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McWilliams to replace Black as trustee

UNION TOWNSHIP – Robert W. McWilliams of Auld Ridge Estates was appointed Tuesday to fill out the 2015 portion of former Trustee Rick Black’s term. Voters will select his replacement for the final two years of his term on Nov. 3.

Black resigned Dec. 31 after being elected Nov. 4 to replace Doug Smith as a Licking County Commissioner. Smith did not seek reelection.

Trustees Charles Prince and John Slater had 30 days to appoint Black’s replacement. Nine candidates submitted letters of interest and resumes after the vacancy was advertised in local newspapers last month.

Prince and Slater conducted 20-30 minute interviews with each candidate in closed or executive sessions during special trustee meetings on Jan. 26 and 27.

McWilliams was the first resident in the Auld Ridge Estates subdivision off Blacks Road, moving there from Newark in 2004. He is now retired from R R Donnelley (formerly Communicolor) in the Newark Ohio Industrial Park (Hebron).

McWillliams served nearly 12 years as the estimating manager at Donnelley and nine years as Sr. Cost Analyst. He continues to operate his own bookkeeping business. McWilliams has served in several leadership positions with the St. Francis de Sales Parish in Newark and the Knights of Columbus.

The other candidates were:

• Christopher Allan of Beaver Run Road. He is a production manager for J.S. Brown & Company of Columbus. He began remodeling both restaurants and homes in 1987 and continues today.

• Kevin J. Black of Grand Pointe Drive. He is a retired active duty member of the Ohio Air National Guard (121 Air Refueling Wing) and a current Financial Advisor with Edward Jones in Pataskala.

• John (Jack) Justice of Canyon Road. He served 18 years as a trustee before Black took his seat five years ago. Justice is now “officially retired” from Coughlin Automotive-Pataskala.

• David McBride of Louella Drive. He works for Whitehall Division of Fire with certifications as a paramedic, EMS instructor, fire instructor, executive fire office and fire safety inspector.

• Jesse Ours of Refugee Road. He served 28 years as a trustee before Prince took his seat a year ago. He is a long-time building contractor and realtor.

• Jeff Sharps of Stone Creek Drive. He is assistant fire chief for Truro Township Fire Department (Reynoldsburg). Sharps is also first alternate on the township board of zoning appeals.

• Lonnie L. Taylor of Lees Road. He retired in 2012 from the Licking County Health Department as the chief plumbing inspector. Taylor was a plumbing contractor before joining health department.

• Randy Weekly of Beaver Run Road. He retired in July after serving as Hebron’s fire chief for 22 years. Weekly started in the fire service in 1972 as a volunteer with the Hebron Fire Department.

Prince and Slater told the candidates in personal letters announcing the appointment that, “We were amazed at the quality of our candidates. Each one of you would have made a positive impact on our board of township trustees and served our residents well. It was difficult to select a single candidate out of such a high caliber field.”

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