Brown Township Trustee Steve Cole will defend his seat against newcomers Michael Jones and Connie Skinner in the November 5 General Election.
• Cole said he is a 57-year resident of the township who graduated Buckeye Valley High School and is a Veteran of the United States Army.
Cole said his community service not only includes serving as a trustee, but also serving on the Zoning Commission for 10 years. He said he was one of the people who helped develop the Comprehensive Plan.
“I would like to continue to work with our township residents and trustees gathering ideas and getting input,” he said. “And continue to get the residents to attend the board meeting.”
Prompted simply, “I enjoy serving the residents of the township and our community,” Cole decided to run for trustee.
“I would like to give back to a community that cares about providing a safe caring environment for me, my friends and neighbors to live in,” he said. “I enjoy helping the township residents and addressing the daily issues and problems facing the township.”
The most critical issue facing the township according to Cole said is the development south of the township moving north.
“Since sewer is being installed north of state Route 36/37, it is likely that we’ll continue to see development move towards our township,” he said. “My plan for addressing this issue is to continue to focus on the Comprehensive Plan and alignment with the Zoning Code. It will help preserve what is important to the township and its residents.”
Cole said it will be crucial to decide the type of housing and industrial developments that occur within the township boundaries.
“This is why it is very important for residents of the township to attend the trustee meetings and to have a trustee who is working to encourage input,” he said. “Please vote on November 5 for me.”
• Jones said he has served on the Brown Township Zoning Board, two terms as chairman, and served for several years on the Board of Zoning Appeals.
“I believe it is important for citizens to be actively engaged in the public sphere and to contribute to the good of the community,” he said.
Jones named growth as the most important issue facing the township today.
“In my view, the most critical issue is the pressure of growth,” he said. “Delaware County as a whole is one of the most rapidly-growing counties in the nation, and Brown Township is not immune to the challenges that this presents.”
Jones the best way to curtail the problem is through a balanced approach.
“It is neither possible nor desirable to prevent growth, but that growth needs to be managed carefully and with an understanding of the impact to the township as a whole,” he said. “Two areas are of particular concern to me are maintaining the rural nature of the township, and being attentive to the desires of the residents.”
• Skinner said though she has only lived in the township for 18 years — her family has a 100-year history of living there. She said she grew up in York Township of Union County, where her father retired as the township’s caretaker after 40 years.
“I grew up in a township home, watching and learning all the daily tasks,” she said. Now, “I’m a farmer’s wife, a mother of two teenagers that attend Buckeye Valley High School and a registered nurse.”
Skinner said she has served in the Delaware County community by volunteering for the many different boards and committees such as the United Way Allocations Committee and The Delaware County Farm Bureau Board.
“In the past, I served on the Red Cross and the Arts Castle Board and I am also on the Agricultural Advisory Committee for the Buckeye Valley FFA (Future Farmers of America), as well as a 4-H advisor,” she said. “I enjoy helping the youth with their projects and education.”
Deciding that it’s time to give back to my community, Skinner said she decided to run for trustee because she “is proud to be living in Brown Township and call it my home.” If elected, “I’m looking forward to working with the current trustees and residents to help keep our community a great place to live,” she said.
Currently, Skinner believes the two largest issues facing the township are “development and restoring the (village) of Kilbourne.” She said that she would like to see it thrive again with businesses and people.
“There is so much history here and it’s close to Alum Creek,” she said. “I plan on working with our residents and current officials, making sure tax dollars are spent wisely and that the restoration and development are done in a proper manner.”
Contact D. Anthony Botkin at 740-413-0902. Follow him on Twitter @dabotkin.