Village council seats up for grab across the county –
By Patricia Beech –
Village voters will weigh in at the ballot this November to choose among several candidates vying for seats on village councils across Adams County. As the most local level of government, village councils play an important role in promoting their towns, representing their community’s interests, and supporting the work of different groups in their community. Council members are responsible for providing representation, legislation, and oversight in the villages they serve.
Each village resident may vote for no more than four candidates who will serve terms commencing on Jan. 1, 2018.
In Manchester, incumbents Teresa D. Blythe, Brian S. Napier, and Michael Phipps will be joined on the ballot by Irene Shively, Evan Sutton, and former mayor, Troy A. Jolly.
Blythe says achieving a fiscally sound status is the major issue Manchester voters should consider in the upcoming election.
“We’ve put a lot of work into trying to get our town out of fiscal emergency and I want to make sure we continue moving toward accomplishing that,” she says. “Being in a fiscally sound position means that we can have the services and things we need to build and see our town grow.”
Peebles voters will choose between eight village council candidates including: former village clerk Sheila A. Browning, Charles R. Countryman, Amanda Gaffin, and incumbents Larry D. Shiveley, Eugenia M. Gordley, Wayne Setty, and Kevin W. Cross
Candidate Shiveley says he believes this election is an opportunity for voters to show their patriotism and appreciation for those who fought to preserve our liberties.
“Voting is not just a privilege, it’s an opportunity to acknowledge the sacrifices others have made for us,” he says. “It’s important that we all give back and try to be a positive force in our communities.”
In the village of Seaman, candidates for council are incumbents David Merfert, Bill Shelby, Mike Tolle, and Robert G. Wright.
Wright, who has served six years on the village council, says it’s important that villagers take an interest in voting.
“If people want to see their town continue to grow and improve – if they care about condition of the water system, the sewage system, the street system, and law enforcement, they have to support people who are willing to step forward and do what they believe is best.”
According to Wright, maintaining and improving the village streets is the most pressing issue facing the town council.
“It costs a lot to keep the streets in good shape,” he says. “The street levy the citizens of Seaman passed last year has been a big help, and we think that within five years the levy will all the streets in the town will be resurfaced.”
Candidates vying for seats on West Union’s village council include Ashley M. Sexton, who will join incumbents Mark A. Brewer, Randy Brewer, Jason Buda, and Stephen D. Rothwell on the November ballot.
“We want to continue working to make West Union a better place,” says Mark Brewer, who is seeking a second term, “Our greatest challenges right now are maintaining the roads, improving the water and sewage systems, and making West Union the kind of town that can attract businesses.”
He says he hopes to see a large voter turnout even though it is an off-year election.
“We all need to get out and exercise our right to vote,” he says, “There are always people who want to complain about the town and its elected officials, but if they don’t get out and vote, I don’t think they have any right to complain.”
Winchester voters will choose between three candidates for village council: Kevin D. Carpenter, Crystal L. Platt, and Aaron Swackhammer.
Two villages will also cast votes to fill positions on their Board of Public Affairs. Running unopposed are: Deborah K. Clinger for the Manchester Village Board of Public Affairs, and Rebecca Chandler, for the same position in Winchester.
(Attempts were made to contact most of the other candidates for this story, but none were available before press time.)