3 running for Bethel Twp. trustee seats

Bethel Twp. voters will select from three candidates to fill two township trustee seats. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
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Bethel Twp. voters will select from three candidates to fill two township trustee seats. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Three candidates — two incumbents and one challenger — are vying for two seats on the Bethel Twp. Board of Trustees.

Bethel Twp. has three trustees who make decisions in regard to roads, waste disposal, emergency services, police protection, parks and revenue derived from property taxes.

All three candidates for the Nov. 2 election answered questionnaires submitted by the Springfield News-Sun.

Nancy Brown

Nancy Brown
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Nancy Brown

Credit: Andrew Grimm

Credit: Andrew Grimm

Brown, an incumbent who has held a Bethel Twp. trustee seat for 20 years, has also served on the Clark County Transportation Coordinating Committee, on the Clark County Local Emergency Planning Committee and as Clark County Township Association secretary. Brown earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Akron.

“I believe the knowledge and experience I have gained during this time enhanced my ability to fulfill the responsibilities of the office, and I look forward to continuing to serve in this position for another term,” Brown said.

If re-elected, Brown said she aims to continue spending limited resources wisely, working with other political bodies to share benefits and seeking grant funding.

“Spending resources wisely is a must for townships, as they do not have the luxury of an income tax for revenue,” Brown said. She noted that a proposed replacement of storm sewers using American Recovery Plan Act funding will take pressure off the township’s road budget.

In addition, Brown said the Bethel Twp. trustees work with the Clark County Engineer’s Office when seeking grants. The township’s road paving projects this year, Brown said, were partially funded through a grant from the Ohio Public Works Commission.

“This way we were able to pave twice what we otherwise could have done,” she said.

In addition, Brown said she played a role in negotiations with the City of Huber Heights to modify and extend a Joint Economic Development agreement that is currently in place, and she has contacted the City of New Carlisle to discuss a similar agreement.

Christopher Leapley

Christopher ("Chris") Leapley
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Christopher ("Chris") Leapley

Leapley is a lifelong resident of Bethel Twp. and a challenger in this year’s race. He has not held a Trustee seat in the past, but he said this could serve as an advantage to the township.

“I think in order to really move Bethel Township into the next stage, we need new ideas and new leadership,” Leapley said. “Bethel Township has been well-served by a number of long-serving Trustees, but I believe it is time to get new faces and new ideas in place.”

The attorney holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Dayton, as well as a bachelor’s degree from Wright State University.

“As an attorney I am experienced at putting my own personal opinions and views aside in order to zealously advocate for my clients,” Leapley said. “The citizens of Bethel Township will benefit from that experience.”

Aside from his work, Leapley is involved with the Ohio State Bar Association, Greater Springfield Basketball Officials Association, Crystal Lakes Moose Lodge, Sacred Heart Parish and Clark County Leadership Academy. He was a previous member of the Springfield Arts Council Board of Directors and Executive Board, as well as Grandworks Foundation Board of Directors, Sacred Heart Parish Council and Western Clark County Business Coalition Board.

If elected, Leapley would have several priorities: first, easier communication between the trustees and their constituents. Bethel Twp. residents cannot access meeting agendas without attending the meeting in person, Leapley said.

Leapley also said infrastructure for the township would be a priority, saying he would “work hard with township leaders to ensure our first responders are well equipped, trained, and most importantly feel appreciated for the work they do.”

Promoting development and fiscal responsibility is another priority of Leapley.

“We as a Township need to work hard to preserve our farmlands and rural identity while at the same time embracing change and the development opportunities that present themselves and directing them in such a way as to best benefit our community for the long-term,” Leapley said.

Don Minton

Don Minton
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Don Minton

Minton has been a trustee of Bethel Twp. for eight years and a resident of the township his entire life.

He is a graduate of Tecumseh High School. Aside from his role as a trustee, Minton also serves on the Local Emergency Planning Committee Clark County.

Minton said if re-elected, he would continue his support of the fire and EMS department, “ensuring up-to-date equipment to serve the community and keeping close communication with the Sheriff’s office.”

Minton said he has been “actively involved” with the park’s clean-ups, and he strives to include community involvement. He also would set spending priorities and “continue to impede on wasteful and unnecessary spending.”

" I will continue to strive for the best Fire/EMS and Sheriff protection, keeping the parks clean and safe for children and families, and making sure taxpayer dollars are spent wisely,” he said.