The Defender invited candidates in contested races to respond to a series of questions aimed at providing information for voters. Candidates were reached via phone and social media. Following are the responses we received.
Franklin Twp. Fiscal Officer Candidates
Four of the five Fiscal Officer candidates in Franklin Township responded to our questions.
Candidate Lynne Newman: “I worked in banking for 29 years. I have ample experience in accounting and loan processing, generating reports and budgets. I am also skilled at problem solving. Early in my career I was involved with the municipal bond and government loan process. I also have extensive experience working with the general public as well as my co-workers and business associates.
I believe that my skills, experience and training will make me an effective Fiscal Officer.
If elected, I will, to the best of my ability, fulfill the fiscal responsibilities as it pertains to the office of Fiscal Officer of Franklin Township. I am currently not in another job, so I would be able to devote as much time as needed to this position.”
Candidate Toby Smalley: “I retired from the Ohio Department of Transportation with over 30 years experience that included purchasing from government contracts, certification of materials incorporated into construction projects, as well as project inspection, but most importantly for the the position of Fiscal Officer, I assisted ODOT engineers in managing the budget using various accounting processes. I was also in charge of managing grant programs and I have experience writing grants, as well as working with elected officials in southern Ohio assisting them in finding the funds for their local projects. I also have experience in the private sector using accounting processes and technologies such as Quick Books.
While all the candidates running for this position would make good Fiscal Officers I believe my experience, in the public and private sector, in accounting, budgeting, grant program management and writing, and my experience in assisting elected officials find funding for their projects makes me the better candidate.
I would make sure that the citizens of Franklin Township know where and how their tax dollars are being spent.
I would use my contacts and knowledge of funding and grant programs to provide the Franklin Township Trustee’s with the best information available about the different funding programs for all proposed projects in Franklin Township.”
Candidate Becky Williams:
“For the past 23 years, I have worked in the field of Accounting. My responsibilities have included, preparing financial statements, financial analysis, budget preparation, general ledger and bank account reconciliations, grant reporting, tax reporting, audits, accounts payable expenditures and payroll. The majority of my work experience has been with a county entity. I am familiar with the structure and regulations and requirements of a governmental unit, including the Ohio Revised Code. I also earned a college degree in Business Administration/Accounting.
I would love to have the opportunity to be the Fiscal Officer of Franklin Township. I have grown up in this area my entire life. My parents were business owners and served the community for over 43 years. I was raised to take pride in serving my community and feel fortunate to be able to run for this office. I feel with my prior work experience, I would be able to fulfill the duties of the Fiscal Officer position. I am willing to work with the township trustees and the residents of Franklin Township to oversee and safeguard our township funds and records. I will strive to ensure that our township continues to be a great place to live.
I feel that the first issues or problems that should be addressed are the continuation and completion of current projects. Helping to facilitate the completion of projects will open the opportunity to find other projects and endeavors that continue to better our township. Grant opportunities, roadway and bridge repairs should continue to be a focus. The Fiscal Officer position is a community service position and the individual that holds this office should be willing to listen and inquire upon the issues and concerns of our residents.”
Candidate Sandra Douglas:
“I have worked 37 years in the banking industry. I have wide experience working in customer service, balancing accounts, and many other skills that pertain to financial operations. I maintain all the necessary records for our farm business and I am experienced with the process of writing grant applications.
I believe my accumulated skills would make me an effective Fiscal Officer. In addition, I have lived in Franklin Township for over 40 years. I have worked as a volunteer in my township for organizations like the Franklin Fire Department.
I am honest, hardworking, and I have the organizational and financial skills the position requires. If elected, I would work with the trustees and other officials to do the work required for the people of Franklin Township.”
In the Meigs Township fiscal officer race, incumbent candidate, Carla S. Wesley is being challenged by Bill D. Setty.
Meigs Township Fiscal Officer Candidates
Candidate Carla S. Wesley:
“I am the current Fiscal Officer of Meigs Township, and I am seeking re-election for a four year term. If re-elected, I will bring five plus years of Fiscal Officer experience to Meigs Township. In the past five years I have attended and received certificates for several trainings and classes and have on the job training as well. I have handled all of the budgetary issues, appropriations and have a vast knowledge of our accounting network system. I have experience working with our trustees and I network with other fiscal officers in the county. I have worked with the public all of my working years and I communicate well with others.
I think I am the better candidate because of the knowledge I have about our township, my experience and the fact that I live in close proximity to all of our trustees.
I can devote a lot of time to my fiscal officer job because I drive a school bus and I am home in between routes to handle any issues that may arise in between meeting times. Because I live in town, I can go the bank for deposits every day, if necessary, as well as the post office. Since I have held this office I have gone through 3 state audits and have received great ratings for all three! I took an active part in helping with the fire building project by sitting in on meetings with attorney’s, contractors and engineers. I am now involved in helping raise money for a monument for Evergreen Cemetery that will be purchased to honor our Veterans!
As the Fiscal Officer, we are not decision makers, but I will continue to take care of the finances of Meigs Township, search for any grants that would be a benefit for our community and/or to help maintain our township. I would appreciate your vote and support.”
Fiscal Officer in Liberty Township
Candidate Erica Swearingen
“I have 10 years experience working at an insurance and financial services office. My husband and I have a century farm for which I maintain records. I also am a 4-H advisor.
All of my experience has required good people skills, organization,and accurate record keeping while accomplishing all of this in a timely manner. I hope to utilize my skills in order for Liberty Township to maintain financial security.
The fiscal officer does not have a vote on any issues but one of the responsibilities will be maintaining the records to be in compliance with the requirements of a state audit that occurs every two years. Recording accurate minutes of the meeting is an importa
nt part of the fiscal officer’s job.”
Candidate Erica Davis
“I have a Bachelor’s Degree in paralegal studies and an Associate Degree in information technology, and I have also been a manager at McDonalds.”
Candidates for Trustee
Candidate Rick Jones for Bratton Township Trustee
“I have 16 years as a township trustee and over 25 years in Highway Road Construction. I have the experience to take federal and local funds we receive and budget for the fiscal year, and the ability to keep our township financially stable. I also know the cost of operating and maintaining our township’s 45 roads. I know when I talk with our residents I can honestly tell them if we can or cannot make improvements on our current budget.
I believe I am the best candidate for this job because I am a Bratton Township resident for over 45 years. I’m out in our community every day and I see the need for several improvements. I also realize the costs, we strive every year for grant money and affordable tax levies to make improvements for our residents.
Most of the issues and problems in our township stem from a lack of funds. The money we receive will only maintain our township, there are basically no funds for improvements. What I would like to see in the future is residents actually seeing budgeted funds and where it all goes, or maybe even a Trustee/Resident workshop to work together to find additional funding and solutions.”
Justin Ross for Liberty Township Trustee
“My experience is with agriculture and business. I have been a successful businessman with my goat company and have led a local business for several years. Because I run a business I have an understanding of budgeting and payroll and those skills will serve me well in my role as township trustee, if elected.
I’m not running for this office to call myself ‘better’ than another candidate. I will say that I have worked my entire life to be an honest, hardworking citizen of Adams County. I bring to the table the ability to work long hours for the people of Liberty Township and to always be responsive to their needs.
The biggest issue any public official faces is budgeting. With expenses rising and revenues falling it is important that township trustees do more with less. I make sure that we protect every penny of your hard earned tax dollars. That includes: budgeting wisely, spending efficiently, and making sure that township infrastructure is stronger. I will also place a priority on keeping the roads safe year round, however, as I travel the township, many residents have told me we can do a better job removing snow from roads during the winter. I will make sure that roads are passable and safe as quickly as possible during the winter months.”
Caleb Grooms for Tiffin Township Trustee
“A Trustee is a “jack of all trades” from clearing snow to making budget allocations. I have experience in both areas along with experience in the day to day items that must be addressed to keep Tiffin Township proactive and moving forward.
Bringing a lot to the table for the residents of Tiffin Township is a necessity. I have been involved with the inner workings of local government through my time as publisher of the People’s Defender and as a past small business owner. From installing culverts to lobbying for Tiffin Township with state and federal governments, I feel I can successfully serve and be an asset to our township.
I am asking the residents of Tiffin Township to elect me knowing that I have no hidden agenda or preconceived ideas. I have heard questions and concerns as I have talked with folks over the last several months. In every case I assured them that if elected I would discuss these issues with the other trustees and take action if it is needed.”
Josh Lloyd for Meigs Township Trustee
“I have 20 years experience in construction work and road work, and I am a small business owner. I have been a trustee in Meigs Township for the past four years. With the help of the other trustees and the clerk, I have made many road and cemetery improvements in our township. I will address any problems or issues that arises, as is my duty as a trustee, or help in any way I can. Your vote is greatly appreciated.”
Bob Wallace for Meigs Township Trustee
I am a life long resident of the Peebles area. I am graduate of Southern State Community College and of the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science. I have served as a member of the Peebles Village Council, and I am presently a member of the Peebles Area Business Association.
I am the owner and operator of funeral homes in Peebles, Seaman, and Winchester. I bring 30 years of business experience in dealing with the public and various government agencies. I have experience working with insurance companies and obtaining federal grant money.
With my business experience, I believe that I will make an excellent trustee for the citizens of Meigs Township. I am conservative and able to operate on a limited budget. I also have extensive knowledge of state laws regarding cemetery operations and with my past farming and construction experience, I have the knowledge of township road maintenance.
Vote for me and help make me your next Meigs Township Trustee.
Candidates For Village Clerk
Tanya Johnson, candidate for West Union Clerk
“I am presently holding the position of the Village Clerk, with 12 years of experience. Before I was elected the Village Clerk, I served as clerk for the West Union Water/Sewer Department. Over the years my experience with the village of West Union, in all positions held, has afforded me the opportunity to develop important business relationships, which have become crucial in the accomplishment of my duties as clerk. Gained knowledge and experience of this office is key to the success of the daily operation of business in the village. I appreciate the opportunity to serve the people of West Union and would like to continue to serve the residents of this village. When problems or issues arise, I will work to the best of my ability to find and implement solutions.”