LAKE AREA – The Beacon has surveyed lake-area candidates in most contested elections to help our readers make their decisions.
Candidates were asked to respond to two questions:
1. In 150 words or less, please explain what you believe are the two most important issues facing the position they are seeking.
2. In 50 words or less, please explain why you believe voters should support you.
Words limits are strictly enforced and no candidates exceeded the overall 200 word limit. NO responses were edited.
(vote for two)
1. The safety of residents and success of businesses in the township are the two most important issues facing Union Township.
Good roads insure that residents and businesses can safely traverse the township and police and emergency services can respond in a timely manner.
Union Township has 52 miles of hard-surfaced roads to maintain. As trustee I will continue to meet the citizens’ expectations of the roads being in good repair, snow and ice promptly and efficiently removed, and roadsides and berms mowed and maintained.
With the cost of road materials constantly increasing, and uncertain future funding, I will continue to personally monitor the conditions of the roads, and support township staff as we focus on new and various techniques in pavement maintenance and repair.
2. I’ll earn your vote as the trustee who returns calls and emails.
If I don’t have the answer to your question, I’ll find an answer.
I will be a good steward of your tax dollars and make every effort to insure the best services we can afford.
Did not respond.
1. The two most important issues facing Union Township are to keep the services above current levels, but because of the cuts in government funding, and the loss of personal property taxes, and the phase out of the estate tax, since this is a large cut in our income, we need to be more efficient in our day to day operations, so we can have better Fire and Ems and Police services and keep our road maintenance the best.
Our next Goal is to consolidate the road personel and equipment to the Complex on Beaver Run Rd. to reduce our monthly operating costs and improve response time.
2. Voters should support me because of my 28 years experience in office and 60 years contracting,
30 years realestate sales is invaluable in getting the most return for the township. The only candidate with no 8-5 job, on the job Full Time.
1. Cuts in local government aid from the state and elimination of the estate tax are reducing township revenue. Consequently, it’s very important to spend reduced revenues as efficiently as possible and on services for residents, not gold-plated benefits for part-time elected officials. I will not take health insurance, saving nearly $20,000 a year and will push to drop it entirely for parttime elected officials. Employees should also pay part of the cost and a reasonable deductible.
Providing timely and paramedic led EMS/fire protection should be trustees’ highest priority. Last year trustees cut payments to the Village of Hebron for EMS/Fire services by more than $200,000 for 2013. They did not cut staff, salaries or the 100% taxpayer paid, no deductible paid health insurance for themselves and township employees. Compromising your safety to maintain benefits and salaries is simply wrong. Services for residents, particularly EMS/fire, must come before benefits!
2. I’ve tried four times to break up the good ole boy gang. I have been saying for years that we can’t afford gold-plated benefits for part-time officials and township employees. I still stubbornly believe that township government should be serving residents first, not elected officials and township employees.
(vote for two)
Jimmy Dee Barber Jr.
1. I believe one of the biggest problems facing walnut twp. Today is the same one that is facing the whole country, the economy. The state of Ohio balanced the budget and local funds were cut, leaving local public officials to figure out how to get by on less funds. I would address the problem by trying to consolidate with other local townships when it comes to paving projects, buying salt for plowing. These are some examples of some ways of trying to save on revenue. I also believe trying to promote new business to come to walnut twp. should be a big priority, it would bring new jobs and generate more revenue with out raising taxes.
2. I believe I would be a good candidate for trustee because I am honest and hard working. I think walnut township needs to be run like a business. I am a small business owner and know what it takes to make decisions daily, when operating a business.
1. Talking to several members of the community their concerns for the township matched my own; constant budget cuts and community awareness in township affairs. As the state makes cuts to the county, the county makes cuts to the township, stretching our already tight budget. I plan to fight for grants for projects that will inevitably make our township a better place, but the real solution is striving to more do more with less. This means a candidate that can plow roads, mow ditches and fix equipment. I am that candidate. Secondly, the lack of community awareness is the fault of dead-end thinking in the township. Expecting people to take time out of their busy schedules to make it to township meetings is impractical. I plan to utilize social media to instantly update the community on the current events of the township, while giving the community an opportunity to voice their con- cerns.
2. Your trustee should be versatile and available, a forward thinking and educated decisionmaker, operating and maintaining equipment alongside our township’s diligent employees The budget stretches a little more each year and we need a hardworking candidate that can do more with less. An experienced public servant, I am that candidate.
Terry W. Horn
1. Economic development: I am currently working on an economic development strategy to protect precious Walnut Township property tax revenue due to annexation at the SR37/256 intersection and at the same time encourage economic partnerships that will be a win-win for the township. This will foster a positive environment for planned future development and help retain present businesses enterprises.
The high cost of maintaining quality Township roads: We are continually looking for innovative ways to cut costs and maintain safety. Recently the labor force was reduced at a savings of $110,000+ over two years. We changed strategy over the past two years to extend pavement life by utilizing more chip and seal repairs versus new pavement. In the past, chip and seal was the exception and roads were repaved at a much higher cost per mile, resulting in fewer miles of roads being repaired in a given year.
2. With resolute determination I have made significant accomplishments for our township during my term as trustee: Garnered support to save the Millersport Fire Department; initiated EMS billing that generates $200,000+ in revenue annually for fire/EMS; Proven and documented record of fiscal responsibility! Go to www.terrywhorn.com for many examples.
1. All of us know continued state & federal mandates without funding is our main concern. However, I also entered this race to bring back professionalism, integrity & respect to the Trustee table. Trustees should treat everyone with respect & courtesy. Currently, I feel this is lacking at the Township level. Finger pointing & showboating do nothing to solve problems. Secondly, we must find the right person to fill our Zoning Inspector position. We all realize what a tremendous job Ralph Reeb did for our Township. He was a tremendous asset and is greatly missed.
2. As a lifelong resident of Walnut Township, I represent no group, council or department. I intend to represent ALL residents. As a former 10 year Board of Education member, I know to get resident input before making big decisions. Also as a small business owner for over 30 years, I feel my thinking would be an asset for Township business. I would appreciate your vote on Nov. 5th.
1. Walnut Township needs to work closer with the Villages of Thurston, Pleasantville and Millersport to share services and maximize the savings of every dollar. We must also explore the possibilities of Joint Economic Development with the neighboring villages, townships and school districts. Local funding is being cut at the state level and we cannot count on the state to help us so we need to develop alternative sources of revenue.
The second opportunity is to continue the high level of fire and medic service for all citizens in Walnut Township. Young men and women working for our fire department are encouraged to continue their education and training by our chiefs. The current system allows these young people to explore careers in fire and ems. The fire department has a long and proud history of serving the people and this tradition needs to continue in Walnut Township.
2. Voters should support me because of my experience and years of serving Walnut Township as a school board member, park board member, fiscal officer, zoning administrator, FEMA administrator and flood plain administrator. My only goal is to make the area a better place to live and raise children.