Trio running for 2 seats in Trenton Twp.

By Gary Budzak - [email protected]

SUNBURY — Three candidates are running for two trustee seats in Trenton Township: Incumbents Richard Fisher and Kevin Justice, and challenger Kevin Kline.

The Gazette asked the candidates why they are running, what is the top issue facing the township and how they intend to handle it, and whether they support local COVID-19 guidelines. Here are their responses, in alphabetical order.

Richard Fisher: The Gazette talked to Fisher as he was harvesting his crops for the season. Fisher said his family has been in Trenton Township since 1882. He said he’s been a trustee since 1991-92, and this is only the second time he’s had an opponent. He noted that the township has gone more than 20 years with the same trustees.

A former fireman, Fisher said he loves the rural nature of Trenton, and he loves being a trustee. He said development from New Albany was a concern, but he would “play by the rules” of the township’s zoning. Maintaining roads is also a priority, and he said work was recently done on Hartford Road and state Route 605.

Among his accomplishments as a trustee, Fisher pointed to the installation of a traffic light and turn lanes at SR 605 and state Route 3. Previously a high-accident intersection, Fisher said it took four years of lobbying to get the safety improvements. Another positive was giving residents lower trash rates. He said he and fellow trustees Mark Almendinger and Justice are “being as frugal with the money as we can.”

Kevin Justice: The Gazette talked to Justice while he was working. “My family is part of the community dating back to the 1830s,” he said. “I own a trucking business and farm. I’ve served several terms starting in 1994, and I feel obligated to look after things. That’s my home.”

Justice said the growth coming in from Columbus and New Albany is of major concern and that “we have to look after the development. We’ll oversee the zoning board.”

As a trustee, Justice said they receive regular updates from the Delaware Public Health District regarding the coronavirus pandemic, but it hasn’t had much impact on the township to date.

Kevin Kline: “I am running for Trenton Township Trustee to provide voters with a choice in the upcoming election,” Kline said via email. “My wife Emmy and I have been proud residents of the Sunbury area for the last 18 years, the last 11 being in Trenton Township. I feel a strong call to serve as evidenced through my commitment as a firefighter in the City of Westerville, as a past Deputy and Acting Chief for BST&G Fire District and as a sitting member of the Trenton Township Zoning Board.

“Our family is actively involved in the community participating in countless activities and serving on a wide variety of committees. We are proud supporters of Big Walnut schools, where our two children attend. In striving to find diverse ways to give back to our community, we developed the highly successful Eagle Dash mud and obstacle course to provide a family-friendly activity in conjunction with the Big Walnut Civic Association. We are also actively involved in 4-H and local youth sports. The relationships we have developed through our service to our community have shown me the pride people feel in being residents of Trenton Township.

“My opponents have been trustees since the early 1990s. I ran for trustee two years ago and only lost by 64 votes to the incumbent of 25 years. Trenton Township has grown and our community is ready for new leadership and fresh ideas.

“As to COVID-19, I understand the urgency at the beginning of the pandemic. Keeping people at home and distant, not knowing anything about this new virus. As the CDC and health departments got new data and answers to so many questions, things needed to be eased up. As the vaccine came out and has been out for several months, there is no need for mandates. The unvaccinated know the risks and are able to make their own decision about how they are going to live their lives. This is the greatest country on Earth, and it’s because of our freedom.

“It has been my honor to serve, and I would appreciate your support Nov. 2 to help move Trenton Township forward.”

By Gary Budzak

[email protected]

Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.

Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.