Five candidates are seeking one position as Licking Township Trustee. One, three-term trustee Joe Hart, stands out. First full disclosure: This writer first met Joe Hart while covering Licking Township Trustees meetings for The Beacon. His election brought new vitality to the Board of Trustees and we have become good friends, particularly since I was elected a trustee in neighboring Union Township.
Joe is a model public servant. He has served his community for more than 20 years, including eight years on the Lakewood Local Schools Board of Education. Joe also represents township trustees county-wide on the Land Bank board.
His fellow trustees have unanimously elected Joe chair each year for his entire 12-year tenure on the Board. His meetings are calm and inclusive, focused on making Licking Township a better place to live. He works collaboratively with his colleagues and that team has a great record. The township fire department has transitioned from partial on-station staffing to 24/7 on-station staffing without breaking the bank. The department now has an new fire station that was built using just estate taxes and bequests. The Licking Township Fire Company still has only one full-time employee, with great credit to Fire Chief Mike Wilson and trustees for creating an atmosphere that attracts long-term part-time firefighters and volunteers.
Trustees, with Joe’s leadership, made progress this year in balancing property rights (those of residents and Legend Valley) with its broad economic impact. That balance is still tenuous, but Joe’s leadership is the best suited to maintain it. You don’t have to guess where Joe Hart stands. He is open, honest, dedicated and reliable. What you see is what you get and it’s been a big benefit for Licking Township residents for the last 12 years. You have a model trustee and there is no reason to make a change. KEEP JOE HART on November 5.