MAD RIVER TOWNSHIP – When Mad River Township voters cast their ballots on Nov. 3, they will choose between two candidates running for one seat on the township board of trustees.
The contested race pits incumbent Kathy Estep against challenger Stuart Young for a four-year term on the three-member board.
Estep has resided in the village with her husband Bill since 1964 and is seeking a fifth term in office. Her educational background includes a BS in Education from Wright State University and a MS from the University of Dayton, along with a social agency counseling certification. Estep is also a graduate of The Ohio Township Association Leadership Academy and has attended the Ohio Township Association’s Educational Seminars every year since 1999.
Estep taught in the Greenon Local School District for 35 years and was an adjunct instructor at Wittenberg University. During her teaching career, Estep also served on the social studies curriculum committee for the Ohio Department of Education.
Estep worked on the Clark County “Crossroads” land use plan and developed and obtained approval from Clark County for the Mad River Township land use plan. She served on the Enon Village Council from 1993 to 1999 and has served one year as a member of the Miami Valley Military Affairs Association; four years on the Clark County Solid Waste Management Advisory Board; nine years on the Clark County Transportation Coordinating Committee; 10 years on the Keep Clark County Beautiful Board and the Clark County Hoarding Task Force; and 12 years on the Scenic Mad River Committee.
“As a teacher, I tried to instill that value in my students through class projects and my own example. Since I retired from teaching, I have devoted myself to township interests as a full- time trustee,” Estep said. “I am always ready to attend daytime and evening meetings, hearings and conferences on behalf of our township. I am running so that I can continue to address the needs and concerns of all township citizens.”
If reelected to another term, Estep stated that she would use much of the same, effective strategies to maintain and when needed, improve services for township residents while achieving a balanced budget. She said her time in office includes applying and receiving more than $1.2 million in grant funds to go toward road repairs, parks and services.
“We do not employ any administrative staff to assist trustees in township work,” she said. “Calls that come to the township office are forwarded to our home phones. It is our policy to thoroughly research and compare prices and attempt to get the best value for the tax payer’s dollars.”
According to Estep, continuing first-class emergency services and maintaining township roads, without raising taxes, top the list of issues facing trustees in the next few years. She noted that costs of road repairs and road salts have skyrocketed in recent years while federal and state funding has lagged.
Young is a lifelong resident and 1983 Greenon High School graduate owns a 64-acre farm in the township and has been very involved in the family business, Young’s Jersey Dairy, where he currently works as the farm manager and holds a position on the board of directors.
Young is the son of retire Hustead Fire Chief William Young and has been a volunteer firefighter for the Husted Fire Department for 34 years and has held the offices of lieutenant, captain and assistant chief.
In 2012, Young was appointed by the Ohio Attorney General to the Governing Board of the Ohio Consumer Counsel and was recently appointed to another three-year term. He was also nominated for the position of vice chairman at the September board meeting, and that vote will take place at the counsel’s November board meeting.
Young served a term on the Clark County Rural Zoning Board, 10 years on the Clark County Farm Bureau Board, including two years as president and is a member of the State Farm Bureau’s Policy Development Committee. The candidate has also taken an active role in other community projects, including a number of school-related activities.
“I would like the opportunity to expand my service to this community by being elected to the Mad River Township Board of Trustees,” Young said. “I have attended many meetings over the last 30 years, and the atmosphere has changed. The meetings used to be more open and inviting, and there were less executive sessions. I want to reestablish the way it once was and have more open discussions of issues and improve transparency.”
If elected, Young noted that he would take several measures to maintain critical services and prioritize the needs of township residents while achieving a balanced budget. He describes himself as fiscally conservative and feels that working with other townships to purchase bulk supplies or items as a group would be beneficial.
“I would like to improve emergency medical coverage at night by adding staff at the Hustead station. This would improve coverage on the eastern side of the township and allow for a second unit at night in the Enon area,” he said. “Other concerns I have include drainage problems in west Enon, using our new road levy money efficiently, and the continuing rise in emergency service needs.”
Young believes the township trustees will need to address two major issues in the next four years that will require some changes in certain township policies, such as getting bills paid on time and allowing bids to take place regarding utility aggragation.
Linda Collins is a freelance writer for Greene County News.