Three candidates seek Turtle Creek Township Trustee seats

By Blythe Alspaugh -

Michael Eilerman

Michael Eilerman

Douglas Ike

Jonathan Siegrist

HARDIN — Three candidates are running for trustee positions in this years’ general election for Turtle Creek Township.

Jonathan Siegrist, of Sidney, is a 1997 graduate of Fort Loramie High School and Upper Valley Career Center. He studied mechanics at Sinclair Community College.

Siegrist and his wife Joni have been married for 11 years. They are the parents of Brooklynn, Mallory, Audrey and Taylor Siegrist.

Siegrist was a Turtle Creek Township Trustee for five years, before resigning from his position due to a change in his employment location. He has since moved to working with his previous employer and is excited about the possibility of serving the Turtle Creek community as a trustee once again. He is a mechanic and has worked in the field for over 20 years.

Douglas Ike, of Sidney, is a graduate of Houston High School. He and his wife, Tina, have two children and four grandchildren. Ike has served as a Turtle Creek Township Trustee since 2010 and is running for re-election. He is self-employed as a farmer and truck driver.

Michael Eilerman, of Sidney, is a graduate of Houston High School. He and his wife, Kim, are the parents of Jeanette and the late Albin Eilerman. He has previously served as a Turtle Creek Township Trustee and been a member of the Shelby County Regional Planning Committee, and is currently a member of the Shelby County Trustees and Clerks Association. He has owned and operated Father Hubbard’s Cupboard LLC at 128 W. Russell Road in Sidney for 17 years.

Why are you running for trustee?

Siegrist: I am running for the position of Turtle Creek Township Trustee to help serve the residents of Turtle Creek Township. I currently hold a Class A CDL which allows me to drive a snow plow to clear the roadways early in the morning, during the day, and in the evening.

Ike: I’ve had the privilege of serving with a great team of trustees and would like to continue my service to the township. We have projects at the Shelby Memory Garden cemetery and road projects that I would like to see through to completion. I enjoy learning more about our township and communicating with the residents, and hope that I can continue to be of service.

Eilerman: I enjoyed being a trustee and missed the contact with the residents of Turtle Creek. I have lived in the township all of my life and want the residents to feel comfortable coming to me. I want to see the monies we receive used effectively to maintain the roads and properties in the township. I am looking forward to working with the other trustees, as a team, in keeping the township running effectively.

Why do you feel you’re the best candidate to serve as a trustee?

Ike: During my years of serving as trustee, I have actively fulfilled the roles expected by our township members. I have plowed snow, mowed roads, taken an active part in burials at the cemeteries, and done my best to respond to the needs of the township. I have learned how to work with the various groups at the county level and serve as a link to represent our township with the county and state.

Eilerman: Being a lifelong resident of the township, I have been able to see the growth of the township as well as the wear and tear that takes place on our roads. Growing up with many of the residents, they should feel free calling me with their concerns. I have my Commercial Drivers License which allows me to operate the township trucks. Being self employed, I am able to mow side ditches, plow snow, and attend the monthly meetings as well as being flexible to meet with the residents of the township. I am proud of the township.

Siegrist: I feel that I am the best candidate to serve the residents of Turtle Creek Township due to the flexibility my full time job allows, I will be readily available to fulfill the duties of a Township Trustee. These duties include but are not limited to; plowing snow, mowing ditches, road repairs, and attending monthly meetings.

How can you improve communication with township residents?

Eilerman: Getting out and speaking with the residents is the best way to communicate. Since our business is close to the township, it is always open for residents to come in and talk or voice concerns. I can be reached at home or at Father Hubbard’s at any time. Residents need to know that they can feel comfortable coming to any of the trustees to bring their questions and concerns. I will work hard to open up the communication in the township. I would like to create a yearly newsletter updating the township on the funding brought in to the township.

Siegrist: To improve communication with township residents, I would invite anyone with questions, comments or concerns to contact me. I will be more than willing to answer any questions you might have. The residents of Turtle Creek Township are always welcome to come to our monthly meetings to see what is happening in the township.

Ike: I receive many calls and questions from township residents and always encourage them to attend our meetings to air their opinions and work with us for resolution to any issues. Our meetings are standardly set for the second Monday of every month at 7:30 p.m. at the township house on Hardin-Wapakoneta road. These meeting are open to all, so please join us if you are able.

What is the biggest challenge the township is facing?

Siegrist: The biggest challenge I feel in the township currently is the available funding for road repairs, cemetery maintenance and updating equipment needed to function and serve the township properly.

Ike: Our township, as well as many others, struggle with a lack of funds. For example, the costs to pave roads has increased over the years and currently sits at approximately $100,000 per every mile. We have 24 miles in our township. We implemented a cost savings initiative by using a less expensive, yet still effective, road sealant on our less traveled sections of road. It is our responsibility to choose wisely and invest our time and money into the areas needing it most. We are always looking for options to get more benefit from new processes and more effective technologies.

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 three trustees, working as a team, to decide how money is allocated and used most efficiently for the township is very important to improving the township.

How will you bring more funding to the township?

Ike: We submit for available grants from the State to help supplement the standard budget. We actively keep our costs low by doing much of the township work ourselves rather than subbing it out. For example, we have not hired outside help for mowing, or plowing snow for several years. We also rotate responsibility of assisting during funerals at both of our cemeteries. In this way, we avoid the extra costs of hiring this work out.

Eilerman: Funding is a key to helping a township sustain itself. You need funding to upkeep the roads, culverts and many other areas. Issue 2 funding, which is available every 3 years, can pay up to 33% of paving costs. Looking for grants and different funding opportunities are very important. Karen, the current Township Fiscal Officer, does a great job in learning of various opportunities for funding as well as the trustees. The trustees do a lot of the work themselves which also helps increase the available funding.

Siegrist: This is a complex question due to funding being allocated from the state. If elected township trustee I would help eliminate costs to the township by completing the duties of plowing snow and mowing side ditches personally, so that these jobs would not need to be hired to an outside source. I would help in road, ditch and culvert maintenance and repair to help eliminate extra costs. I would also look into applying for any grants that would be available to the township for road work, ditch maintenance, drainage projects, and any other miscellaneous grants that could be available.

Are there any comments you’d like to add?

Eilerman: Being a trustee is and always will be a position I do not take lightly. I will work hard to represent the township and its citizens by listening to their wants and concerns. Keeping our township looking great and feeling safe in Turtle Creek Township is very important. Your support on Nov. 2 will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Siegrist: If you’re looking for someone with roots in Turtle Creek Township and who is passionate about fulfilling the responsibilities of township trustee to the best of his ability, has the work ethic and family support that allows him to keep the role of township trustee a top priority, I hope you consider me when voting on Nov. 2.

Ike: I would like to say thank you to the folks in our township for all the support I’ve received over the years. Know that I will do my best to represent you and help with your needs. Please exercise your right to vote on Nov. 2!

Michael Eilerman Eilerman

Douglas Ike Ike

Jonathan Siegrist Siegrist

By Blythe Alspaugh

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