In Trenton Township, one of the eastern-most townships in Delaware County, voters will determine who will be trustee, incumbent Mark Almendinger or challenger Kevin Kline.
The Gazette asked each candidate to tell voters about themselves and why they want to serve. Their responses are given in alphabetical order.
Mark Almendinger: The trustee has lived in Sunbury for 33 years; been married to his wife, Lori (a teacher), for 39 years; and raised two sons, Luke (Marine officer and attorney) and Jason (cinematographer). He is a graduate of Capital University; retired from the U.S. Army Reserve as a detachment commander and helicopter/airplane pilot; was a member of the BST&G Fire District for more than 20 years; and is working in the information technology field for more than 30 years, “with experiences from performing technical functions to managing a team of 70 people and a $15 million budget.”
Almendinger writes, “The reason I am seeking the office of township trustee is because I feel my professional experience in management, leadership, and budgeting provide a unique and diverse skill set that I can use to serve this community in the best way possible. I chose to raise my family in Sunbury, and I have been a resident since 1986. I have a very strong desire to serve this community to the best of my abilities. I believe that with my background in IT, management, and as a military officer, I bring a unique perspective and skill set that can help Trenton Township now and into the future as we continue to experience growth in our community.
“The most critical issues I see facing our township are adapting to its future growth, zoning, and ensuring road maintenance is the best it can be. I am a forward-thinking individual, and I am always thinking of the most effective and fiscally-responsible ways to address problems. I recently was able to obtain a federal grant of $148,000 to improve road maintenance in the township, and I plan to continue this effort. Furthermore, I plan to continue working to make sure proper zoning is in place, and adhered to, so the growth that is coming to Trenton Township is handled the way our residents expect it to be while also keeping the community feel that we all have grown to love about living in Trenton Township.”
Kevin Kline: The challenger responded in the form of a letter.
“Hi, my name is Kevin Kline and I am running for Trenton Township trustee to offer voters a choice in the upcoming election. My wife, Emmy, and I have been proud residents of the Sunbury community for 16 years, the last nine being in Trenton Township.
“I’ve always felt a strong call to serve my community as shown through my commitment as a firefighter in the city of Westerville, a past deputy chief and acting fire chief for BST&G Fire District, and a sitting member of the Trenton Township Zoning Board.
“As active members in the community, our family participates in numerous activities and serves on several committees. We are proud supporters of Big Walnut Local Schools, where our two children are middle school students. As part of our family’s commitment to find unique ways to give back to the community, we developed the successful Eagle Dash event, which is a family-friendly mud obstacle course that’s held annually in partnership with the Big Walnut Civic Association. We are also actively involved in Delaware County 4-H and local youth sports. The relationships we have developed through our service to the community have shown me the pride people feel in being residents of Trenton Township.
“My opponent has been a trustee since first being elected in 1995 and has run unopposed since then. Our country was founded by giving the people the choice to represent them. For the past 20-plus years, we as Trenton Township residents have not had that choice. It has been the same one name on the ballot with no other option.
“Trenton Township has grown and our community is ready for change, while staying true to our roots. It has been my honor to have served you as a firefighter, deputy fire chief and as your acting fire chief. Now, let me serve you as a Trenton Township trustee. I would appreciate your support on Nov. 5 to help move Trenton Township forward.”
Also on the ballot in Trenton, incumbent Fiscal Officer Cynthia Faye Walton is running unopposed for a full term beginning April 1, 2020.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.