjamin Logan Board of Education, Zane Township zoning board

What are the primary issues in your jurisdiction? Sanitary sewer issues in and around Middleburg have been and continue to be a challenge for the township. The old schoolhouse that is scheduled to be taken down this fall will actually be removed. I believe as a township we need to be concerned about the tax exempt acres in the township and the effect on the cost of our emergency services.

Why are you seeking office? I have had the desire to serve as trustee for many years. I now feel that I have reached a time in my life and with my work that I can better commit the time to the position. I believe that a trustee not only hires work be done but is also a visible participant in that work.

What makes you the best candidate? I have never lived outside of this township. I have seen and worked with many past trustees who have been a good example of what I see as important characteristics to have. I live and work in Zane Township. I am available to deal issues that come up and I think I have a personality that makes me easy to be approached by anyone.

Lithgo-Steve

William Steve Lithgo

Position sought: Zane Township Trustee

Age: 64

Current occupation: owner of a printing company

Previous Political Experience: Four years as a Zane Township Trustee

What are the primary issues in your jurisdiction? Zoning and township road repairs and maintenance

Why are you seeking office? I enjoy working in the public sector. Getting out and talking to people within the township and hearing their concerns, complaints or even their compliments, is the most valuable way to address issues that are important for the township at large.

What makes you the best candidate? I’ve had four years previous experience as a trustee which enabled me to establish groundwork for changes that helped improve the township. As a business owner, I’ve worked closely with the public for over 35 years in areas of administration, retail, wholesale, and manufacturing. Now I’m ready to work for the residents of Zane Township.

Also running in this race are Jason Blackburn (I) and Robert Fraker.

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