SUNBURY — Three candidates are running for two seats on the Kingston Township Board of Trustees: Jim Fedako, Matthew Roy and incumbent William Shively.
The Gazette asked the candidates why they are running, what are the top issues facing the township and how they intend to handle them, and whether they support local COVID-19 guidelines. Here are their responses, in alphabetical order:
Jim Fedako: “I am running because I am the candidate best qualified to address issues facing the township. I bring years of public service, including being elected to two terms on the Olentangy school board. I have extensive knowledge and experience with regard to the impact of growth on public services. I have an Ohio Financial Accountability Certificate from the Ohio Auditor of State.
“(The most pressing issues are) growth and financial accountability. The township has not had a clean audit in years, with audit issues including misappropriation of public funds. I will fix township finances. As far as growth, as I stated previously, since I was a member of the Olentangy school board, I have extensive knowledge and experience with regard to the impact of growth on public services.
“It’s time for this country to move beyond the unprecedented government overreach to address COVID-19. COVID-19, and its myriad of variants (both current and future), will be with us forever, just like all coronaviruses in existence. We need to embrace the FDR moto, “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
Matthew Roy: “As a lifelong resident of Kingston Township, graduate of Big Walnut High School and public servant to the Delaware County community, I have witnessed the township grow drastically in the last 35 years. The reason that I have chose to run for the Township Trustee position is to keep the rural and agricultural life of Kingston Township alive and thriving, improve the roadways and township facilities as well (parks, township hall) and to continue to make Kingston Township a place where someone wants to raise a family and call home.
“Growing up in this township and now raising a family of my own in the community, I believe I have the township residents’ best interests in mind. I will continue to strive to make this township a place where others will also want to call it home.
“I would like to thank Steve Volpe the outgoing township trustee for his 12 years of dedication and hard work to the township. Steve has continued to support me in my endeavors to become township trustee and has graciously endorsed me for the township trustee position. I would like to thank all of the township residents for their support and encourage everyone to get out and vote on November 2nd.”
William Shively: “It has been an honor and privilege to server the residents of Kingston Township for the past 28 years. The township is in the process of building a new Township Hall. This is going to be a very nice, modern facility that the residents can use for many events, meetings and special occasions. The new hall was built with no tax increase to the residents. Once the new hall is up and in full use, the next project is the new park pavilion that is going to be built by Nationwide Realty. I enjoy working for the residents. The trustees have many projects that are planned for next year. It is my goal to continue working for and representing the residents of Kingston Township.
“My concerns are how to keep cost for routine maintenance of the township roads and property affordable. Energy costs have doubled this past year. The materials we use to pave a road have increased with energy. The trustees will apply for state grant money to help ease the cost of road maintenance.
“Delaware County is the healthiest county in the state. It also has the highest vaccination rate for COVID-19. The award-winning Delaware Public Health District has a lot to do with this. I believe in their recommendations for not just the pandemic but all other health related issues that face Delaware County. The trustees refer inquiries to the health department for guidance and information to help with concerns residents may have.”
As mentioned, current Trustee Steve Volpe is not running for reelection. He explained why in the township newsletter:
“Friends and Neighbors, you may notice that my name is not on the ballot in November’s election. I would like to thank you for your overwhelming support during my 12 years as your trustee. It has been a great honor to serve you. However, due to a health issue, I have been advised by my physician, to retire at the end of this term. I am proud of all we have accomplished in my tenure.
“I will miss working with all of the truly great people serving you in our township. Top-to-bottom, we have a great team here in Kingston Township. Your dedicated elected officials have not always agreed with each other, but we always knew that each of us was trying to do what we felt best for Kingston Township. Personal interest or egos never interfered in any of our debates.
“I spent many years as President of the Delaware County Township Association, and I can tell you this seems to be rare in a township government. We are truly blessed to live in such a wonderful community. Once again, thank you from the bottom of my heart!”
Editor’s note: Roy’s headshot was not made available to The Gazette by press time.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.