Two vying for Berkshire trustee


GALENA — Residents in Berkshire Township’s nine precincts will vote on a contested race in the 2023 November election for trustee: incumbent Paul Disantis vs. Austin Slattery.

The winning candidate would work with current Chairman Mike Dattilo and Trustee Rod Myers.

“Berkshire Township’s Administration is comprised of three trustees and a fiscal officer,” said the Berkshire website. “Trustee meetings are the second Monday of each month. All meetings start at 7 p.m. and are held at the Berkshire Township Hall. Trustee meetings are open to the public and residents are welcome and encouraged to attend.”

The township hall is at 1454 Rome Corners Road, Galena.

The Gazette mailed a questionnaire to both candidates and heard back from Slattery. Here is some brief information on the candidates, in alphabetical order.

Paul Disantis

“Paul is a newly appointed Berkshire Township Trustee (Feb 2022),” said the township website. “His current term expires December 31, 2023. Paul previously served as the Chairman of Berkshire Township Zoning Board.”

A post on the Facebook group What’s Happening in Galena, OH on Sept. 27 reads as follows:

“This post is specifically for anyone who will be voting in Berkshire Township this election. Please keep Trustee Paul Disantis in office. Paul is a resident who has done much to serve our community. He was appointed above seven other applicants by a judge in Feb 2022 when a trustee seat became vacant. A judge had to get involved because the two existing trustees could not agree on a candidate. Paul served as the head of the Zoning Board for several years, is a lawyer and the judge appointed him saying “he based his decision on ‘which candidate’s skills best met the short-term needs of the township.’ He said he opted to appoint Disantis based on his legal skills and zoning experience.

“Paul Disantis is a real asset to the Berkshire Township Board of Trustees,” the post continued. “In my opinion, he is the most qualified candidate running, and one whose voice and expertise are needed now more than ever. Please vote for Paul Disantis on November 7th.”

Austin Slattery

Slattery told The Gazette he is running “for the opportunity to help shepherd the township through this busy growth cycle and represent the people’s needs and wants for this community.”

He is currently one of the six members of Berkshire Township Zoning Commission, in his fourth year. He is a sales director for a Columbus company. He has run previously for trustee in 2021 and also responded to The Gazette’s survey at that time.

Slattery lists his qualifications as a “previously elected official, zoning experience and current zoning committee member in the township, proven business leader.”

Growth and annexation are Slattery’s primary concerns.

“Growth needs to have the zoning amended to properly address the controls needed,” he said. “That is led by the comprehensive master plan adjustments. Annexation needs collaboration and partnerships with the adjacent entities and the landowners. Provide what they need in a manner that does not compromise our zoning and force them elsewhere.”

For more information, visit the Citizens for Austin Slattery Facebook page or email him at [email protected].

Also on the ballot, Melody George is running unopposed as fiscal officer, a post she has served in since Jan. 1, 2008. The next full four-year term will start April 1, 2024.

For more information, visit

There are also two local liquor options on the ballot in precinct three for Cracker Barrel, “who is engaged in the business of operating a family-oriented country restaurant at 60 Fourwinds Dr. Berkshire Twp., Sunbury, OH 43074,” the language reads. They would be for the sale of beer, wine and mixed beverages and spirituous liquor.

Assistant Editor Gary Budzak covers the eastern half of Delaware County and surrounding areas. He may be reached at [email protected].

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