Voter Guide: Bath Twp. Trustee

Voter Guide
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Voter Guide

Credit: HANDOUT

Credit: HANDOUT

The Dayton Daily News, Springfield News-Sun and Journal-News invited local candidates to fill out the following questionnaire to inform readers.

VOTE FOR 2:

Michelle Clements

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Michelle Clements

Michelle Clements
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Michelle Clements

Education: I have received a Bachelor’s degree from Purdue Global University in emergency management and fire science. I am also obtaining a second degree from Eastern Gateway Community College in business administration and hold numerous certificates such as Firefighter, and EMT.

Current Employment: Clark County Emergency Management Agency director

Community Involvement: I have been a part of numerous organizations and held many offices within each organization, this list is not all inclusive of past and present organizations. 4-H Supporters; PR chair for Greater Miami Valley EMS Council; PR & social media coordinator for Cedarville Area Chamber of Commerce; secretary of multiple Fire Chief Associations; secretary for the Local Emergency Planning Commission; vice president of the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association Health Care Coalition; Executive Committee member for Region 3 Rescue Strike Team; nominee for secretary of the Ohio Emergency Management Association; Also a part of these professional organizations either past or present: Ohio Emergency Management Association; National Emergency Management Association; International Association of Fire Investigators; National Association of Fire Investigators; International Association of Emergency Medical Dispatcher

Why are you seeking elected office? I am seeking this elected office to be a voice for the residents of Bath Twp. and city of Fairborn. We need a strong leader who is willing to speak up on behalf of the residents, not only against the biodigester, but someone who can restore the trust and confidence in our local government system from the the animosity currently created by the two incumbents. Being an elected official is a privilege, one in which you get to represent your fellow citizens. You do not have the right to protect the very things that are hurting your community or surrounding communities! I am a proven leader, collaborator and planner with the upmost integrity, and I plan on working for the residents year-round, not only at reelection time!

Why should voters elect you? I believe the voters should elect me because I am a proven leader, and I’m willing to fight for the residents and citizens of Bath Twp. and Fairborn. Actions speak louder than words, the current incumbents have had multiple years to make changes for the betterment of the township and have chosen not to do so. I have over 16 years of governmental public service, in multiple capacities such as certified fire and explosives investigator, 911 dispatcher, firefighter/EMT and Emergency Management Agency director. I have responded to incidents such as the Oregon District Shooting, Memorial Day Tornadoes, Hurricane Ike and many more. Chaos and crisis management is what I do on a daily basis. Planning and collaborating with stakeholders is something I believe Bath Twp. is lacking, and I have the skill set needed to establish a long term plan. Bath Twp. needs leaders that will speak up for the residents and ensure Bath Twp. has a seat at the table with other community stakeholders. I am a strong voice for the residents of Bath Twp. and city of Fairborn. I would work for the citizens year-round, not just at reelection time!

If elected, what will be your top three priorities? If elected, my first priority would be addressing the biodigester. The township needs to hire an environmental attorney to ensure the public’s safety. This lagoon sits extremely close to an aquifer which supplies water to over 400,000 people. I would not support the expansion of an additional 32 million gallon lagoon. Second, fiscal responsibility is a top priority. As noted above the pay scales seem to be out of sorts. The township’s manual labor employees pay scale needs reevaluated even after the $3 an hour raise that was given. We need to ensure we are in line with the surrounding townships, or we will continue to have the high turnover rate. It it the responsibility of the trustees, along with the fiscal officer, to plan on spending CARES Act money appropriately. However, the township returned over $344,000 back to Greene County in 2020. What are they going to do with American Rescue Plan funds? (Which don’t have to be encumbered until 2024). Thirdly, Bath Twp. has no long term plan. While the current trustees say they use the Greene County Land Use Plan, how do we know what to budget for? Larger projects such as stormwater would not be funded in one fiscal year. There has to be a plan for things like this!

What specific plans do you have to address those top priorities? 1. Digester: My first step would be filing a nuisance odor complaint against the facility and hiring an environmental attorney to ensure the safety of the residents and the aquifer the digester is near. We would also continue our court battle over the zoning violation. 2. Fiscal Responsibility: I would demand that the trustees, administrator and fiscal officer have work sessions to fully understand the federal funds that are being pushed through. Having dealt with federal funds, I understand that it can be cumbersome to learn, however it is the responsibility of all elected officials to understand, and plan how to spend the money. I would also research the wages for employees to ensure we are in line with other townships and the state. Being fiscally responsible is a No. 1 priority as it’s not “our” money to spend, it’s the taxpayers. Giving back $344,000 of CARES Act money was nothing short of reckless and irresponsible. 3. Planning: This is a collaborative effort among trustees, employees, residents and other community stakeholders. As trustees you are speaking on behalf of the residents - you don’t get to run your personal agenda! Having planning meetings is something I do daily. From emergency operations plans to incident action plans for civil unrest to the overall department goal -- I have an extreme amount of background in this area. Communication and collaboration are key concepts Bath Twp. lacks. We have to get out of our silo and be a part of the community, not work against it.

Anything else? My full name is Michelle Clements-Pitstick, Tom Pitstick is a second cousin, once removed, in-law. My immediate family has nothing to do with the digester operations on Tom’s property. My own farm and family has suffered because of the name. I plan to work for the citizens of Bath Twp. and city of Fairborn year-round, not just at reelection time. I speak for you, not against you. I am passionate about the work I do and look forward at the opportunity to serve the citizens! You have the power to make a change for the betterment of our community! I am asking for your vote Nov. 2, 2021!

Rob Hoffman

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Rob Hoffman

Rob Hoffman
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Rob Hoffman

Education: U.S. Air Force Security Police Academy, Hondros College of Real Estate, Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy (Court Bailiff)

Current Employment: Senior sales vice president with Sibcy Cline Realtors

Community Involvement: I am currently serving as Fairborn’s deputy mayor and finishing up my eighth year on the Fairborn City Council. Prior to being elected to city council, I served eight years on the Planning Board (two years as chairman of the board) and served on the 5-Year Capital Improvement Committee. I’m also a member of the Fairborn Development Corp. and was Fairborn’s representative on the Regional Planning and Coordinating Commission. I’ve been an active member of an Optimist Club (past president) for 18 years. I am also a proud U.S. Air Force Veteran (88th SFS) that was deployed twice to the Middle East in support of Operation Southern Watch. I have been married to Fairborn City School teacher Christy Hoffman for 23 years. Together we have two children, Matthew and Ryan. We are also the proud grandparents of the world’s best baby, Miles.

Why are you seeking elected office? I was asked by many Bath Twp. and Fairborn residents to help bring change to Bath Twp. Many residents feel that their concerns aren’t being properly addressed and that their voices aren’t being heard by some of their elected leaders. Citizens lack trust and confidence in their trustees. I am confident that I can use the relationships that I’ve made with other local leaders over the past 15 years to ensure that Bath Twp.’s interests are well represented and protected. I will come to the board of trustees with no hidden agenda and with no axes to grind. I know when to abstain from commenting and/or voting on an issue that I stand to personally gain from. During the past 20 years, I have put my negotiation skills to work for hundreds of local homebuyers and sellers. I know what it takes to get the deal done! As your trustee, I will put those same skills to work for Bath Twp. and will fight to make sure that the township comes out on top when it comes to negotiating contracts/deals with neighboring communities.

Why should voters elect you? If elected by the citizens of Bath Twp. and Fairborn, I will work to rebuild trust by treating all citizens, elected officials and staff with the respect that everyone deserves. I will continue fighting to keep our air/water clean and roads repaired. Bath Twp. and Fairborn voters will have someone that will have their best interest in mind during each vote or decision that I make as their trustee. The day that I’m sworn-in as their trustee, will be the last day that any outside corporations will have influence on the board of trustees. During my eight years on city council, I have fought hard for the many, not the few. If elected, I will continue to fight for what’s right for the citizens.

If elected, what will be your top three priorities? My first priority will be to restore the trust and confidence that township and Fairborn citizens have in their elected trustees. At the same time, I will do whatever needs to be done to ensure that there is no expansion of the odor-causing biodigester that currently sits on a trustee’s property. Another priority is the $809,201.94 that the township is receiving in American Rescue Plan Act funds. ARPA funds are intended to mitigate financial loss incurred within the township from 2021-2024. Immediate spending of $809,201.94 on a single project would be fiscally irresponsible. I support using the funds to assist the many households and small businesses that are being negatively impacted by the pandemic. In 2020, Bath Twp. failed to use about $340,000 in CARES Act funds, which had to be returned to Greene County. Funds should benefit the many, not the few.

What specific plans do you have to address those top priorities? With the support of one of the other trustees, I will seek to change the meeting rules to increase the amount of time that the public has to speak during the trustee meetings from 3 minutes to 5 minutes. One of the primary functions of a trustee is to listen to the citizens that elect them. Shutting down public comment simply because you’re not happy with what your constituents are saying is not acceptable. I will use the relationships that I have with other local leaders to get them on board to help fight future biodigester expansion, mitigate the odors that the biodgester is causing and ensure that road repairs are being paid for by those that are destroying them, not at taxpayer expense. If elected by the citizens of Bath Twp. and Fairborn, I will put the eight years that I served on council to good use by holding joint township trustee/city council meetings to ensure that both communities help each other rather than ignoring one another. If elected, I will meet with all three Greene County commissioners and the Fairborn City Council to find out how they’re planning on spending their ARPA funds. Coordination amongst neighboring communities should be a priority to ensure that resources are being used to their fullest potential and that funds aren’t being wastefully spent.

Anything else? I would like to remind the citizens of Bath Twp. and Fairborn that they both get to vote for trustee. Bath Twp. trustees represent the citizens of Fairborn and Bath Twp. If you feel that it’s time for change, then please vote Rob Hoffman for Bath Twp. trustee! If you’re tired of our community smelling the way it does, then please vote Rob Hoffman for Bath Twp. trustee! Visit www.ElectRobHoffman.com if you would like to learn more about me. Thank you.

Tom Pitstick

No response

Steve Ross

ajc.com

Education: Ohio State University, Bachelor’s degree, 1974

Current Employment: Self-employed

Community Involvement: Member, Rona Community Church and Fairborn Rotary Club; past president, Skyhawk Athletic Club and Fairborn Chamber of Commerce.

Why are you seeking elected office? I have been a trustee for almost 18 years, but the job is not done. The Dovetail/Renergy biodigester issue needs to be carefully handled, carefully managed. The case is currently in appeal - but what if we don’t win? What if the appeals court rules in Dovetail’s favor and the Supreme Court of Ohio refuses to hear the case? Given such a scenario, I have a plan and a pathway to move us forward. Without a plan like mine, there will still be odors, there will still be the repair and maintenance of Herr Road, and there will still be the threat of expansion. So the question is, “Who are you going to rely on to lead the township in the mitigation/negotiation process?” I respectfully suggest that I am best suited to do just that.

Why should voters elect you? Knowledge and excellence. I would make the educated guess that I’ve managed more people over the years than all the other candidates combined. I have worked on and been engaged with more legal business issues than my opponents. I’ve personally negotiated more business contracts than the others. With the possible exception of Tom Pitstick, I know more staff, more personnel, more elected officials in Greene and Montgomery counties, and have more working relationships with those people than my opponents; and those relationships will help us get the job done. People know what I have done and can do going forward. Knowledge and excellence. Electors who vote for me will be making an optimal choice.

If elected, what will be your top three priorities? 1. The biodigester. 2. The biodigester. 3. The biodigester.

What specific plans do you have to address those top priorities? I propose a coalition of elected officials and the public to meet in executive session on a regular basis. We will cooperate with each other by sharing responsibilities. We will meet with other elected officials, meet with the Ohio EPA and meet with our attorneys to iron out solutions that everyone can abide by and live with to the betterment of our community. With such a plan, we will work together instead of working against each other.

Anything else? I look forward to continuing to work for the residents of Bath Twp. as I have in the past. I am still ready; I am still willing and able. The job is not done. Please vote for Steve Ross on or before Nov. 2. Thank you!