During this election season, it’s likely voters will hear some trash talk among the candidates.
Nowhere is that more true than in Barlow Township.
In fact, in Barlow and three other townships, the competition to win a seat is particularly stiff as several candidates are trying to fill one or two seats.
In March, Barlow Township trustees voted to use a single trash hauler – Rumpke – to service the 798 residential and 46 commercial customers. In the early days of the debate about the single hauler versus remaining with independent haulers, some residents supported the choice of one trash company. Citizens supporting the independents were worried about the effect on those haulers and the freedom of choice, and the debates sometimes got heated.
The township has six candidates – including three write-in candidates- running for two seats on the board of trustees in November, including Darren Roddy (incumbent), of Vincent, Corey Proctor, of Vincent; and Richard Best, of Vincent (incumbent). The the write-ins are William E. Robinson, of Fleming; James T. Rhodes, no address available; and Stevan L. Davis, of Vincent
“I’d say it has to do with the trash deal,” said Best, 46, of the number of candidates running.
However, Proctor, new to the political scene, said now that the trash issue is decided, people seem to have accepted it.
While he is just 24, Proctor has seen the process of running for township trustee. His father, Harvey, ran a few times but lost by just a few votes.
“I really want to get involved in the community and bring some new ideas to help the township,” Proctor said. “I feel like getting a young man into it will bring up some new ideas. A lot of people know me. I like to hear their opinions and try to please everybody.”
Proctor said he works on the roads in his spare time when he’s not managing the Greenleaf Landscaping operation in Athens.
Trustee Darren Roddy nor the write-in candidates could not be reached for comment.
The write-ins candidates also could not be reached for comment.
Best said he also spends a lot of time working with the road crews.
“I enjoy working out on the road with the road gang,” he said. “I’m out there most every day especially this year with all the hard rains we had.”
Best is fulfilling the unexpired term of the late Alan Harris, who died Oct. 16, 2011.
The voters of Fairfield Township have no shortage of candidates, either. Five people are running: Lee Ann Piggott (incumbent), Darrell Huck (incumbent), Betty Watson, Jeremy Gribble and Shelly Hawkins.
Watson and Gribble could not be reached for comment.
Piggott, 52, of Vincent, said she is running for her seat for another term because she cares what happens in the township.
“I want to make sure things stay on track,” she said. “There have been changes made and I want to make sure it stays on track. I want to follow through. … Stuff you do as a township trustee is way bigger than people think.”
Darrell Huck is fulfilling the unexpired term of Larry Miskimins, who resigned.
“I want to serve,” Huck, 52, said. “I’m not out to make any promises other than to do the best job for the citizens of this township.”
Shelly Hawkins, 49, of Vincent, decided to run for a trustee’s seat because she said the township needs change.
“A lot of things need to be handled differently in the township,” she said. “We need better communication between the constituents and trustees.”
Hawkins would not go into specifics, as she said she might be guilty of mudslinging, but she wants only to help the people of the township, she said.
“If I am elected, when people have concerns people don’t need to be afraid to come to me,” Hawkins said. “The township needs to come together to make decisions on how to get things done around here because we are a poor township.”
In Liberty Township, Judy Mercer, 51, of Wingett Run, will face off against Emily Griffin, of 505 Dalzell Road, Whipple, for the fiscal officer post.
Joann Griffin retired from the post earlier this year, and her niece, Emily Griffin, was appointed to fulfill the term until the election.
Mercer is following in the footsteps of two family members with her campaign. Her grandfather, Lloyd Booth, was township clerk (now called fiscal officer), and her father, Clarence Payne, served as trustee.
“I’ve lived in Liberty Township all my life,” Mercer said. “I wanted to see if I could benefit the township and work within the community. … I want to see what funding is available to help the township.”
Also on the ballot in Liberty Township are four candidates for two trustee seats: Dale Lauer, of Whipple; David Kehl, of Lower Salem; Joseph Combs, of Whipple; and Kurtus Marshall, of Lower Salem.
Neither Emily Griffin nor the trustee candidates could be reach for comment.
For voters in Wesley Township, six candidates are vying for two seats on the board. Trustees Danny Gage and Spencer McPeek are not running for re-election.
The candidates are: Michael Vandine, of Stockport; Keith Sargent, 167 Eds Road, Cutler; Gary Ginther, of Cutler; Dinah Barker, of Cutler; Theresa Nice, of Cutler; Debra Treadway, of Cutler; David Love, of Cutler; and Kenneth Wilcoxen, of Cutler.
“There has been no work done on these roads for years,” said Barker, 53. “It’s gotten worse and worse all the time. The equipment is not being used. We’re not using the grader. We’re using a farm tractor. We need someone that can be taught to use the equipment. I live on a gravel road, and I have firsthand knowledge about how they are.”
Barker ran for the office in 2009 and lost by only eight votes.
Roads are also a priority for Treadway.
“We’re lucky to get pothole patching and get it oiled once a year,” said Treadway, 55. “I want to make (road work) more efficient or better. My road is the second to last road to get treated. Some people feel slighted.”
Ginther, 56, said he served one term eight years ago. Ginther said he wants to return to office to address the township roads and their lack of ditches.
Nice, 56, said her advantage is that she has time to devote to the job.
“If there’s a complaint, I’ll do what I can to fix it,” she said. “I’m planning on being there to help.”
Nice said she welcomes the extra competition with six people on the ballot.
“I didn’t realize so many people were running until recently,” Nice said. “I suppose the more, the merrier.”
Vandine, Sargent, Love and Wilcoxen could not be reached for comment.
The general election is Nov. 5.