Brown Township voters will decide on Nov. 5 between incumbent Peggy Link or her challenger, Heather Barrett, for township fiscal officer.
Link said she has served as the township’s fiscal officer since 2011. She is a Kilbourne native and graduate of Buckeye Valley High School. Moving back to the area in 1997, she and her husband, Byron, decided that the township was where they wanted to call home and raise a family.
“I have been married for 34 years to my husband, and we’ve raised two sons here,” she said.
Link has been employed by The Ohio State University for 26 years. Currently, she is a senior human resource professional for the College of Arts and Sciences, which employs 5,500 people. In other roles as a department manager, Links said she has gained experience in working with public records, records retention, and public funds management; human resource strategy and issues; and managing gift funds, general funds, and research grant funds totaling approximately $10 million.
“I ran for office in 2011 because I thought I could use the skills I had developed at the university to do a good job for the township,” Link said. “I really enjoy meeting the residents of the township.”
Link said she believes the most critical issue facing the township is communication between township officials and residents. She said the township needs to know the concerns of the residents, and there needs to be a better way to communicate it.
“The township needs to leverage the Internet and social media more than we currently do,” she said. “I will continue to push the trustees to publish items on the website as well as continuing to suggest a Facebook page for the township.”
Barrett said she has been a Brown Township resident “on and off for the past 30 years.” She is a 1996 graduate of Buckeye Valley High School and is “currently a stay-at-home mom” with the time and flexibility to serve the township.
Barrett said after high school she began her career in banking with the Delaware County Bank and Trust Company as a teller, but she was quickly moved to the management training program.
“I then worked for Chase for over 14 years as a manager and loan processor in their mortgage department,” she said. “I now have a vast knowledge of profit and loss statements, tax returns, income, residential, commercial, personal loans, credit cards, and depository accounts.”
As a mentor and coach of other employees, Barrett said she helped many of them advance in their careers while receiving many top performer honors. In addition to her banking experience, she and her husband own and operate a business.
“My husband and I are co-owners of Greenside Up Trenching, where I am the accountant, secretary, payroll, bookkeeper, and I help to schedule weekly jobs,” she said. “I ensure that our book work and accounting is accurate for tax purposes and help to balance our finances throughout the year.”
Barrett added she volunteers as the Buckeye Valley Optimist cheerleading head coach.
“I mentor and encourage our youth at the schools my daughters attend,” she said. “We attend Genoa Baptist Church, where I am active in the MomLife Group.”
Barrett said she is running to be a fiscal officer because she has a vested interest in the township.
“I have grown up and lived here for over 30 years. I feel that someone with my financial, accounting, mentoring and leadership experience would benefit the township in moving forward in technology and other changes needed with the (coming) growth,” she said. “I would be honored to serve my community in that greater capacity.”
Barrett feels the most critical issue facing the township is preparing for the growth.
“With Delaware County being the fastest growing county in Ohio and also one of the fastest-growing in the United States — as of April 2019 — we need to continue to be prepared,” she said. “We need a comprehensive plan moving forward to handle the expected growth.”
Barrett said she will push to have the Comprehensive Plan updated at least every 10 years.
Contact D. Anthony Botkin at 740-413-0902. Follow him on Twitter @dabotkin.