Incumbent Bill Holtry is running for re-election as a Berkshire Township trustee against Josh Varble. The term will begin Jan. 1, 2020.
The Gazette asked each candidate to provide information about themselves, and their responses are provided in alphabetical order.
Bill Holtry: A 26-year resident of Berkshire Township, Holtry is completing a fifth term as trustee. A graduate of Shippensburg State University, where he earned a degree in business education, accounting and marketing, Holtry is a graduate advisor for Devry University. He has worked at the university for 32 years. Holtry is married with four children and six grandchildren.
“I have managed township projects for residential and commercial development to prepare for the significant growth expected (projected 20-year growth of 73% by 2020). Zoning and funding opportunities are now in place to control residential taxes. Responsible zoning and growth can manage our future. The township is now organized for responsible growth and development of parks and trails, creating a community identify for Berkshire Township residents.
“The most critical issue is annexation due to developers’ desire for increased density. I want to educate the township residents on their options to stop the annexation and loss of township identity. Being properly informed, the residents can vote on the future of the township and learn how they can control the future. Having spent several terms setting this up, it’s now time to present this to the residents for the most important decision the township has ever made. I want to spearhead this so Berkshire Township has a real choice. Time is of the essence on this topic.”
For more information, visit: https://www.facebook.com/BillHoltry.
Josh Varble: Born and raised in Worthington, where he is a graduate of Thomas Worthington High School, Varble, 34, holds a B.A. from Muskingum College. He is currently the director of security for a central Ohio organization, and he works part-time as a police officer in a local community. His wife, Casey, works as a registered nurse. They have a young daughter who currently attends school at Big Walnut.
“I want to ensure that what residents love about Berkshire Township remains well into the future. I see a need for a more responsive local government; one that listens to its citizens, addresses their concerns, and works for them. I’ve also noticed a lack of collaboration and communication between the township and the villages of Galena and Sunbury that seems counter-productive for the entire community.
“The township is at a crossroads, and how we move forward is critical for our success. Development of the area is pressing, and we must find a way to balance progress while still maintaining our residents’ quality of life.
“I would like us to regain control over what and how development occurs. This would include reviewing our zoning code and creating resident committees. What comes our way must not be detrimental to the community. We have fantastic tax rates, services and schools. We have low crime, nice homes and neighborhoods, and beautiful scenery. These are items that are in jeopardy if we fail to reign in the scope and speed of projects being presented.”
For more information, visit: https://www.facebook.com/joshforberkshire/.
Also in Berkshire Township, Melody L. George is running unopposed as fiscal officer for a full term commencing April 1, 2020.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.