Sharon Township Trustee {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

Sharon Township voters will see a packed ballot when they select two candidates to township trustee seats out of a group of seven.Incumbents John Oberle and Phillip Smith face challenges from Henry Belszek, Stephen Daley, Lucas Haire, Ed Johnston and Laura Kunze in the Nov. 7 election.Read more:Sharon Township trustees: Two incumbents face seven challengers
Choose two candidates from below to compare.
  • Henry I. Belszek

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    Stephen Daley Financial Advisor

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    Lucas Haire Development Director City of Canal Winchester

  • Ed Johnston

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    Laura Kunze Practice Administrator, Realtor

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    John H. Oberle Attorney

  • Phillip Smith

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Biographical Information

What would you consider the most important issue facing the township?

In what area is it most important for the township to collaborate with organizations and municipalities outside of its boundaries?

What else would you like to say to voters?

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Age 52
Education Bachelor of Science in Business & Marketing Education, Bowling Green State University, 1988
Experience Has served on numerous boards in leadership positions since 1989. Member of the Board of Trustees at Bowling Green State University. Currently Chair of the Financial Affairs & Facilities Committee which oversees a $400 million budget.
Family Grew up in Lima, Ohio and raised in large family: 9th of 10 children. Married to Robert Conley and have step-son Britain
Religion United Methodist
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Sharon Township is in need of a Strategic Plan. Like many townships, the township has experienced dramatic cuts from the State of Ohio to the local government fund. The Police Department has seen additional loss of funding at the Federal Level. I have extensive experience in helping create financial plans for individuals and small businesses. As a Trustee at Bowling Green State University, I Chair the Financial Affairs & Facilities Committee. Like the Township, the University has experienced dramatic funding cuts from the state. To be successful, the University has as a Strategic Plan. With a plan, the township can identify the various challenges in our neighborhoods as well as opportunities. I have been endorsed by Sharon Twp. Fiscal Officer, John O'Keeffe due to my financial background and leadership experience and track record of getting things done. I also support John's proposal of utilizing a Joint Economic Development District (JEDD) as a potential revenue source.
Sharon Township is uniquely positioned around the City of Worthington and also shares borders with Columbus as well as Perry Township. It is important that the Trustees continue to identify opportunities for shared services with our neighboring townships and Municipalities. The Police department is a great example. As I've knocked on hundreds of doors of township residents, I sense a strong support for the township having our own police department. I am very supportive of the police department. There are potential opportunities for efficiencies within our police department relating to sharing services with our neighboring township of Perry as well as Columbus and Worthington. I have good relationships with many elected officials in Worthington and the City of Columbus. I know all three of the Franklin County Commissioners and have been endorsed by Commissioner Marilyn Brown. As Trustee, collaborating with Franklin County and our neighbors is imperative for our continued success.
I was raised in a large family of parents who were community leaders. In my professional life, I have always valued the importance of giving back, getting involved and get things done! It is critical that the township has a strategic plan to map out our challenges and opportunities. As a Financial Planner with over 25 years of experience, I specialize in creating plans for individuals and businesses. As Chair of the Financial Affairs and Facilities Committee of a University with a $400 million budget, I've seen the positive impact of having a Strategic Plan as it directly correlates to BGSU's success. Townships and municipalities in Ohio are feeling the effects of massive cuts to the local government fund from the State. The status quo is no longer an option. Efficiencies need to be identified with how our current services are rendered. A vote for me is a vote FOR Sharon Township.
Age 37
Education Bachelor of Arts, Urban Geography, The Ohio State University; Master of Business Administration, Franklin University
Experience 16 years of local government experience as a planner and economic development director. I have developed and implemented strategic plans for communities, set and managed budgets, and assisted in attracting more than 3000 jobs to communities
Family Married to Kelly, with two young children a daughter and a son.
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The increasing costs of providing services while existing revenue streams are decreasing. The State of Ohio has significantly changed the ability for townships to collect revenue over the last decade, but local governments have not done enough to adapt and plan for these reduced funding streams. Instead of adapting and changing their service model the Sharon Township elected leaders have decided to request more revenue from the residents through a property tax increase. Taxpayers are being asked to fund many priorities in Franklin County through property taxes and at some point sacrifices will need to be made on what services they will fund. The Township needs to live within its means and and focus on efficient and cost effective services. I pledge to do this as your trustee and to not support any additional levy requests. Finding a way to be more efficient so the great services that residents have come to expect can be maintained has to the the biggest issue facing Sharon Township.
There are many opportunities to look at shared services or shared equipment to provide services with other jurisdictions that are within Sharon Township or share boundaries with the unincorporated areas. Since the unincorporated areas of the township are not contiguous it creates a lot of inefficiency in providing services. The Township already shares a Fire Department and cemeteries with Worthington and there is an opportunity to examine further shared services with surrounding governments or examining privatizing some government operations that can be better and more cost effectively served by private businesses. The State Auditor has also taken the lead in this area creating where local governments can share expensive equipment that is rarely used like asphalt pavers or front loaders. The township should investigate sharing other government entity's equipment rather than buying their own that is rarely utilized.
I have 16 years of experience in economic development and planning at the local government level. My experience includes setting and managing budgets, establishing strategic and capital improvement plans, and enacting changes that lead to more effective and efficient government.

I am running so that my experience may benefit our community and so our township can be run more effectively without the need for more revenue from our residents. I will focus on economic development within the township to ensure that development financially benefits our township while protecting the character that makes our community so special. This will help reduce the tax burden on our residents to ensure that our existing residents that built this wonderful community can afford to stay here.

I believe that our residents know what is best for Sharon Township. Through greater accountability and transparency I hope to empower residents to be more informed participants in their government.
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Age 44
Education BA 1995- Otterbein University MA 1997- Lesley University MBA 2010- The Ohio State University
Experience Over 17 years in business management, strategy, and leadership. Real estate agent since 2014. Community leader for over 4 years as Chair of Mt Air Improvement Corp. Actively working on plan for sustainable water/sewer in unincorporated area
Family Proud aunt to 3 nieces and a nephew, sibs and their spouses, loving parents. Rescue pets Sammy, Tinker, Moses and Woody
Religion Christian
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The most important issue facing Sharon Township is balancing our budget and supporting economic development that provides new revenue to fund our vital services while keeping taxes as low as possible.

As a resident of the unincorporated area, I am aware of the challenges created by the City of Columbus when they deny our residents fair pricing and/or access to safe drinking water and sanitary sewers.

If elected township trustee, I will fight to represent the unincorporated area residents solve these problems and ensure that our basic services (police, fire, trash, etc.) are maintained while keeping our taxes low.

I am the only candidate this year with an MBA, which I hope will help with the township’s budget analysis.

As a township that has had most of our revenue-producing territory gradually annexed by the City of Columbus or the City of Worthington, we need to work with the state legislature to encourage fair access for township residents to basic services such as drinking water and city sewer service. Township residents should not be charged higher prices than Columbus charges itself, as many of our families are low income. We can also work with outside communities to save money, which we already do for services such as 911 and fire/ems service.
It is important to elect a township trustee to represent the unincorporated area, who has been a resident of the township for many years. I have an MBA, which makes my candidacy different than other candidates. I also grew up in Worthington, so I know many of the families there. As chair of the Mount Air Improvement Corporation, I have a proven record helping the community get projects done for the common good. I am hopeful that voters will recognize these benefits and elect me this November.
Age 47
Education -Capital University Law School -Ohio Wesleyan University, B.A.
Experience -Sharon Township Trustee for 12 years (current Chairman) -Vice Chair of our Local Cemetery Board -Worthington Tax Incentive Review Council member -Riverlea Infrastructure Committee Member -Former Ohio State Airport Advisory Committee Member
Family -Wife- Lori Oberle (19 years) -Three daughters in Worthington Schools -Mom and Sister-in-law live in Township
Religion Christian
Maintaining services at their current level will be our key challenge based on current funding sources. The legislature has cut the local government fund. We need to be proactive to find funding opportunities while working to keep the taxes low. After doing a survey, we learned residents are very happy with current services and want them continued. The residents also do not want to expand shared services and I support their position. I have been working with our team to find new revenue sources & to increase the property value of the township through development projects. We have been very successful in bringing in new revenue and I have the experience to achieve this goal.
1) Economic Development- Redevelopment of the Olentangy Valley Center- We want to support the project which will greatly improve the Center while increasing shopping and living opportunities for our residents. This project will also help the financial budget of the Township. We need to work with other political subdivisions to make this happen.

2) Local Government Funding- With the cuts in local government funding we need to work collaboratively with other governments to support funding for our residents.

3) Keeping Strong Support from Franklin County- Franklin County provides great support for the Township- keeping a strong partnership with the County is important.
I would sincerely appreciate your vote on November 7th! It has been a privilege to serve you over the last 12 years and no one will work harder to serve you and achieve great results for our residents. Thank you very much for your consideration!
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