MECHANICSBURG – Incumbents Christian Bradford and Jodi Compton and newcomer Charles Foss will vie for two open village council seats in the general election on Nov. 3.
Bradford, who lives on East Race Street with his wife and two children, began serving on council in 2010 when he was selected to fill the final year-and-half of a vacated seat. In 2011, he was elected to his first four-year term.
“For the past three years, I have been honored to be selected and have served as council president pro tem,” he said.
A 1993 graduate of Mechanicsburg High School, Bradford received a bachelor of arts in religion and philosophy from Otterbein University.
Professionally, Bradford is president of Capital Fire Protection Co. in Columbus, where he has worked for the past 15 years. He is on the company’s board of directors and is in a second term as a Worker’s Compensation Plan trustee for the Builder’s Exchange of Central Ohio.
“My education, work experience and background have allowed me to contribute significantly to the improvement of our community, and I hope that voters allow me to continue to serve,” Bradford said.
Having lived in the village 12 years and just beyond village limits in Goshen Township for another 12 years, Bradford said, the biggest issue council continues to deal with is faced by all entities, big and small – funding.
“It has been with collective effort and fiscal responsibility that the village has continued to operate in the black while both maintaining its budget and working to provide quality services and improved infrastructure to its residents,” he said. “I am a proud resident of Mechanicsburg and believe greatly in the strength of our community.”
Compton seeking re-election
A 1990 graduate of Mechanicsburg High School, Compton said she moved to the village with her family when she was 6 years old. Since then, she has moved away a few times for work purposes, but always found her way back to Mechanicsburg.
Compton attended Wittenberg University and The Ohio State University and spent eight years working for Larry F. Kyte Insurance and Realty in Mechanicsburg. Currently, she is a sales coordinator and trade show coordinator at Robert Rothschild Farm in Urbana.
In her spare time, Compton helped found the Mechanicsburg Free Community Meal, and she heads up the annual autumn coat drive, an offshoot of the meal. Along with serving as a 4-H advisor and member of the newly formed Mechanicsburg Citizens Against Heroin Board, she is a Sunday school teacher and part of the vestry at the Church of Our Saviour Episcopal Church.
“As a result of being so involved out in the community, I am able to meet and network with most of our citizens, so I have a broad understanding of what the people in our village need and want from the council, as well as an ability to translate that to my work at meetings to meet those needs and wants within the confines and opportunities of our local government,” Compton said.
First elected to council in 2011, Compton lives on School Street with her son, Leo.
While on council, Compton has served on the safety and finance committees, which over the past three-plus years has been responsible for hiring a new police chief, new fire and EMS chiefs, and purchasing new equipment for the village.
“I think undoubtedly, my personal investment and involvement in the village are my best qualifications for village council, she said. “I want to make sure the village is the best place to live for myself, my son and for future generations.”
Challenger enters the ring
Foss, the lone candidate not currently on council, said he decided to run for election as a way to help those who have always been there to help him over the years.
“As a lifelong resident of Mechanicsburg, I have grown up reaping the benefits of a close-knit, small-town community,” he said. “After many years of contemplation, I believe now is the time to give back to the community that has given so much to me.
“I believe that any organization can become stagnant if it does not have a source of fresh, new perspectives from time to time,” Foss added.
After graduating from Mechanicsburg High School in 1969, Foss received a bachelor’s degree in English and education from Urbana University in 1973 and a master’s degree in education from Wright State University.
Foss, who currently is president of CNTC Properties LLC in Mechanicsburg, retired from the Northeastern Local School District after 35 years in a variety of roles including Kenton Ridge High School principal, teacher and assistant principal.
Foss said his background has prepared him for a position on village council.
“My experience in managing a high school budget as well as a building full of employees has given me experience in budgetary concerns and human resources,” he said. “My background in English has allowed me to develop writing and speaking skills needed on council, but, most importantly, listening skills.”
Foss is past member of the St. Michael’s Parish Council, Northeastern Local Schools Curriculum Development Committee (chairman), Northeastern Local Schools Teacher Professional Development Committee (chairman), Clark County Career Education Development Committee (chairman), Northeastern High School Venture Capital Grant Committee (chairman), Northeastern High School Athletic Booster Board, Kenton Ridge High School Athletic Boosters administrative representative, Central Buckeye Conference Advisory Board and various other professional educational organizations. He is president of the Nickolas Edward Foss Memorial Scholarship Fund.
“Chairing and serving on various committees has allowed me to develop skills of leadership, compromise and availability, all important for such a position (council member),” Foss said.
Foss and his wife, Terri, have a son, Chris, and two grandchildren. The couple’s other son, Nickolas, was killed in 2008.
Joshua Keeran may be reached at 937-652-1331 (ext. 1774) or on Twitter @UDCKeeran.