Three people are seeking two seats on the Bethel Twp. board of trustees, including two incumbents.
Bethel Twp. is the largest township in Clark County, with more than 18,000 residents, according to Census data. Voters will go to the polls to elect their township trustees on Nov. 7.
The Springfield News-Sun asked candidates for competitive races to fill out the Online Voter’s Guide. These are the response for the Bethel Twp. trustee candidates.
Bethel Twp. Trustee
Experience: I am completing my fourth term as trustee, having served for 16 years. During this time I attended annual State Township Association training, as well as ethics classes and training by the state auditor’s office. I am currently a member of the Clark County Transportation Coordinating Committee, Clark County Local Emergency Planning Committee and 9-1-1 Planning Committee. I am vice-president of the Clark County Township Association and vice-chairwoman of the Bethel Twp. Board of Trustees.
Education: University of Akron, B.A.; Ohio Township Association Leadership Academy; FEMA Emergency Management certifications; Texas Engineering Extension Service Mayoral Institute for All-Hazards Preparedness.
Don Mint on
Experience: Elected trustee for four years
Education: Graduated Tecumseh High School
Didn’t respond to Springfield News-Sun Voter’s Guide request.
What are the biggest problems facing the community? What do you propose doing to tackle these challenges?
Brown: The biggest problem facing Bethel Twp. is lack of funding. We are very frugal with our resources, but the combination of years of inflation, multiple cuts by the state and severe cuts from Medicaid for reimbursement of EMS runs makes it difficult to keep up with basic services. We are addressing the problem of paying for fire personnel head-on, and have placed a 2-mill levy on the ballot this November to try and provide additional revenue. We are one of the last townships in the area to still rely on paid-per-call volunteers at night, and are struggling to keep our stations fully staffed for that shift. We must begin compensating them for their time but need additional money in order to do so. I expect to continue with cuts in other departments, such as repairing roads instead of repaving them and getting by with a reduced work force.
Minton: The heroin problem, as all other communities face every day also. I started and will continue to support police blitzes in our township to rid drugs from our community and make it safer for our children.
What makes you qualified for this job? What experience do you have to make good and informed decisions?
Brown: I have been serving as a trustee in Bethel Twp. for 16 years, where I have followed a fiscally conservative agenda. During this time I have attended statewide training classes at least once per year and developed strong working relationships with county and state departments and elected officials. I have extensive knowledge about township government, work well with my fellow trustees, and know where to seek advice and find help when needed.
Minton: I have been a Bethel Twp. trustee for four years and believe I have worked hard to keep our residents safe and given value for their tax dollars.
What can you do if elected to help grow the local economy and add jobs? What ideas do you have for attracting new jobs and investment?
Brown: Bethel Twp. does not have its own zoning, so development is handled primarily at the county level. Bethel Twp. is mostly bedroom communities and rural farmland, and many of its residents would like to see it remain that way. Its prime location for development is the Ohio 235 corridor between I-70 and U.S. 40.
Minton: I will work with county officials to attract new business to our area and take a responsible approach to development.
What would you do if elected to make life better for residents?
Brown: I will do everything possible to increase retention of fire and EMS personnel so we can maintain robust 24-hour coverage. I will continue to provide services in a fiscally responsible manner and be responsive to residents’ concerns, while otherwise keeping government out of residents’ lives as much as possible. I will also continue providing free monthly classes on emergency preparedness to assist interested residents with plans for individual responsibility and community support during emergency situations.
Minton: Continue to be proactive for the residents, listen to their concerns and continue to make our township safe for all residents.
What is your top priority if elected?
Brown: My top priority is to listen to my constituents and represent their voices in a responsible manner.
Minton: To make sure and maintain the best level of EMS/Fire and sheriff’s services and response time to our township residents.
What other information do you want voters to have about you?
Brown: I am a college educated, fiscally conservative grandmother who enjoys her job and wants to leave a financially sound township to those who come after me. I believe the road to happiness lies through personal responsibility, and encourage others to enjoy this day while preparing for the future.
Minton: I have saved the taxpayers up to $50,000 when I had a tree logger come in to remove diseased ash trees at Raynor Park at no cost to the residents and had new trees donated and planted back in the park. I also implemented township utility aggregation, offering every household in the township an opportunity to join and save on their utility bills.