Election 2017: Find out who wants to be Mad River Twp. trustees

Four candidates seek two seats on the Mad River Twp. trustees board. JEFF GUERINI/STAFF
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Four candidates seek two seats on the Mad River Twp. trustees board. JEFF GUERINI/STAFF

Four people are seeking two seats on the Mad River Twp. board of trustees, including two incumbents.

Mad River Twp. is the fourth largest township in Clark County, with more than 11,000 residents, according to Census data. Voters will go to the polls to elect their township trustees on Nov. 7.

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The Springfield News-Sun asked candidates for competitive races to fill out the Online Voter’s Guide. These are the response for the Mad River Twp. trustee candidates.

Joseph Catanzaro

Self-employed

Biographical Information

Experience: Owner and operator of Catanzaro’s Pizza and Subs for 40 plus years. Owner and operator of Catanzaro’s Carriage Inn for three years. Mad River Twp. trustee for eight years.

Education: Greenon High School Class of ‘77.

Robert W. McClure Jr.

Retired school teacher and administrator and currently a self-employed farmer

Biographical Information

Experience: Mad River Twp. trustee from 1997-2017

Education: B.S. Education in earth science and biology, M.S. in education and school administration

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Todd Anthony Pettit

Self-employed contractor

Biographical Information

Experience: Over 30 years in excavation/construction to include sanitary and storm sewer pipe installation, all aspects of heavy highway and residential road construction, residential and commercial building construction, as well as trained in all aspects of mine operations, over 15 years of supervisor role as well.

Education: Greenon High School, Mine Safety Certified MSHA, Occupation Safety and Health Administration certified, Hazmat training, CDL class A, passenger and school bus trained.

Mike Verbillion

Didn’t respond to Springfield News-Sun Voter’s Guide request.

What are the biggest problems facing the community? What do you propose doing to tackle these challenges?

Catanzaro: The three greatest challenges facing the community are the finances associated with the EMS and Fire Department, keeping the roads in good condition, and lastly addressing the distressed properties in a timely manner. The finances always have and always will be the biggest challenge. Providing quality emergency services is an expensive business. We are currently having a record year for the Fire and EMS runs, some days making as many as 17 runs in one day. We will continue to keep equipment updated and work on being able to provide a competitive pay scale to attract and keep crew members. Secondly, the upkeep of our roads, keeping roads safe with paving and correct signage. We will stay diligent to our levy promise, completing the roads with heavy traffic first and moving into the housing developments. Lastly, the distressed properties have been a concern in the past year. We will continue to work with Clark County zoning and prosecutor to see if we can expedite the process so the quality of the neighborhood can keep the properties value.

McClure: The biggest problems facing the community are financially trying to support and maintain emergency and safety services, roads and our schools. As many of our residents are retired and on fixed incomes, I have to consider the tax burden that people are able and willing to absorb. Alternative sources of revenue such as grants are essential and priorities must be established.

Pettit: There are numerous issues facing Mad River Twp. but the two major issues are the operation of the Fire/EMS Department and a proposed limestone quarry. I will work to improve dialog between the trustees and the members of the Fire/EMS Department. The trustees have had numerous problems regarding communications with the department. Over the past several years, anonymous letters have been sent to the trustees regarding the departments operation and or lack of leadership. In response the trustees used taxpayer's money to hire a consulting firm to do the job they were elected to do. If elected I will work to develop a communication structure within the department. Another major problem in the township is the development of a proposed limestone quarry. My family owns the land on which the largest gravel pit in Mad River Twp. is located. I live on the land and have a huge understanding as to the concerns of the residents near the proposed quarry. My knowledge of the effects of developing a quarry at the proposed location, as well as my training is mine safety (provided by MSHA) are better qualifications than any of the present trustees. While I am not opposed to the development of a gravel pit or quarry in the correct location, I am opposed to the location of the proposed quarry as it will have a negative effect on the residents and other property near it.

What makes you qualified for this job? What experience do you have to make good and informed decisions?

Catanzaro: I have strong leadership and decision-making qualities with the ability to make sound financial decisions, prepare budgets, make purchases and supervise employees. Those qualities were instilled in me since working for my family as a young boy. Now I successfully own and operate Catanzaro Market Pizza and Subs in Springfield, a family-owned business in operation since 1889, and the Carriage Inn Restaurant in Enon since October 2014. The knowledge I have gained from growing up in business allows me to be successful trustee for Mad River Twp.

McClure: I am seeking re-election because of my desire to continue to serve the citizens of this community. As a lifelong resident of this township, I have benefited tremendously from the services and quality of life that our township offers. My years of working in our schools and as a township trustee have given me a great deal of experience in working to improve and maintain our services and programs. As a business and property owner in our township, I understand the importance of financial and fiscal responsibility.

Pettit: I grew up in Mad River Twp. and have a strong working relationship with its residents. My qualifications, training and leadership skills make me the perfect candidate for the position of Mad River Twp. trustee. My experience in supervisory roles over 15 years have developed my communication and problem-solving skills that will give me the resources needed to thrive in this position. I want to see the township flourish and grow while still maintaining its small town charm. If I am elected, I will work for the residents, not for a personal agenda.

What can you do if elected to help grow the local economy and add jobs? What ideas do you have for attracting new jobs and investment?

Catanzaro: Clark County has the the zoning authority for our township saying that if the location allows, our board is always welcoming to business.

McClure: Our community has lost many young people over the years, often because of lack of job opportunities, housing options and recreational activities. To remain a healthy community we need to be receptive to planned growth, positive development and new business. Areas along Enon-Xenia Road and Dayton Road provide potential opportunities. I will continue to work with local landowners, Clark County officials, Clark County Community Development and the Community Improvement Corp. to attract positive development for our area.

Pettit: For the past several decades new housing as well as other development in Mad River Twp. has been on the decline. This decline has resulted in a decrease in the population of the township, which is reducing the tax base. I will work to bring in new business as well as the development of residential housing based on the present development plans that have not been fully utilized by the trustees. I will secure opinions from the township residents, work with the county planning commission, as well as other organizations and entities to bring new growth to the township.

What would you do if elected to make life better for residents?

Catanzaro: My goal when re-elected is to continue to establish a spending plan that funds vital services, provides high quality of life and a level of services our residents deserve and have come to expect.

McClure: I will work hard to support and maintain the emergency and safety services that our township provides. I will listen to the concerns of our residents and seek answers to their questions and solutions to their problems. I will work to maintain our roads and cemeteries. I will try to make people responsible for maintaining their properties and being responsible neighbors.

Pettit: The two main problems facing the residents of the township are developing a smooth running Fire/EMS Department and resolving the quarry issue. I will propose holding periodic workshops with the Fire/EMS to develop stronger management principles and improve the communication process. Members should feel free to discuss issues with trustees without the fear of retaliation and the need to send anonymous letters. I will assist residents in their quest to eliminate any development of a quarry at its proposed location.

What is your top priority if elected?

Catanzaro: My top three priorities if re-elected are the finances associated with the EMS and Fire Department, keeping the roads in good condition, and lastly addressing the distressed properties in a timely manner.

McClure: To support all efforts to protect the water, natural resources and private properties in our township from the proposed quarry.

Pettit: I have three top priorities. One, to stabilize the Fire/EMS department. I have investigated the issues facing the Fire/EMS and hope to gain full understanding of that. If elected, I will be informed and ready to address these employees and services of utmost importance to our community. Two, to stop the development of a quarry at its proposed location. Three, to address and find solutions to the drainage issues affecting the residents of Mad River Twp .

What other information do you want voters to have about you?

Catanzaro: I have been a resident of Mad River Twp. all of my life and a business owner for 40-plus years. My father always taught me to "Always do the right thing, even when no one is looking." I have tried to live up to that, even if it is not popular. I am committed to continuing to provide quality, cost effective services for Mad River Twp. residents and be the voice of the community while addressing the needs of the individual.

McClure: I am a lifelong resident of this township. I am a farmer, a landowner and a homeowner here. My family has lived in this township for over 200 years and I take a great deal of pride in our community. My father served as a Mad River Twp. Trustee for 32 years. I have a vested interest in making sure that our emergency services, our roads, our cemeteries and our community remain a place we can all take pride in. I am committed to serving the residents of Mad River Twp. I have been a trustee for 20 years and have the experience and the knowledge to make educated decisions and represent our constituents responsibly and fairly. I am committed to working for the community and my decisions and actions will not be based on personal agenda or bias, but based on the community's wishes and needs. I will listen to you and strive to serve you to the best of my abilities. I would appreciate your support on Nov. 7.

Pettit: It is time for new leadership in Mad River Twp. The present trustees have been in office for a number of years and they still have to resolve issues with in the Fire/EMS Department as well as other areas or departments in the township. I have the experience, leadership skills, and other tools necessary to be an outstanding township trustee. It is time for someone new to move Mad River Twp. in a positive direction

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