Two seats on the Genoa Township Board of Trustees will be up for election in November, and one township resident has announced she is entering her name into the race.
Annette McMurry, who has lived in the township since 1985, currently serves as the associate director of human resources for a local non-profit that serves the needs of intellectually and developmentally disabled individuals throughout Ohio. McMurry said she also has 15 years of experience in higher education administration in public and private education arenas.
McMurry earned a law degree from the University of Illinois Chicago’s John Marshall Law School.
A self-described “vocal advocate,” McMurry said she views the role of a trustee primarily as an opportunity to give back to the community by bringing people’s voices back to the table. She added that her background in human resources makes her well-suited to do just that.
“One critical component that is missing within our township’s administrative functions is solid, strategic, and fully integrated human resources function across all our township departments,” McMurry said in a press release announcing her candidacy. “My background and expertise in HR will allow us to expand on and support what we are currently doing and drive us towards a bright future.”
McMurry said her background in both law and human resources, as well as her commitment to the community has led to her striving to bring organization, transparency, and accountability to the administrative functions of Genoa Township. A regular attendee at trustee and zoning meetings, she is dialed into the happenings around the township. As part of the Genoa Township Residents for Responsible Development (GTRRD) grassroots group, she played an active part active in bringing the 2018 zoning referendum to the ballot.
“I joined GTRRD because I believe as a citizen of our township, of this community, that I deserve for my voice to be heard, for all of our voices to be heard,” McMurry said. “That was not happening, and a small group of like-minded people came together to ensure that our voices were not silenced.”
According to McMurry, it was through the referendum process that she got the “bug” to run for trustee. Inspired by seeing the true power of a unified community that stands up for what they believe in, McMurry said she knew the only way to make a change was to take an active role in township leadership.
“I knew, after the referendum, that I wanted to be a bigger part of our community, to ensure that we are never bullied again,” she said. “As a trustee, I will provide avenues for those voices to be heard through open forums, coffee talks, and more robust communication avenues.”
Like many communities around Delaware County, McMurry feels this current time in the township’s history is important in defining what it will look like moving forward.
“I continually hear people say they moved to Genoa because of the rural character of the area,” she said. “They like that feeling, and they don’t want to lose it.”
According to McMurry, preserving the sense of community through well-planned development will positively impact Genoa Township as the township moves towards the future and the projected full build-out in 2030. Additionally, McMurry feels that without feedback from the community, a strategic plan for the future, and transparency, Genoa Township could find itself a bedroom community of Columbus, and not the quant township of today.
“We must work with our neighboring communities to ensure that the growth that we all know is coming is done in a thoughtful, deliberate manner,” McMurry said. “This is critical to prevent negative impact on our schools, our infrastructure (fire, EMS, roads, police), and our taxpayers.
“The last thing I want to see happen is overcrowded schools, taxes we cannot afford, and an infrastructure that is overworked. We must work with our neighbors to protect the future of Southeastern Delaware County. We must stand together to safeguard our schools, the teachers, and the students. We have a responsibility to protect our longtime citizens so that they are not taxed out of the area.”
McMurry went on to say, “I always knew when it came time to buy a home and settle, I wanted to be back in the area I grew up in,” McMurry said. “I wanted my kids to attend Big Walnut Schools. I wanted to buy a home where I was not on top of my neighbors, and I did not want to be surrounded by apartments or commercial development—I wanted space! Genoa Township allowed me to check all of those boxes. Genoa is my community. It is a community I love and want to represent.”
McMurry said she is looking forward to a productive and energetic campaign season, adding, “It will be great to be out and about in the community this fall. I look forward to seeing familiar faces and meeting the residents of Genoa Township.”
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.