Candidate for Mad River Twp. trustee wants change for community

The challenger running for trustee in Mad River Twp. says he wants to bring change to the community.

Todd Pettit, an entrepreneur and lifelong resident, said he believes there needs to be fresh eyes on community issues.

“The number one thing I am running on is it’s time for a change,” Pettit told the Springfield News-Sun. “It’s been stagnant. Everyone is complaining. The first step is change. I’m not going to be the cure-all, but I’m the step in the right direction.”

He is taking on long-time incumbent Kathy Estep in an attempt to capture her trustee seat. The race will be decided by voters on Nov. 5.

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Pettit listed the community’s lack of faith in the Mad River Twp. Fire and EMS Department as a top issue facing the community.

In recent months the Mad River Twp. Fire and EMS station has come under intense scrutiny after it was discovered by this news organization that a former fire lieutenant had previously been accused of sexual misconduct.

The discovery led the trustee to hire an outside consulting firm to conduct an investigation into the hiring of the lieutenant. The investigation ultimately found no wrongdoing on the part of the department leadership. As a result, 12 experienced firehouse employees resigned at a trustee meeting.

Several other fire employees resigned prior to the meeting.

“In light of the latest events in the fire department, I just felt that it was important for me to run, Pettit said. “I don’t understand it. If half your department walks out there has to be a problem. I think they need to do something. I haven’t seen anything that they’ve done differently to try to rectify the problem. That is one thing to I will get after and try to resolve the issues.”

Estep previously told the Springfield News-Sun she feels the trustees have followed the law when dealing with the firehouse issues and they are being resolved.

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“I want to continue to work and support and strengthen that department,” she said. “I feel we have a good department but we had some (personnel) changes and I want to make sure we continue to improve and I do think we are on the right track.”

Pettit and Estep both agree that the department is an important asset to the community.

“If somebody needs to go then they need to go but if we need to hire someone then we should,” Pettit said. “That is a busy department, the people who live here and pass by here, we have a lot of people depending on the department.”

Pettit said he believes he is the best choice to move the township forward. Other priorities he listed are flooding issues in the township and road repairs.

“I care for Mad River Twp., I live here and I want it o be the best it can be.”

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