The New Carlisle News submitted a series of questions to the three candidates who will appear on the November 7, 2017 ballot for the two seats on the Bethel Township Board of Trustees. We did not receive a response from Richard Reynolds by the October 6, 2017 deadline. The New Carlisle News has provided a summary of the biographical information for two candidates and has printed their unedited answers to the questions for our readers.
Nancy Brown is running for re-election and has served the community as a trustee for 16 years. She has a BA from the University of Akron. She has also attended the Ohio Township Leadership Academy, holds FEMA Emergency Management certifications and completed the Texas Engineering Extension Service Mayoral Institute for All-Hazards Preparedness.
Brown has served as a volunteer with a number of community organizations during her lifetime and is a self described financially conservative and frugal steward of the community tax dollars. She is seeking re-election to the board of trustees because she has the knowledge needed of the township and loves her community. She wishes to continue to serve the residents as a tried and tested trustee.
1. What significant change have you sponsored in the past four years as a township leader?
During this term we initiated Police Blitzes in an effort to reduce drugs and crime in the township. These are random days when the township is saturated with sheriff’s deputies, highway patrol officers, and other state and federal law enforcement officers, and this is making a big difference at a low cost to us. We are the only Clark County township doing this and we will continue with it. Second, we introduced electric and gas aggregation programs for the township, which brings savings on utilities to all residential customers who participate.
2. What in your opinion is the greatest challenge facing Bethel Township?
Bethel Township’s greatest challenge is a lack of funding, especially for the fire department. Reductions in funding from the state, dramatic cuts in payments from Medicaid for runs to the hospital, changes in fire regulations, and years of inflation are stretching our budget. We are one of the last townships in the area to rely on volunteer paid-per-call staff at night, and our current pay rate for firefighters and paramedics is below others in the area. We must begin compensating our night shift workers if we want to maintain 24 hour a day emergency coverage.
3. The Clark County CONNECT plan indicates that Park Layne is an area for “Managed Expansion”. This includes recreational areas, parks, mixed housing and small –scale retail. What are your views on this opportunity for growth within the township? (What would you like to see built here?)
The Park Layne area attracts development because there is water and sewer there. The Clark County Rural Zoning Commission has already approved plans for multi-family senior housing behind Park Layne School and single-family homes on the north side of Dille Rd., even though the trustees did not support the project. What we want and what the property owner wants to build aren’t always the same, however well planned and implemented development, including shops and restaurants, could be beneficial for the area.
4. What improvements do you see as a top priority for the next four years? Please be specific on which areas of the township are ranked the highest in your answer.
We are doing what we can afford to while staying within our budget, and I will not make promises I know we cannot keep. Still, my top priority is to find the money to pay our firefighters and paramedics enough to keep them in the department and serving our residents. The days of volunteers are ending and we are losing good people to other fire departments and medical transport businesses who pay more.
Don Minton is running for re-election and has served one term as trustee. He is a graduate of Tecumseh High School. He would like to continue in his role as trustee to provide residents with the best EMS/Fire and Sheriff service for their tax dollars. Minton would like to continue to provide residents with a high level of responsible leadership.
What significant change have you sponsored in the past four years as a township leader?
Implemented township utility aggregation, offering every household in the township an opportunity to join and save on their utility bills. Started and will continue to support police blitz in our township.
1. What in your opinion is the greatest challenge facing Bethel Township?
Keeping EMS/Fire fully staffed for coverage of the township at all times.
2. The Clark County CONNECT plan indicates that Parke Layne is an area for “Managed Expansion”. This includes recreational areas, parks, mixed housing and small –scale retail. What are your views on this opportunity for growth within the township? (What would you like to see built here?)
I would take a responsible approach for development. I would like to see small business retail and restaurants in our township.
3. What improvements do you see as a top priority for the next four years? Please be specific on which areas of the township are ranked the highest in your answer.
Offering competitive wages for part-time and pay for call staff of EMS/FIRE, road equipment, maintaining of township roads.