Harlem Township holds Candidates Night


By Gary Budzak - [email protected]



Campaign signs for political candidates and local issues were left in front of the Harlem Township Community Room in case anyone wanted to display them in their yards. A Candidates Night forum was held at the township hall on Tuesday night.


Gary Budzak | The Gazette

GALENA — The Harlem Township Civic Association presented a Candidates Night on Tuesday, filling the community room behind the firehouse with interested voters.

Heather Swiger, Democratic candidate for state senator in District 19 (Coshocton, Delaware, Holmes and Knox counties), spoke first. She admitted to being a political novice, but said she was “not new to the service world,” running a nonprofit organization. The Westerville resident said the safety of children in public schools and curbing health care costs are among her priorities. Swiger’s Republican opponent, Andrew Brenner, did not attend.

Next was Louise Valentine, Democratic candidate for state representative in District 61 (southeastern Delaware County and western Knox County).

“I want Ohioans to feel like they’re in a place where they can be successful and not have to move out of state,” Valentine said. “Your state representative should have your best interests in mind.”

She also spoke about school funding and political redistricting. Valentine’s Republican opponent, Beth Lear, did not attend.

Delaware County Commissioner Barb Lewis said she attended Harlem Grade School. In her eighth year as commissioner, Lewis discussed county and township EMS services. She also asked voters to vote yes on the two statewide issues. Lewis’ Democratic opponent, Tiffany Bukoffsky, did not attend.

George Kaitsa (R) said he’s in his 14th year as auditor, and touted Delaware County’s credit rating. His opponent, Vera Thornhill (D), said she’s concerned about “people are being priced out of their homes.”

SourcePoint CEO Fara Waugh talked about the nonprofit organization’s tax levy for senior citizen services and facilities. Waugh said with foreseeable growth in population in Delaware County, there will be need to renew the 1.3-mill and increase of 0.1-mill levy for the next five years.

The final speakers discussed issues impacting Harlem Township. Acting Fire Chief Keith Unterbrink spoke about a 4-mill replacement levy. Trustee Bob Singer, who moderated the event, said Harlem Township residents have never turned down a fire levy.

Resident Michael Fitak asked voters to approve a zoning amendment that had already been approved by the township trustees. Fitak said he wanted to split his five-acre lot so his daughter could have a home next door to him and his wife.

Lastly, there were speakers who asked voters to support local liquor options in different township precincts.

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Campaign signs for political candidates and local issues were left in front of the Harlem Township Community Room in case anyone wanted to display them in their yards. A Candidates Night forum was held at the township hall on Tuesday night.
https://www.delgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2022/10/web1_DSCF9221.jpgCampaign signs for political candidates and local issues were left in front of the Harlem Township Community Room in case anyone wanted to display them in their yards. A Candidates Night forum was held at the township hall on Tuesday night. Gary Budzak | The Gazette

By Gary Budzak

[email protected]