Trustee races contested in 5 townships


Editor’s note – Following is a look at township trustee candidates in Highland County running in contested races in the Nov. 7 election. Each candidate was asked their age, public office or related experience, and why they want to serve as a township trustee. Incumbents are noted by (i). There are two to be elected in each township.

Clay Township

Kenneth L. Bohl (i), 75, has served as a Clay Township trustee for nearly 12 years.

He is seeking re-election because “I just want to help the community as much as I can,” he said.

William Brett Glover (i), 63, has served as a Clay Township trustee for nearly 16 years.

“We’re not done with all the work we want to do yet, and it’s been a long-fought battle,” he said. “I believe in my township. I think we’ve got a bunch of great people.”

Two phone numbers listed for Glenn Watson II from the Highland County Board of Elections were not in service. He did not immediately respond to a Facebook message.

Liberty Township

Douglas Barker did not return phone calls for comment.

James Grove (i), 80, estimated he has served for 15 or 16 years as a Liberty Township trustee.

He said he seeks re-election “because I enjoy the work, I enjoy the people, and I think we’ve got a pretty good organization with the trustees we’ve got.”

Tyler Kelch, 34, has not served in public office, but has a background in maintenance and infrastructure.

“I feel like there’s a couple guys in there who have been in there a long time,” he said. “I don’t have anything bad to say about them, but I think they’ve been in there long enough. I want to get more hands-on involvement, and I don’t think that’s getting done.”

John McLaughlin (i) estimated he has served as a Liberty Township trustee for 10 or 12 years. He declined to answer additional questions.

Ray Walker, 70, has not held public office, but has served as a trustee for his church.

“I’ve got a lot more time now since I’ve retired and I’ve about got the house finished, so I thought, well, I can be a working trustee because I have a CDL to drive the bigger trucks and I can handle most of the equipment because I’ve farmed,” he said. “My wife has been a fiscal officer before, so we kind of have an idea of how it all works.”

Jerry Williams, 58, previously served two terms as a Liberty Township trustee.

“It was a great job,” he said. “It doesn’t pay a lot of money, but I love doing it. I don’t mind going out in the middle of the night to do what needs done. That’s the main reason I’m running.”

Madison Township

Bruce Baird and Charles Buck, both incumbents, did not respond to phone calls for comment.

Brent Johnson, 42, has not held public office, but has served as a church trustee and has business experience.

He seeks the seat because “I feel it’s time for some new blood and a change, and I feel like with my skills I can actually help straighten up a lot of things in the township,” he said.

Paint Township

Jason Hinkle, 42, has not held public office, but has worked for the Highland County Engineer’s Office.

He seeks the seat “just to give something back to the community,” he said. “I’ve lived in this community my whole life and I enjoy doing the work.”

Steven Karnes (i), 62, has served as a Paint Township trustee for 24 years.

“My thought on trusteeing is it’s really a community service with a little bit of compensation,” he said. “It’s to try to keep the community functioning and progressing forward. There’s always things yet to be done. That’s why I would like to continue to serve and any support and vote you can send my way would be greatly appreciated.”

Corey J. Miller (i), 43, is in his fourth year as a Paint Township trustee.

“I like my township, I love the people in it, and I want to keep us growing to achieve a lot more things,” he said. “I want to be here for the people. I want to be someone they can call and depend on.”

Salem Township

John R. Roush, 46, has not held public office, but has a background in education, agriculture and business.

“The gentlemen who have served as trustees have done a great job,” he said. “I want to continue the lifestyle we enjoy and the community members are fantastic. They have a lot of perseverance and grit, and it’s a wonderful place to live and raise a family. I wish the other candidates the best.”

Zach Sandlin, 30, has not held public office, but has a background in business.

He seeks the seat “to have more hands-on trustee involvement in the community,” he said.

Shane Simmons (i) and Neal Van Saun did not respond to phone calls for comment.

Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570, or on Twitter @DavidWrighter.
Candidates seek seats in Clay, Liberty, Madison, Paint, Salem

By David Wright

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