2007-10-27 / News

Candidates in their own words

To help readers make their choices on Nov. 6, the Beacon surveyed all candidates in contested lake-area races. Participation was voluntary. Surveys were sent to the addresses listed by the appropriate county board of elections. All surveys were ultimately delivered to each candidate.

Non-judicial candidates were asked to explain, in 150 words or less, what they believe are the two most important issues facing the officethey are seeking and how they would address those issues. The second question asked candidates to explain in 50 words or less why they should receive your vote.

Word limits are strictly observed so some responses may have been edited to meet the limits. Not all candidates responded in the requested format. In those cases, we are reprinting their response up to the maximum 200 words. Candidates were asked not to specificallycomment about opponents and none did.

Judicial candidates were asked about their qualificationsfor the bench and why voters should support them.

FairfieldCounty

Village of Millersport

Mayor

Dean Edward Severance

1. One of the most important issues facing the Village of Millersport is Fire Protection. We have had difficultyin working with the Walnut Township Trustees in our contract negotiations. My goal is to work in harmony with the Township and I feel that our Fire Chief and staff have bent over backwards to do just that. We are in business to be good stewards of the taxpayer's money and to provide the best service possible. The Village of Millersport Fire Department is very well managed and we have very well trained personnel that have raised to the challenge time and time again. The best bang for the buck for the Township is to continue to work with the Millersport Fire Department. The second issue is Police protection. We have added an officerand are interviewing others to join the force to continue to expand our coverage.

2. I ask voters to support me. I have only the best interest of the Village of Millersport in mind. I enjoy working with others in a Team effort and it shows in our meetings and our accomplishments. I have An open door policy and always welcome input from the community.

Jim Wright

1. I believe the two most important issues in Millersport are: 1) Our police department: I am presently working on securing money to purchase a radar gun. We also need additional personnel to ensure our safety. Right now, we have two part-time officers. We need to have at least one full-time and one part-time officer.This can be achieved without any new taxes. I would also work with the FairfieldCounty Sheriff's Officeto ensure they patrol the area surrounding our village and assist our department when necessary.

2) Our fire and emergency squad department: I will work diligently with the county and township governments to ensure that this service remains inside our village. I will explore all avenues to findmoney for training, equipment and maintenance. A safe living environment means our village can grow and our properties will become more valuable, not to mention our peace of mind.

2. I have lived in Millersport for 28 years. I am retired and can spend all the time required on the issues facing ur village. I have been on Village Council for six years and have spearheaded the dock and traffic light installations. I work well with county and state officials.

Village of Thurston

Mayor Mary M. Barber Did not respond

Russell Lowell Hite

Did not respond

Liberty Township Trustee (one to be elected)

Ivan A. Ety

1. I feel we need to finda common ground and understanding between the people that would like to see the township grow commercially and residentially and those people that do not want to see any change. As this issue may not be directly in the hands of the trustees, the citizens rely on us to appoint individuals with open minds and knowledge to the Zoning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals that monitor each development and their codes.

Keeping our township roads in good shape. I would like to create a rotating schedule for maintenance and pavement of all township roads at least one time every three years. Do level coating on three to four miles every year until all roads have been completed. Keep our operating equipment in good working and safe condition for our road crew, and secure the needed equipment to help maintain our roads.

2. I have 16 years experience and have a good rapport with the citizens and other entities. I strive to keep peace with those involved in operating the township government. I supervise the maintenance of our roads using taxpayer's money wisely and follow the laws established by the Ohio Revised Code.

Ron Galliher

1. The number one concern expressed by the township is uncontrolled growth. As a trustee I will move forward the completion of our Zoning Resolution changes along with a land use plan. This will promote and sustain agricultural, commercial, and a rural community atmosphere while managing growth. Baltimore Village is an important part of Liberty Township and any future plans must be coordinated with the village. Responsible growth supports commercial development. Appropriately placed this will decrease the tax burden for residents and maintain quality schools and services. The time to Plan for the Future is now!

A second issue facing the township involves ethics. The township has demanded leaders with ethical values and principals by electing two new trustees in 2006. My commitment is to demand ethics from all township officials while providing non-biased open communication.

2. Voters should support me for trustee because I will represent the people and move our township forward. Qualifications include: Registered Professional Engineer State of Ohio; Liberty Township Land Use Committee member; Liberty Township Zoning Appeals Board member; and analyzed township survey (at no cost to the township).

David L. Keller

1. The most important issue facing Liberty Township is the growth that we are starting to experience. The Township is in the process of starting a land use plan. The Zoning Resolution also needs to be updated. I would like for it to state minimum lot size and road frontage within the Planned Unit Development District. This would control the density and let the developers know what kind of development is acceptable.

Another important issue facing us is the increasing traffic on the township roads. I was instrumental in improving the roads from gravel to tar & chip. It is my belief that the township now needs to take the next step to blacktop roads. I would also like to phase out the use of ciders and gravel mixed with salt to the practice of salt only for ice control. This improvement can be accomplished without new taxes.

2. I am available to do township business and/or emergencies whenever the need arises. I have increased the township revenue from the county and have been successful in obtaining numerous federal and state grants. I have the experience and time to handle these and other issues. Your vote is appreciated.

Randy L. Kemmerer

1. Liberty Township needs trustees with leadership abilities and knowledge of the laws that govern townships. This includes conducting meetings and the day to day operation of the office.Better management of your tax dollars is a priority. The township should be operated like a business. I would implement policies and procedures that would stop excessive spending and insist on complete accountability of your money.

The township should provide the best road maintenance, drainage, and snow removal possible. To accomplish this, experience and good leadership is essential. I have 27 years experience working for the FairfieldCounty Highway Dept. and the Walnut Township Trustees.

2. It is time for a change in the leadership of Liberty Township. I have the experience, knowledge, and dedication to manage the township pursuant to state law. I also understand the importance of being available to listen to your concerns.

Walnut Township Trustee (one to be elected)

William R. Yates

1. As a candidate for the officeof Walnut Township Trustee I believe the unacceptable handling of the firedepartments' issues and the lack of the public's confidencein their elected officials have created an atmosphere that is detrimental to the health and growth of our community. The strife and tension that is unnecessarily being created can be solved by open and honest conversations with the public. The trustees and their employees must make a concerted effort to listen to the public and operate in a way that is acceptable to those who live in the township. I will address these issues by keeping all meetings properly noticed to the public and always in a timely manner. I will use the facts as I know them to properly fund the firedepartments of Walnut Township and thus will improve the quality of emergency services to ALL the residents of Walnut Township.

2. Having served on the Board of Public Affairs, Village Council, as a supervisor at Walnut Township Schools and Fire Chief qualifies me for this public service. All these have involved making budgets, being fiscally responsible and communicating with the people of my community. I look forward to this new challenge.

Ralph Zollinger

Voting for Ralph Zollinger ensures successful management of Walnut Township. I am a life time residence of Walnut Township and have 16 years public service to this community. I pledge to continue my leadership and fiscal responsibility. I have developed working relationships with employees to inspire the most productive and efficient work. I am successful in obtaining millions of dollars in grant monies to continue improvements in my community. I am very knowledgeable of the Township and pledge to continue to support this community.

Walnut Township is facing two very important issues in the immediate future. Future growth and maintenance of our road structure is of great importance to me. During my tenure I have successfully obtained over 2 million in grants to improve and develop our roadways. Ensuring maintenance and improvement of roads through future grants and knowledge of the community is an important issue. Whether it is rain, snow, trees or other debris, we must be prepared to meet the community's needs.

The second issue of importance is the overall welfare of the people of Walnut Township. Pursuing positive coverage in the areas of fire, emergency, police and homeland security insures the continuation of a healthy community.

Walnut Township Board of

Education

(three to be elected) David Brookover 1. The two most important issues facing the Walnut Township School District are the repair and upkeep of the facilities and the quality of education. Our Jr/Sr high building is in need of a new roof, a heating-air conditioning system, wall repairs and more. Our elementary needs repairs to the HVAC and other minor repairs. We are currently seeking reduced rate funding for these needs. I will continue to work with the administration to use our current funds responsibly. The quality of education our children receive is an ongoing challenge that our district faces. With new requirements being handed down from the state and federal governments, new ideas are needed to help meet those requirements. I will continue to listen to you and bring your ideas and concerns to the administration. I will hold the administration responsible for giving our children the best education experience available.

2. I have demonstrated leadership skills in working with you and the administration as a current board member. I understand your concerns and goals for our schools. I care about our children, our schools and our community. Please support me so I may continue working for you.

Walter J. Knox

1. Many challenges face our Staff, Administration and students of the district. The district is forced to deal with the ever changing state standards and academic requirements. There has been an incredible amount of pressure placed on our students, as well as our staff and administration, to succeed on proficiencyexams. Most small schools in Ohio are facing the challenges of adequate funding. I feel that limited funding is a major issue, as it is for most districts.

If elected, I will ensure that the district's resources are allocated in such a manner that they will provide our teachers and students the best possible opportunities to succeed. I will work with our administration and teachers to help them achieve the success that we all desire. I will ensure that our students have effective teachers to prepare them for the future.

2. I've shown that I'm willing to work hard for this district. I believe in our students and our schools. I feel that being a small district isn't a limitation but rather an advantage. You can expect me to celebrate academic success, acknowledge achievement and cultivate pride in our school community.

Vincent B. Popo

1. The 21st Century presents unique challenges and opportunities for the Walnut Township School District. The most important challenge is to prepare our children and grandchildren with the necessary skills to compete in a global economy. This needs to be accomplished while preparing our students to continually achieve high marks on the Ohio Graduation Tests. The internet and computers have leveled the playing field across the world and the students who can best master the technology will be successfully globally.

The second challenge is to engage the community with the school district. At one time, Walnut Township schools offered the community enrichment programs and classes for all residents. These programs brought people into the buildings and developed a sense of ownership by the people. When the community feels a connection to the schools, then the community feels positive about the schools. The sooner these programs begin the better for all involved.

2. The community has a good slate of candidates to choose, however I have thirty years experience as an educator and coach. As the Fiscal Officerfor Millersport I understand the responsibility of caring for public monies. This experience gives me an insight on what makes an effective school system.

V. Faye Whitaker

1. The condition of the buildings must be addressed. The roofs leak, the HVAC system does not work properly and needs to be replaced, and a wall in the high school is sinking. Many additional improvements are needed, however, the roofs and HVAC are the most critical. It is imperative that we continue to properly maintain our buildings. We are currently trying to identify alternative ways to accomplish this without increasing your taxes.

V. Faye Whitaker cont.

Providing the best education possible in a safe environment is always at the top of the priority list. To accomplish this, it is important to have the right administrative staff. We have hired a new Superintendent, Ron Thornton, new Treasurer, Kirk Grandy, and new Elementary Principal, Cheryl Thompson. Their experience, knowledge, new ideas, and willingness to work with parents, staff, and members of the community are all very refreshing. Working together, we will continue to accomplish great things.

2. I have experience, common sense, and make every decision with the best interest of the students in mind. The new administrators are knowledgeable, dedicated, and community-oriented. However, all board members have served four years or less. This district needs experienced board members and I would like to continue to serve.

Shane Wise

1. The two most important issues facing the School Board are fiscal discipline and effective policy that prepare our children for a healthy and productive lifestyle. This is not to say that these issues are new to the Board. Frankly, these are two issues that every school board and community contends with each year.

What I think is unique to this election are two other factors. The first is that we have a new Superintendent starting their first full school year while at the same time having the opportunity to elect new School Board members as well. This is unique timing to bring new energy and perspectives into our governing process on both sides of the table.

The second factor is that our schools are unique in size and how the school facilities are at the heart of the community - beyond just teaching our children, it is our community's civic center.

2. I believe my background is well suited to serve as an excellent board member. I have experience in developing, managing and successfully executing multimillion dollar budgets. I also have a vested interest in the success of our schools with a freshman, a kindergartner and a 2 year old.

Editor's Note: We'll publish the surveys from Licking and Perry county candidates next week.

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