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:
Education: BA Economics, Wright State University
Current Employment: Manager, CenterPoint Energy
Community Involvement: Mayor, city of Bellbrook 2012-June 15, 2019; Bellbrook City Council, 2004-2011; Bellbrook Sugarcreek Chamber of Commerce 1991-present; Past board member and president Greene County Community Foundation, board member 2010-present; Past board member Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission; Past board member Greene County Planning Board
Why are you seeking elected office? I am seeking public office to utilize my local government experience and 30 years of corporate management experience to serve the residents of Sugarcreek Twp.
Why should voters elect you? My responsibilities as a member of City Council and as mayor of the city of Bellbrook have provided hands on experience in government finance and providing public services. I have the public service experience, the fiscally conservative record, and the collaborative skills to work with other local governments to improve services and reduce expenses for our citizens. This expertise will ensure strong leadership and sound decision-making while serving the residents of Sugarcreek Twp.
If elected, what will be your top three priorities? Sugarcreek Twp. is one of the most desirable communities in which to live in the region, and we want to maintain that high standard. Managing growth and traffic will be one of the township’s most significant challenges. We will need to follow the township’s Long-Range Land Use Plan to help Sugarcreek continue to grow as an open space community and to encourage economic growth in the right areas, in order to both increase our tax base and increase revenue. It will also be critical to continue to work with Greene County and Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission on long-term traffic plans and grant funding. I believe it is important for the township to work with the city of Bellbrook, Greene County and other communities to identify methods to improve services to our residents and reduce expenses. During the recession of 2009, Bellbrook and Sugarcreek worked collaboratively to find ways we could reduce expenses without a reduction of services. As a result, after many discussions and exploring multiple options, Bellbrook and Sugarcreek merged our two dispatch centers into one dedicated Bellbrook Sugarcreek dispatch counsel at Xenia Dispatch Center. This was a major savings for both the city and the township, and these savings continue today.
What specific plans do you have to address those top priorities? It would be important for the trustees to meet regularly with representatives of the city of Bellbrook, the Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Park District, and the Bellbrook-Sugarcreek School District in order to collaborate efforts in achieving our priorities. Joining forces to continually explore ways to improve services will provide the best odds of success.
Anything else? I am committed to public service and take great pride in my involvement with the local community. I would be honored to represent the citizens of Sugarcreek Twp. as a trustee.
Education: Graduate of Wright State University, Quantitative Business Analysis
Current Employment: Guide Technologies
Community Involvement: Sugarcreek Twp. trustee, Wright State Athletic Advisory Committee, President of Dayton Agonis Club
Why are you seeking elected office? Give back to the community that I live in and love.
Why should voters elect you? Best qualified for the job, 24 years as president of Guide Technologies, 12 years on the BZA, and now 2 years as trustee. I have a proven record for making good business decisions and driving results. I have worked with the Sugarcreek Police and Fire/EMS Departments to make them the best of any township in the area. We have had police officers leave to go to higher paying positions in neighboring communities, but with the changes we have made, these officers are coming back to Sugarcreek Twp. We have changed the model and tipped to our favor.
If elected, what will be your top three priorities? 1. Keep green spaces green, while developing the Wilmington Pike corridor to build a larger tax base 2. Build the best police, fire/EMS and road service while keeping tax levies off the ballot, hence being fiscally responsible 3. Clean up the township so it will continue to be the fastest growing city/village/township in the Miami Valley.
What specific plans do you have to address those top priorities? 1. Calling on businesses to move to Sugarcreek Twp., in the Wilmington Pike Corridor. Bringing business and commerce to the township by connecting with my business connections to the township. We are also building an infrastructure throughout the township allowing residents to work from home and business to develop in areas never before possible. 2. Working with the police, fire/EMS, and road to upgrade their training and equipment without increasing taxes. Increased the compensation and again without raising taxes. We had a great program but not a competitive compensation. Since I have been a trustee, we see that police officers and firefighters who have left the township for higher pay and better programs are returning to Sugarcreek. I am proud to say that we have reversed the trend. The state has audited every transaction for the past 2 years and gave the township a glowing report of no major issues. 3. Organized Sugarcreek volunteer teams for a spring and fall cleanup. Sugarcreek Twp. is the fastest growing city, village, or township in the 4 county Miami Valley. We must continue to manage the growth and keep the value of our properties at the highest level. One program that we (we work as a team in the township) organized 59 one mile segments to be cleaned and received 59 teams of volunteers that cleaned up over 4 ton of debris at no cost to taxpayers. We are developing a sense of community and maximizing property values without raising taxes.
Anything else? Applied for and received grant money to study and design a traffic solution for the I-675-Wilmington Pike interchange. We should see the design by Jan. 1, 2022. We are using ARP money to build broad band for the entire township so the entire township can work, go to school, and purchase goods and services from their homes. The entire township will have broadband by mid-2022. I am proud of the audit results from the state of Ohio giving Sugarcreek Twp. high praise for having no significant issues. We are growing the township and doing it with controlled growth. Sugarcreek Twp.’s population grew 18.6% from 2010 to 2020, making it the fastest growing township or city in the Miami Valley, and we need the trusted leadership that I provide to continue to manage that growth.
Education: Institute of Chartered Accountants of Australia, Associate’s. Bachelor’s of Business, accounting major, Queensland University of Technology
Current Employment: Accounting Manager, IT Company, Dayton.
Community Involvement: Prior big sister in Big Brothers Big Sisters of America; Prior chairperson, Risk Taking Mission and Service Ministry at Bellbrook United Methodist Church; Human trafficking awareness work, including trip to Tijuana to visit orphanages, with United Methodist group; Prior treasurer, Sugarcreek Schools PTO; Member of 100 Women of Greene County; Member of Little Miami Watershed Network.
Why are you seeking elected office? My reason for running is simple: I believe I have the vision and the experience to help our township become a more open and accountable government that works in the best interest of its residents. I am the mother of 3, a long-time community volunteer and an accountant with more than 30 years of entrepreneurial experience. I am a strong advocate for collaborative and community-focused local governance. I believe our representative system works best when government engages its citizens in the governing process. I have the skills to improve the relationship between the township and its residents, and together with my decades of fiscal experience, feel I would be a unique asset to the board. I am a proven community builder, and because I love living here in Sugarcreek, I want to give back where I can, right here at home where it counts most.
Why should voters elect you? Voters should elect me because I am the only candidate who has identified the relevant issues facing our township today, issues I am professionally qualified to solve. My regular attendance at township business meetings, which included an examination of the township’s financial reports and audits, showed me that there are two areas we can improve – fiscal accountability and communication with residents. My accounting skills will be of great help here. Then, because of my desire to be a civically engaged citizen, I have spent many years working to be involved in local government decisions here in Greene County. I attend meetings, follow issues, and help inform and educate my neighbors on what is happening in their own backyards. I know what good governance looks like, because I’ve spent years asking for it and working toward it. These experiences will serve the residents of Sugarcreek Twp. well.
If elected, what will be your top three priorities? 1. Keeping track of our money. Trustees must be good stewards of our tax dollars. Without accurate and timely statements, trustees cannot make good decisions. As a professional accountant, I will ensure this changes immediately. I also believe we should show taxpayers that our levels of taxation are appropriate. Our community has been divided for too long over rising property taxes, and we must build trust by being transparent about our revenues. 2. Approving smart development. Planning new development is a trade-off. We must work to find the right balance between our need to expand and our desire to maintain Sugarcreek’s quality of life. I support connecting bike paths and promoting development throughout our township that makes us more biker- and walker-friendly. We should be encouraging commercial development that aligns with our vision of our township as we grow. 3. Building our community. I will work to build trust in our local government and in each other. I want to increase opportunities for citizens to be involved in township decisions. The township should not be making major decisions behind closed doors, and without input from the community. I will change this.
What specific plans do you have to address those top priorities? 1. As a professional accountant, I will make sure that when I sign off on the monthly financials, that they are accurate and balanced correctly. I will also monitor our rate of taxation and cash reserves to make sure they are at appropriate levels, and share that information with residents. If they are excessive, I will ensure they are invested into the community or returned to taxpayers. 2. For all future residential developments, I will reach out to our residents and vote for smart development that serves the needs of our community. For commercial developments, I will encourage bringing unique and local businesses to our area, including those that will support the large groups of cyclists that frequent our township. I will push for a space for artists to thrive, including a community theater/gathering space that gives us a central spot to call our own. 3. I will improve our use of existing communication channels like the website, social media and the newsletter to make it easier for everyone to understand our business and finances. I will share information on important issues as soon as they arise. I will work to increase public participation in regular business meetings. We should be video recording and posting copies of these meetings for later viewing by residents, like Bellbrook and other municipalities do. I would be in support of the creation of a citizen-led board that focuses on upcoming development issues. I will promote the use of block parties to build community.
Anything else? I am the right candidate at the right time to address our current issues. My values as a mother, friend and candidate: Nowhere is government more important than at the local level - and while you have to be elected, there’s no value in playing politics with issues of local importance. When working with colleagues, residents and other community supporters, I will make sure to check my ego at the door, listen to every voice in the room, work for agreement around outcomes and strive for consensus. I believe that democratically accountable governance works best when you intentionally make room for other’s solutions and never forget: they love Sugarcreek, too.
Education: Degree in Public Safety Administration from Sinclair Community College
Current Employment: Retired Fire Chief Firefighter/Paramedic. Retired from grain farming but still raise cattle today
Community Involvement: President of the Montgomery and Greene County Emergency Management Association, Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission, president of Greene County Fire Chief, was a member of our first Comprehensive Land Use Plan for the township, helped put in place some of the current zoning regulations used yet to day, president of the Greene County Trustees and Clerks Association, past Sugarcreek Twp. trustee, fire chief for both Sugarcreek and Spring Valley Twps., Greene County Waste Water Committee, our local Chamber. Trustee at our church and still play fast pitch baseball for the Tri-City Gems
Why are you seeking elected office? The annexation of our land in Sugarcreek Twp. to the cities of Bellbrook, Centerville and Kettering. Our township is losing economical growth because of this and causing a higher tax burden on us as taxpayers, placing greater burden on our public safety forces and service departments. We have no long range planning in place. We need some one who will listen to the needs of our township citizens and has the experience and knowledge of township regulations and operations. I have that knowledge and experience to be your next township trustee.
Why should voters elect you? I am a lifelong resident of Sugarcreek Twp. I have been involved with the township since I was 18 years old. I have seen our township grow from the small farming community we once were to the township we are today. I have worked hard and many long hours to get our township where it is today, The recent annexation of our township and the decline in our economic growth and property rights being taken away are a concern. We need someone in office that has been here for years helping our township to grow, not just moved here in the past few years never being involved in township business. I am not a single issue candidate. I have knowledge of all the operation of our township.
If elected, what will be your top three priorities? (1) Stop annexation of our township and help our economical growth (2) Lower our tax burdens (3) Protect property and individuals rights.
What specific plans do you have to address those top priorities? Working with our state legislators to change current laws guarding annexations of townships. Also find ways as I did in the past when I was a trustee to stop wasteful spending. When items are requested for purchase, find out if it is a want or a need. Open up our township and listen to the needs of the citizens hear what they have to say and want because, as many have forgotten, as elected officials we work for the citizens, and they are the bosses, not the other way around
Anything else? I have the qualifications, knowledge, and the proven history to lead our township in the right direction in to the future. I have helped stop the merger of our township twice now to another city, I have worked hard and long hours to improve the quality of lives for the citizens of Sugarcreek Twp., and I would appreciate your vote in November.