Fire/EMS big issue for candidates in Clark County township

Three candidates are on Tuesday’s ballot for Harmony Twp. trustee
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Three candidates are on Tuesday’s ballot for Harmony Twp. trustee

Three people are seeking two seats on the Harmony Twp. board of trustees, including two incumbents.

Harmony Twp. is the seventh largest township in Clark County, with more than 3,500 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 Harmony Twp. trustee candidates.

Ty Callicoat

Self-employed farmer

Biographical Information

Experience: I have been a private business owner for over 20 years, focusing on enhancing my community and preserving the land for future generations. Developing budgets, problem solving and working with individuals are just a few skills that I can bring to the Harmony Twp. trustees. I have served on various agricultural-related organizational boards that continually bring to light challenges and opportunities for Clark County and Ohio.

Education: Ohio State University, B.S. in agricultural business and economics; Northeastern High School, 1992.

Rick E. Delaney

Small business owner, plumbing/HVAC

Biographical Information

Experience: Harmony Twp. trustee for 16 years

Education: B.A. in business administration, Wilmington College, 1980

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Tom Troxell

Farmer

Biographical Information

Experience: Harmony Twp. trustee for eight years, self-employed farmer 40 years, seed sales 20 years

Education: Graduate Northeastern High School, the Ohio State University with a B.S. in animal science

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

Callicoat: Two of the biggest issues I see facing our township are less revenue coming from state sources and staff shortages on both the fire and EMS. It seems as though every year we receive less and less money from state tax sources, while the cost of the services we provide keep going up. Every dollar spent must be justified.

We have a great fire and EMS group. The issue over the past several years has been losing volunteers, mostly to retirement, and not being able to find people to replace them. The fire department has a lower amount of volunteers but also has a lower number of runs compared to the EMS. The EMS is overrun with calls and not enough staff/volunteers to properly support the community. We have had two paid responders covering the 12-hour weekday and recently Saturday shifts. This helps, but it is now becoming a problem even finding people to work these paid positions. We are now down to four volunteers to cover the remaining time. We have mutual aid agreements with neighboring townships, but they are facing the same issues. I hope we never have to experience when someone calls 9-1-1 and we don’t have the manpower to get a squad to them as soon as possible. I believe we need to look at partnering with neighboring communities on some type of joint EMS squad that could be staffed 24/7 and also pool volunteers for the times when the staffed squad is already on a run.

Delaney: The biggest problem we are facing currently is within our EMS component in the township because there is a general lack of individuals available and willing/able to do this job. Our current people are fantastic but we need some additional people in the job. We are consistently, constantly and actively searching for qualified people to fill additional positions with our EMS.

Troxell: The biggest problem is finding enough people to staff our fire and emergency squads. We are currently having trouble finding qualified people to make sure the township is covered when emergencies arise. We are relying on a few very dedicated people but we are trying to recruit more. The job is very rewarding but it takes a lot of training and there aren't many that want to take advantage of our training tuition programs. We are constantly trying to recruit new members and recently sent a flier out to residents in the township explaining our needs and information on how to join. In my opinion this is our biggest issue because it directly affects the residents.

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

Callicoat: I have been running and growing our family farm for 20-plus years. In this role, I am always working with budgets and additional financial aspects of our business. I work closely with landowners, marketing agencies, cooperatives, financial institutions, etc., to make decisions that not only benefit the growth of our business but leaving a reputable, reliable mark on the community. When deciding on what type of seeds to plant or which piece of equipment is most efficient, I do research and talk to individuals to see their experience/opinion to make a well informed decision. I will give the same due diligence to the business at hand concerning Harmony Twp.

Delaney: I feel I am very qualified for this job because I have a working knowledge of the township — from roads and cemeteries to Fire/EMS and zoning issues. I am well acquainted with the other elected officials in our area — both township and county — who all work together for the common good. This working relationship is vital in order to best utilize our resources and pool our different areas of expertise. My 16 years experience in this position — with all the researched and quality decisions already made — make me very qualified to continue. I not only have a working knowledge of what it takes to run a township, I have a hands-on approach and I can often be found checking roads, running a snow plow, working in the cemetery and in general doing whatever is needed within the township.

Troxell: I have been a trustee for eight years, a self-employed farmer for 40-plus years and run a successful seed sales business. I make decisions every day, some big mostly small but I'm ably to come to conclusions based on facts I have.

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?

Callicoat: By raising our family and working in the community, I experience first hand the challenges and opportunities that face Harmony Twp. I will work with the other Harmony Twp. trustees and Clark County officials to bring financial and employment stability to our township.

Delaney: I am always willing to work with other elected officials and business owners to enable new enterprises to locate in our township — adding new jobs and income for our township and its constituents. If there is a zoning or location question or any other issue we work to resolve things so the best outcome is assured for the residents of our township.

Troxell: We are mainly a rural township. It appears there are enough jobs because there are help wanted signs in a lot of business windows. As trustee we are charged with keeping our roads open and in good repair. Keeping our cemeteries presentable, and keep our emergency services up and running. If we can accomplish these things we have done our job.

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

Callicoat: Rural Clark County is a beautiful place to live. I would like to ensure that beauty and safety of our township by: maintaining the final resting places of our loved ones, mow shoulders and ditches to provide clear field of vision for drivers, clear and treat roads during inclement weather, repair roads, equip and staff Fire and EMS departments to continue to serve our community.

Delaney: To make life better for our residents is always a top priority. I would continue to upgrade township roads for safety and drive-ability, continue to work to bring additional EMS providers to ensure our residents are able to receive quick and efficient service for their health needs and response time for accidents and fires — something we are proud of and work to continue to be able to provide.

Troxell: If we can just keep up with road maintenance at a reasonable cost and be frugal with our tax dollars, that would make life a little better for the residents

What is your top priority if elected?

Callicoat: My top priority is making sure we have a fire and EMS department that can support the growing needs of Harmony Twp.

Delaney: Our top priority continues to be making life better for our residents. To do this our focus must be to efficiently and wisely use the tax dollars our constituency so generously provide to us to use. I take our fiscal responsibility very seriously. I pay taxes, too, and we all want the wisest, most efficient "bang for our buck" that we can provide.

Troxell: Spending tax dollars wisely.

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

Callicoat: As times change, I want to be able to provide a community that my family is proud of and want to continue to live and serve. By being elected as a Harmony Twp. trustee, I will be able to make that come true helping not only those who are township "lifers" but those who want to move here to experience the beauty, wholesomeness and safety that Harmony Twp. can offer.

Delaney: I think it is important to know that I have a very good and strong working relationship with the other trustees in our township as well as the many qualified and important people who work for the township and provide invaluable services. I think it is also important to know that I have good working relationships with many other government officials. This relationship is very important as we work on combined projects for the most efficient use of funds and services. I am a small businessman myself and I know the importance of spending wisely while delivering a quality product. As a township trustee I always strive to provide quality — no matter the endeavor. I thoroughly enjoy being a township trustee and work hard to address issues in the township quickly, working for an agreeable solution for the good of the constituents.

Troxell: I have lived in Harmony Twp. all my life, along with my two sons and their families and my parents. I’m not planning to move. I like it here and hope to be able to serve another four years.

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