JACKSON CENTER — Four candidates are running for trustee for Jackson Township in the Nov. 2 election.
John Mann, of Jackson Center, is a graduate of Jackson Center High School and works as a farmer and owns Mann Construction. He and his wife, Lori, have been married for 43 years and have four children and 12 grandchildren.
Mann has served as a Jackson Township Trustee for 20 years. He has also served on the executive committee for the Shelby County Township Association and served on the Farmers Home Administration Board.
Robert Zorn, of Jackson Center, is a 1979 Jackson Center High School graduate and operates his family farming operation. He has also worked at EMI Corporation for 36 years. He and his wife, Shelly, have two daughters, Shannon and Meghan. They have five grandchildren.
Zorn has been a Jackson Township Trustee for 20 years.
Gary Metz, of Maplewood, is a high school graduate. He lives with his wife, Wanda Wildermuth, and is step-father to Jared Wildermuth. He has a grandson, Colin Wildermuth. He is the owner of Metz Construction.
Metz has served on the school board for nine years and has been a Jackson Township Trustee for four years.
Also running for trustee is Andrew Weaver. The Sidney Daily News reached out to Weaver with a questionnaire and received no response as of press time.
Why are you running for trustee?
Mann: Because I enjoy serving my community. How the township is ran effects all residents, including the residents living inside the village.
Zorn: I am running for trustee because I have a genuine desire to give back, and to care for the area I have called home my entire life. I think everyone has a duty to help their community in any way they can, and I feel one of my strengths is, as a trustee, helping care for our roads and bridges.
Metz: I enjoy serving the community and township. I feel that by owning a business, I have learned how to communicate and work with local officials to get issues taken care of.
Why do you feel you’re the best candidate to serve as a trustee?
Zorn: I feel I am rightly qualified to serve the residents of Jackson Township with 20 years of experience as trustee, and with my children and grandchildren currently residing in Jackson Township, I truly have a vested interest in preserving and bettering our township.
Metz: I am a person that, when there is a job to do, I will be there to see it through.
Mann: Because the township needs my experienceand knowledgein this position.
How can you improve communication with township residents?
Metz: By letting yourself be available for people to talk to and ask questions.
Mann: I am easily accessible and reliable via text, cell phone, email and land-line. Residents do contact me for advise on township matters. Residents may feel free to contact me with any concerns or questions. And feel confident that I will respond, research, etc. to get them an answer.
Zorn: I think the key to effective communication is being as open and transparent as possible with township residents. Likewise, being readily accessible in listening and addressing any concerns.
What is the biggest challenge the township is facing?
Mann: Funding and how it is being spent. Keeping roads maintained. Snow removal in a timely manner.
Zorn: Funding; road work projects have gone up each year, so we are trying to get grants to help with additional expenses.
Metz: Like all townships, it’s funding from the state. We as trustees have to do the best we can with what we have.
How will you bring more funding to the township?
Zorn: Our funding comes from taxes and through the state, and we are working on different grand funding opportunities that have come available through the state for road projects, bridges, guard rails, etc.
Metz: Keeping up with new legislation, and apply for available grants.
Mann: When the state reduced local funding, we are now able to apply for grants.
Are there any comments you’d like to add?
Metz: This past year has been a tough and trying time, we lost a great trustee in Larry Sprague, but we also have a new trustee in Andy Weaver. Robert Zorn is another trustee and I really enjoy working with both of them. I also feel that being a trustee, you need to be able to work with village, county and state officials. I would appreciate your vote on Nov. 2.
Mann: As a trustee I would attend our montly meetings, also the county meetings. I would attend the yearly state conference convention, which are all very helpful in being a good and knowledgeable trustee. How the township is ran effects all residents, which includes residents that live inside the village.
Zorn: I would appreciate your vote on Nov. 2.
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