Orange Township trustee to step down


LEWIS CENTER — Ben Grumbles announced Monday he is resigning as Orange Township trustee, effective May 18.

“I want to thank all of you for affording me the opportunity to serve Orange Township,” Grumbles posted on his Facebook page. “It hasn’t been an easy road, nor did I expect it would be. Last fall, I accepted a new role in the defense industry with understanding it would eventually require me to relocate.”

Grumbles, of Lewis Center, was first elected trustee in 2019.

“I set out to accomplish a few things as a trustee, and I leave having done them,” Grumbles said in his post. “We’ve grown our commercial tax base, formed a Joint Economic Development District that will be finalized in May and provide funding for years to come, will be starting our Veterans Memorial this year, have a permanent community garden that brings folks together, our Fire Department is stronger than ever, and this board built an outstanding staff that serves as the benchmark for township government.”

Back in 2021, Grumbles was allowed to run for another trustee seat while he was already on the Orange Township Board of Trustees. The Delaware County Board of Elections twice ruled that he was ineligible since he was running for an office he already held. However, the Ohio Supreme Court unanimously ruled that he could do so, provided he give up the seat he held if elected to the new one, which is what happened. His current term began Jan. 1, 2022.

“Grumbles meets the statutory qualifications to run for Orange Township trustee, and there is no statutory provision that prohibits him from being a candidate for a different seat on the same board,” said the ruling, State ex rel. Grumbles v. Delaware Co. Bd. of Elections.

“The last 18 months we have seen no drama, no fighting, and instead improved outreach, an uptick in infrastructure improvements, holiday events, and our township parade will return this 4th of July,” Grumbles said in his post. “Change is never easy, and it requires perseverance to see through. I feel strongly the township team in place will continue to deliver best in class results. I will continue to serve as part of the defense sector, continue to volunteer with organizations I support, and am looking forward to the next phase of life.”

Once Grumbles departs, a new trustee will need to be appointed within 30 days. The other Orange Township trustees are Erica Fouss and Lisa Knapp.

“I hope that this fall you will support the leaders at the polls who contributed to the township’s successes — Erica Fouss for Orange Township Trustee and Lisa Kraft, Orange Township Fiscal Officer,” Grumbles said in his post. “Both are outstanding leaders and two of the hardest workers you will find. My departure will also mean there is a vacancy, and I hope that those with a heart to truly serve the people of Orange Township will consider applying.

“If I can ever help you, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to serve this township, and it has been a true honor,” Grumbles concluded.

Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.

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