Voter Guide: Mad River Township Trustee



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


Kathleen Baber

Education: Attended Ohio Northern University and University of Maryland

Current employment: I have owned and operated a successful online business, designing and making stickers for calendars and paper planners for the past five years.

Community involvement: Band Boosters officer for three years with Greenon Marching Knights. President of Ladies Auxiliary and Youth Auxiliary at my church in years past.

Why are you seeking elected office? I am seeking office because a fresh voice and different perspective are needed in our community. For many years, the same people held the board positions and through elections and attrition, the board is changing. I want to be a part of that change and bring in a new era. We need all kinds of citizens to be part of the process. I represent the person who lives in or near the village or doesn’t own a farm or doesn’t have a storefront, but has a deep connection to the township.

Why should voters elect you? Why elect me? Because I represent you! I am you -- I’m a Greenon grad, an Air Force kid and wife, a Greenon band mom, a parent, a grandparent. I’m a caregiver for an aging parent. We own a modest home in a neighborhood we love. I drive a van that needs body work and is near 200K miles. I have to be careful with my budget, and I know how to make hard choices. I am very organized and a great communicator. The prerequisites for this position aren’t a degree in engineering, or a Master’s in budgeting. This is government by the people, just regular people with a desire to serve and willingness to learn. That’s me!

If elected, what will be your top three priorities? 1. Fire and EMS departments: This is an area that needs a lot of care and consideration. We have a great need to recruit and retain talent. We need to be competitive with other area departments and offer competitive pay and a great work environment. There has been a loss of trust between the board and the fire and EMS departments and I want to help restore that trust so all employees feel they are heard and their concerns are acted upon in a judicious manner. 2. We have a unique opportunity with federal funding that is available to the township to accomplish projects that might otherwise be out of our reach. I would prioritize qualifying for all the funds we can while the federal funds are available. As U.S. taxpayers we will be paying for the ARP expenditures for a long time -- let’s make sure our community benefits as much as we can. 3. Communication! I would encourage more community engagement through actively communicating with the township via social media, email and broadcasting.

What specific plans do you have to address those top priorities? Priority 1: I would gather information. I would talk to everyone! The leadership, the employees and the former board members so I could fully understand the situation before I made any suggested changes. I want to know the concerns, what has occurred, what is currently happening and what solutions have been proposed. Priority 2: I would work together with the fiscal officer to comb through our current budget for items that will qualify for this special funding. I would attend any and all meetings with the county, their advisers, and the Ohio Township Association and work with the board to see where we can free up general funds for projects that might not qualify under the ARP guidelines. Priority 3: I would use the township webpage more fully and be very active on social media. I would also encourage use of an email service that allows for sending out news and reminders for those who don’t use social media. There are many inexpensive or free services we could use to help the community be better informed about the projects and challenges the township faces.

Anything else you would like voters to know? I began attending meetings this spring when an application to build a housing development on Stine Road came before the planning and rural zoning commissions. I wrote letters and spoke at these meetings and eventually at the county commissioners meeting on June 28 that approved the rezoning. A group of citizens and myself organized a community meeting seeking to share information we had gathered and ask the community at large if they wanted to petition for a referendum to be on the ballot in November. Those in attendance whole heartedly let us know their desire to have a say in the rezoning. I organized the petition and the petition circulators, and in a short time we had more than double the required signatures and had turned them in to the county commissioners. The developer challenged our petition at the Board of Elections. We sought legal counsel and won. The developer then appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court and again was denied their challenge. The referendum appears on the ballot in November because a regular person like me got involved. It was my privilege to work with some wonderful people on this issue. This was more than fighting against a development that would change the rural aspect of our community by packing the acreage with 6.5 houses per buildable acre. This was about giving the community a say in the matter. I am proud to have given the township a voice in regards to the Stine Road development.

Robert W. McClure III

City: Enon

Education: Graduated of Greenon High School, Attended WSU and OSU

Current Employment: Clark County Engineer’s Office

Community Involvement: None

Why are you seeking elected office? I am running for Mad River Township Trustee because I love my community and want to see it thrive. I believe I have the knowledge and experience needed to make informed and necessary decisions concerning our aging roads and infrastructure, as well as, challenges facing the EMS.

Why should voters elect you? Voters should elect me because my 22 years experience with Clark County in roadway and drainage maintenance would benefit the township. My leadership and decision-making skills will also serve as a benefit as we continue to face difficult challenges in the future.

If elected, what will be your top three priorities? If elected, I feel the top three priorities facing the township are: 1. Improving maintenance of township roadways. 2. Improving staffing issues with the emergency services. 3. Earning the trust of the community.

What specific plans do you have to address those top priorities? My plan to address the top three priorities are: 1. I will continue improving roads in the older neighborhoods (Parkridge Acres, Holiday Valley, and Echo Hills). 2. I will take into account the concerns of the community and work with the other trustees to devise a plan to improve the emergency response and to ensure the most qualified individuals are hired. 3. I will earn trust by improving transparency between the trustees and the community.

Anything else? Robert resides in Indian Valley Estates with his wife Debra and their four children Kaylynn, Jackson, Lorelei, and Michael. Debra is a second grade teacher in the Kettering City School District. All four children attend Greenon Local Schools and are involved in many sporting activities, FFA, and 4-H. Kaylynn will be in the first graduating class from the new high school. Although Robert has spent half his lifetime improving roads and bridges in Clark County, he never lost his love for farming. Alongside his father, Robert operates a 1,300 acre grain farm raising soybeans, wheat, and corn in Mad River Township. Robert cares a great deal for Mad River Township and is ready to serve the citizens of the township by offering a strong knowledge of the community and many years of experience and expertise gained over his lifetime. Vote Robert W. McClure III November 2, 2021

Jeremy E. Whitacre

Education: Bachelor’s of Science in business management, Park University

Current employment: Chief of finance, 88th Civil Engineer Group, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base

Community involvement: Village of Enon councilman, Greenon Youth Football and Cheer, Enon Little League

Why are you seeking elected office? It has been an honor serving as a councilman for the village of Enon the past six years, while I thoroughly enjoy serving on this board I thought it was time to take on a new challenge. I hope my experience and contacts with the village will aide my transition to the township if elected, and I can help broker a more cohesive relationship between the two entities, as we are all one community.

Why should voters elect you? I will strive to bring honesty, transparency and fiscal responsibility to the residents of Mad River Township. If elected all decisions I make would be with the betterment of the entire community in mind.

If elected, what will be your top three priorities? My priorities if elected would be to help build our Fire/EMS department into one that our residents can rely on and be proud of. Next, to continue to maintain our main township roadways and get after areas that have not had recent updates if the budget allows. Lastly would be to bring transparency to our residents and build trust that their hard earned tax dollars are being used for good reason and in a fiscally responsible way.

What specific plans do you have to address those top priorities? Our Fire/EMS department has to get to the point where we are attracting dedicated and qualified candidates whom want to serve our community. To do that we need to have competitive wages, as well as provide training opportunities and up-to-date equipment to our members. The station needs to be a place where the personnel are excited and proud to show up to as it was when I was a member some 15 years ago. I feel our current trustees have done a good job with our roadways and I hope to continue that trend, I’m not sure if there is already one in place but having a live prioritized list of problem areas on our roadways is something that could help out. Bringing fiscal transparency to our residents is something that goes a long way in building trust between the residents and board. I would like to see us giving snapshots of our budget/expenditures that are allowed to be shared on a scheduled basis whether it be through printing extra copies for meeting attendees or posting it on the township website.

Anything else you would like voters to know? As a lifelong resident of Enon and Mad River Township, there are few things I am more proud of than saying this is my hometown! It would be an honor to serve the community that has made me into the person I am today, if elected I look forward to working with the other trustees and most importantly the residents to make this a place anyone and everyone is proud to call home!

Jay Young

No response