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Nine apply for Union Township Trustee vacancy

UNION TOWNSHIP – Nine candidates have applied to fill the vacancy on the board of township trustees created by Rick Black’s resignation.

Black was elected a Licking County Commissioner in November, replacing Doug Smith who retired. Black gave up his trustee’s position on Dec. 31.

Trustees Charles Prince and John Slater declared a vacancy at their Jan. 6 meeting, starting a 30-day clock for them to appoint a replacement. The appointment will run through 2015. The last two years of Black’s term will be on the November ballot.

Trustees advertised last month seeking candidates for the vacancy. Letters of interest and resumes were due by Dec. 29.

Candidates are:

• 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.

• Robert W. McWilliams of Fox Ridge Way. He was employed by RR Donnelley Company for more than 20 years as estimating manager and senior cost analyst. He is a certified professional bookkeeper.

• 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 and is a part-time real estate sales agent.

• 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.

Following a brief executive session Tuesday night, trustees agreed to interview all nine candidates, allocating 30 minutes per interview. Special meetings for the interviews were set for 6 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 26 and 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 27. The interviews will be conducted in executive or closed sessions.

Trustees agreed Tuesday to continue to meet at 7 p.m. on the first and third Mondays of the month at the township complex on Beaver Run Road. However, due to the Martin Luther King holiday and trustee availability, their second meeting in January is set for 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 22, at township complex.

Trustees also opted to wait until Black’s replacement is named to select a president and vice-president for 2015. Slater, who was elected vice-president last year, will chair the meetings until a new president is elected.

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