Three vie for two Springfield Twp. trustee seats

A man stands by himself as he casts in vote at a Springfield election poll in 2020. Bill Lackey/Staff
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A man stands by himself as he casts in vote at a Springfield election poll in 2020. Bill Lackey/Staff

Scoby, Roeder seeking re-election; Flora touts fresh set of ideas.

Two incumbents and a political newcomer are vying for two open seats on the Springfield Twp. Board of Trustees.

Jim Scoby and John Roeder are seeking re-election. Scoby has been in his current position since 2000, and Roeder was elected in 2018. They are facing a challenge from Springfield Twp. resident Seth Flora.

All three are on the ballot for the Nov. 2 election and early voting has already begun at the Clark County Board of Elections.

Each candidate recently discussed with the Springfield News-Sun their reasons for running, goals for their township and their priorities if elected.

Seth Flora

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Seth Flora. Contributed

Seth Flora. Contributed
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Seth Flora. Contributed

Flora is a lifelong resident of Springfield Twp., and said that running for the position of trustee would be the best way to serve his community.

He is a small business owner who runs LEO Digital Marketing LLC. He is also enrolled at Clark State College.

“I care deeply about the township and its residents, but after talking to many of those residents, it’s clear that they do not feel like the trustees are listening to them. After attending several township meetings myself, I felt the same way. There are many areas for improvement in the township, and it is going to require bold, innovative thinking to meet the needs of residents,” he said.

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Flora said that he wants to provide a fresh set of ideas for the township as well as look at ways he can help improve and secure the township for current and future generations.

“I want to modernize the township to advance it into the future. I am committed to making sure that every resident is heard and has a seat at the table, especially when it comes to big decisions. The residents who will be most impacted by major changes such as annexation or new developments should have every opportunity to be aware of those changes, and be involved in the discussion,” he said.

Flora said that he is running on the platform of providing a cleaner and safer community.

That includes proposing a neighborhood clean-up program to improve down-trodden properties. The idea is to help home owners clean up their properties with assistance from Clark-Shawnee students who need community service hours to graduate.

“I am also proposing a low-interest home improvement loan program that will allow any resident to make an investment in their home without paying too much interest,” Flora added.

Flora is a board member for the nonprofit Brake the Cycle that works with local organizations and businesses to create opportunities for youth.

He has worked with the Promise Neighborhood’s Boyz II Businessmen program to help fourth to seventh grade boys learn to create a business plan.

As a student at Clark State College, Flora served on the Student Senate as treasurer and was also the student representative on the college’s Budget Committee.

John Roeder

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John Roeder. Contributed

John Roeder. Contributed
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John Roeder. Contributed

Roeder is a lifelong resident of the township, and raised two children in the area. He graduated from Shawnee High School in 1974 and worked for the Ohio Edison Company before retiring after 45 years of service.

Roeder has been a township trustee since 2018 and has also served the Springfield Twp. Fire Department and is a retired fire chief. He also was on the advisory board for the Clark State Community fire service training center.

Roeder said he is seeking re-election as a township trustee due to being involved with the township for his entire adult life either as a seasonal road worker or a volunteer fire fighter. He sees being a trustee as the best way to continue that community service.

“I am always engaged as evidenced by the time I have spent working for the township residents,” he said.

“I want the residents of Springfield Township to know is that I will personally be involved with you. I will return your calls, not someone else, I will meet with you to discuss your problems or issues you may have, not someone else,” Roeder added.

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If re-elected, the incumbent said he would focus on the safety of residents whether adding more Sheriff’s deputies in the area or the installation of tornado sirens.

He said that he also wants to focus on education for local children and ways to provide safer schools. He also wants to establish a better working relationship with other community leaders to share ideas and possible resources if needed.

“I will work to find ways to fund these priorities, through grants, federal dollars etc. As with most townships shrinking budgets and rising costs are a major issue,” Roeder said.

“Over the last five years the townships have seen a decrease in state of Ohio shared income. Additionally, road repair cost has risen but tax levy income and gasoline tax revenue have remained at the same level. To counter decreasing revenue and rising costs will require working with the staff to examine all fixed and variable expenses to find savings,” he added.

Roeder said that during his first four years as a trustee he has worked through the loss and eventual replacement of a fiscal officer, a pandemic that required looking at ways to keep services going the safest way possible and increasing full time road employees.

Jim Scoby

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Jim Scoby

Jim Scoby
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Jim Scoby

Scoby has served as trustee since 2000, and is a longtime resident. He is a graduate of Springfield South High School and worked as a counselor, teacher and coach for the Springfield City School District for 37 years.

He currently serves as a counselor at Lincoln Elementary School. He is the president of the Springfield Twp. Trustees and is the president of the Clark County Traffic Safety Council.

Scoby said that his care for his community and a desire to help keep it strong inspired him to seek political office in the first place, and encouraged him to continue to run after winning his first electoral bid in 2000.

He is serving is fifth term as township trustee.

“I came up with the concept years ago for Springfield Twp., ‘People, Pride and Progress.’ That is what we are about. We care about our people and keeping them safe and we have a lot of pride about taking care of our township,” he said.

“Township government is where the rubber meets the road. I believe all township residents should have a say on how their community is run,” Scoby added.

Scoby said that he has been a leader in the community for the past 20 years and has shown voters that the township has been fiscally responsible.

He said that during the pandemic he and his fellow trustees were able to award $350,000 to the Clark-Shawnee School District using the coronavirus relief fund for safety and health equipment.

Scoby said his priorities if re-elected would include continuing to ensure the autonomy of the township, putting residents forward, ensuring the quality of township services and building on the progress of local schools.

He added that he wants to continue to promote buying locally in the county, including supporting local manufactures such as Navistar and others that make equipment used by township road and fire services.

Scoby said he wants to look at ways of making the township safer by lowering speed areas and implementing enforcement as well as continuing to build on road safety and road infrastructure.

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