NEWPORT — Three candidates are running for trustee positions in this years’ general election for Cynthian Township.
Joseph Benanzer, of Sidney, is a graduate of Fort Loramie High School and Upper Valley Career Center. He has worked as a lifelong dairy and grain farmer, and is running for re-election for his current position as a Cynthian Township Trustee. He is also currently a jury commissioner and has served on the Fort Loramie Ambulance Board.
He has been married to his wife, Pam, for 39 years. The couple has five children and six grandchildren.
John Puckett, of Fort Loramie, is a graduate of Rhodes State College, where he earned an associates of Applied Business. He has been a member of the Republican party since 2012 and is a sergeant with the Fort Loramie Police Department.
He has six children and nine grandchildren.
Robert Siegel, of Fort Loramie, is a graduate of Fort Loramie High School and has served as a trustee for 16 years. He and his wife, Gail, are the parents of eight children and they have one granddaughter. He is a finish carpenter at Rapid Development.
Why are you running for trustee?
Puckett: I am running for trustee because I believe there are improvements which need to be made. These improvements include, but are not limited to, resurfacing roadways, repairing damaged bridges, and beautification of Cynthian Township.
Siegel: I like being a trustee, meeting new people and being in the public. It is important to me to live in a township that I am proud of, so I want to continue to be a force behind improvements and good decisions.
Benanzer: I enjoy serving the residents of Cynthian Township and feel that I have the time it takes to be committed to the Township.
Why do you feel you’re the best candidate to serve as a trustee?
Siegel: I am not afraid of hard work and putting in the hours required. I know how to make tough decisions for the betterment of the township. I am willing to put myself in uncomfortable situations when rules need enforced.
Benanzer: I have several years of experience as a current trustee, I have been a lifelong resident of Cynthian Township, and I am committed to the job. I also have a CDL License, which is requirement for driving snow plow. I also have a certified spraying license that allows me to spray township side ditches.
Puckett: I feel I am the best candidate because I have dedicated nearly 26 years to serving the public. With my education and experience in business management I know I can help the tax payers see their hard earned money reach its full potential.
How can you improve communication with township residents?
Benanzer: I have and will respond to any issues or need that the township residents have. I am always available by telephone.
Puckett: Communication is key for public officials. Because I work in the public safety sector I am very easy to reach out to at all times. I strive to be transparent and timely in my dealings with members of the public, no matter what the circumstances are. I will continue to provide my phone number and email as I have currently done in my campaign letter to the residents.
Siegel: By attending many community events I am able to be in contact with different groups of people. Through church, Newpoer Spotsmen Club, sporting events, I am always easy to find.
What is the biggest challenge the township is facing?
Benanzer: We are facing rising cost of equipment, equipment maintenance and supplies, while our funding is being reduced.
Puckett: I believe that finances are the biggest challenge Cynthian Township is facing. Just as tax payers must be financially responsible in their lives, the government must be financially responsible. With my experience as a certified grant writer I can make our tax dollars stretch farther than they currently do. As the township residents are aware, there is currently little revenue from businesses. I believe it to be in the best interest of our township to seek out business growth in our community.
Siegel: Our budget is our biggest challenge; getting the most out of the revenue we have available. We have nice roads, but it is still a struggle to keep them nice
How will you bring more funding to the township?
Puckett: More funding can be brought to Cynthian Township by applying for state and federal grants. We deserve to live in a township that exceeds our expectations. Currently underutilized are youth organizations that require community service based time. The boy scouts, eagle scouts, girl scouts, and 4-H clubs should be given more opportunities to serve here at home instead of being forced to look for their community service hours elsewhere.
Siegel: By staying on top of repairs, mowing, etc. We make our township desirable for businesses and families to move into, thus increasing our tax base.
Benanzer: Applying for more state grants as and when they become available.
Are there any comments you’d like to add?
Siegel: It has been an honor to serve Cynthian Township. I have learned a lot over the years. I know the roads and a lot of the people. I am retired after 20 years on the Fort Loramie Fire Department. I attend St. Michaels Church and am a supporter of Shelby County 4H and am active in Newport Sportsmen Club.
Benanzer: I have the time, the experience, and the ability to serve the residents of Cynthian Township.
Puckett: It is my hope that my fellow residents see the potential I see in Cynthian Township. Furthermore, I hope they grant me the privilege to help guide us into a successful future together.
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