SIDNEY — Two candidates are running for one seat as an Orange Township trustees. All three will be on Tuesday’s General Election ballot.
Seeking the office are Rebecca S. John, 2255 River Road,. Sidney, and incumbent Kevin Martin, 16412 Sidney Platsville Road, Sidney.
Martin is a graduate of Wright State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree with a finance major. He is a farmer.
He and his wife, Raquel, are the parents of four daughters, Brianna, Madelaine, Olivia and Meredith. He is currently the chairman of the Orange Township trustees.
John is a graduate of Piqua High school and attended Sinclair and graduated the program for the Expanded Functions Dental Assisting position where she was employed. She is the coordinator for the Miami County Dental Clinic Traveling Smiles Program. She has been in the dental field for 35 years and has used her experience to move into her current position as coordinator.
John and her husband, Gary, have lived in Orange Township for over 30 years. The raised her son, Paul, who is a Sidney graduate. They enjoy spending time with their grandsons; Brandon, Joseph, Vincent and Trevor. They are a close family as family is very important to the couple.
This is her first experience within the political community as a candidate.
Why are you running for trustee?
I want to improve my community. I want to build on the good things already in place and I want to change the current problems which include lack of communication. I feel this is an issue I have had over the years myself and have spoken with other residents who also feel this is a major concern in our township.
Martin: I am running for Re-election for Trustee because I feel I can continue to serve the residents of Orange Township in a dedicated and professional manner.
Why do you feel you’re the best candidate to serve as a trustee?
Martin: Over the past several years, I have overseen or been a part of several large projects to improve our township: creating safer driving conditions, re-surfacing roads, improving drainage problems, reshaping ditches, requesting proper signage to make roads safer for our families. Due to my experience with many other Trustee duties, such as snow plowing, clearing roads of fallen trees, monitoring flood waters, road supervision and many other township responsibilities, I feel I am the more qualified candidate. I also have a commercial driver license (CDL) which allows me to operate the township’s large snow plow truck.
John: I feel that I am open to the concerns of fellow residents in our community. I would like to bring new ideas to help develop the relationship between the trustee and residents within the township. I have excellent communication skills and feel this will help serve this community better. I will use the experience I already have in my current employment where I arrange and coordinate with many different people to help run a large county program smoothly and efficiently.
How can you improve communications with township residents?
John: I want to open lines of communication by making sure residents know how they can contact our trustee. I want to make residents aware of meeting times and places. Speaking with many people, I have found these issues to be of concern and I want to make sure everyone has the information they need to communicate their concerns to the appropriate people.
Martin: By continuing to be available for phone calls and encouraging residents to attend monthly Trustees’ meeting to voice any concerns they may have will improve resident communication.
What is the biggest challenge the township is facing?
Martin: The biggest challenge the township is facing is the funding for road maintenance and improvement.
John: I feel there are many challenges that residents face concerning their properties, which can include drainage issues and upkeep. Safety is personally a concern of mine and many others when it comes to visibility at certain intersections of the roads. The biggest challenge seems to remain communicating the concerns that many people have. I feel that once communication between residents and trustees is open, we will be able to work appropriately with the right people to remedy many of these issues we are facing together.
How do you bring more funding to the township?
John: This is a subject that I am faced with in my current position. I understand that it can be difficult finding ways to pay for what is needed and keeping expenses within a reasonable budget. I would look for ways to conserve current funding and look for ways to create more available funds to address needed improvements. I would want to work with my fellow trustees to find viable solutions and possibly evaluate our current budget to look for possible changes that would benefit our township.
Martin: Most funding comes from the Ohio fuel Tax and county real estate tax. The Ohio legislators approved an increase in the fuel tax which will bring in more revenue to be used for roads and bridges. Additional revenue from real estate tax could be received from voter approved tax levies.
Martin: I am currently chairman of the Orange Township Board of Trustees, member of Shelby County Farm Bureau, member of Wright State Alumni, and past trustee and treasurer of Sidney First United Methodist church.
John: I would like to add as a resident in this community I know we need some changes. I intend to work hard to bring a fresh perspective to the current team. I feel that I have a lot to offer and have a lot to give to the other residents because I am a part of this community and face the same problems as many others do. I want to work together to make this a better township for all of us. And I hope you give me the opportunity to work for each of us.