SIDNEY — Two candidates are running for one trustee seat in Turtle Creek Township on Tuesday’s General Election ballot.
Incumbent Michael Eilerman, 8757 Russell Road, Sidney, is facing newcomer Dustin Cole, 8136 Patterson Haplin Road, Sidney.
J. Andrew Freytag, 6002 Patterson Haplin, Sidney, is running for an unexpired term.
Eilerman is a graduate of Houston High School. He has been a Turtle Creek Township trustee for 28 years, Shelby County Regional Planning, Shelby County Trustees and Fiscal Officer’s Association and Ohio Township Association.
He has been the owner and operator of Father Hubbard’s Cupboards LLC at 128 W.Russell Road in Sidney for 15 years. He and his wife, Kim, have been married for 23 years.
Cole holds a two year associate degree from Lincoln Technical Institute in auto mechanics. He is self employed and owns three Snap On tools franchises. He has been in business for himself for 15 years and currently has three full-time and two part-time employees.
He and his wife of 14 years, Amanda, are the parents of two sons, Grant, 11, and Aiden, 8.
Why are you running for trustee?
Cole: I am running for township trustee because I thoroughly enjoy serving my community. I love to help people. I look forward to working with all the wonderful residents of Turtle Creek Township.
Eilerman: I want to continue to serve the township. I enjoy working with the residents of the township, listening to their concerns and then making decisions based on what works best for the citizens. I want the roads and properties to continue to be maintained based on the rules governing the township and from the monies that we receive. I want the township residents to continue to feel comfortable coming to me with the trust and friendships I have established over the years.
Why do you feel you’re the best candidate to serve as a trustee?
Eilerman: As a life long resident of Turtle Creek Township, I have been able to see the growth of the township and the wear and tear that takes place on our roads. I have grown up with many of the residents and hope they feel free to call me with their concerns. Being self employed and having my business close to the township allows me the opportunity to mow side ditches, plow snow, and attend monthly meetings as well as being flexible to meet with the residents. I have my Commercial Drivers License which is needed to operate the township trucks and maintain the 24.5 miles of roads.
Cole: I feel I am the best candidate to serve as trustee for Turtle Creek Township because I bring 15 years of business experience with me. I will take into consideration the concerns of all the township residents. I am a hard worker and easy to get along with. I look forward to working with the other two trustees to keep our township looking its best. I feel as a new trustee I would bring new ideas to the township to help better serve its residents. I take pride in my community and look forward to serving it in all duties of trustee.
How can you improve communications with township residents?
Cole: I would improve communication with township residents by making myself available. My personal phone number is 937-492-4180 and any of the township residents are welcome to call me anytime to discuss any issues that may need addressed or to seek answers to any questions they may have. I have also considered making a public social media page for our township residents so that we could connect as a community more and address any public safety concerns that may arise within the township.
Eilerman: Getting out and meeting the residents of the township and letting them know that I am available and willing to listen to their needs helps build communication. The township meetings, which are once a month, are open to the residents to discuss any issues they might have. Addressing the issues and following up with the residents help to improve and continue the communication which is needed to keep the township functioning as a whole.
What is the biggest challenge the township is facing?
Eilerman: The township’s biggest challenge is being able to maintain the roads, culverts and side ditches with the money that is allotted for the township. The trustees and fiscal officer working together with the budget as well as finding grants that are available are what makes the township function as a group and allow improvements to continue.
Cole: I feel the biggest issue facing the township is teamwork. I feel as a business owner and employer I would bring to the table communication and organization skills that will greatly improve the teamwork between the three trustees which will directly effect the quality of the township. Another issue I see facing the township would be connection to the community. Most residents unless they are directly involved aren’t aware of who their trustees are and what their responsibilities are. I would look to organize a possible public meet and greet and make sure all residents are aware of who the trustees are.
How do you bring more funding to the township?
Cole: I would bring more funding to the township through hard work. I am a hard working physically able man and am not afraid to get my hands dirty. By doing more of the township duties myself along with the other two trustees we would have to “hire out” less of the duties within the township.
Eilerman: Being part of the Board of Trustees, we look at the budget each year and decide as a group how the money is divided. We look at grants that can be applied for to help make improvements. We participate with the State of Ohio and the County to help secure grants for improvements to the roads. Some of these grants also go toward replacing road signs. We go through the State to get Contract pricing. We pave an average of 1 ½ miles a year without asking for additional funding. This allows us to use existing funding in other areas.
Eilerman: Being a trustee is and always will be a position I do not take lightly. I work hard to make decisions based on what works best for the township. I am grateful for the trust they have placed in me for the last 28 years and I will continue to work hard for the citizens of Turtle Creek.
Cole: I look forward if elected to serving the great residents of Turtle Creek Township. I will work hard to keep our township looking its best by keeping the side ditches mowed in a timely manner, and to keep our township safe by setting a standard in the community for snow removal. Your support on November 5th will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.