MAD RIVER TWP. – A current Mad River Township trustee will face competition from two challengers during his reelection bid next month.
Township residents will choose between either incumbent Michael E. Ward or challengers Shane Smith and Brad K. Zerkle as the three men vie for one township trustee seat.
A 1982 graduate of Graham High School, Ward currently serves as the Sutphen Corporation Service Department Project Organizer and the Westville Grain Co. board president. Ward said he has lived in the township most of his life along with all of his family that were born and raised in the township.
Ward said he is seeking re-election to continue cemetery, road and bridge maintenance in a fiscally responsible manner as it has been in the past years.
“With the budget cuts we have now, I believe I can, with your support and the other trustees, still go on with the township’s progress and build a safe and sound future for our township and its residents with the right planning and budgeting.”
A township resident for more than 40 years, Smith graduated from Graham in 1985 and Clark County Community College with an associate degree of applied business in accounting in 2012. He is currently employed by Stillwater Technologies in Troy.
Smith and his wife, Shayla, have six children and 11 grandchildren.
“Being a caring and considerate person, I will be able to work with all the residents of our township solving problems that arise in a timely matter,” Smith said. “I would like to look into updating our cemetery plotting books, possibly into a computer system for better record keeping. Taking care of our roads in the winter time is a very important task that the trustees take care of and I would look forward to keeping our roads safe in the winter time and also keeping up with maintenance in the summertime.”
Born in Springfield and raised in the township for the majority of his life, Zerkle attended Graham Local Schools throughout his academic career. Zerkle also has a degree in theology and said he has a deep sense of community service.
Zerkle previously served as a township trustee between 2010 and 2013 and has been a firefighter and EMT with the Johnson-St. Paris Fire District since 1987.
He said he is running for office because it is his personal passion to be able to contribute fully in helping fellow neighbors.
“I am a proactive trustee whom takes time to listen to my fellow residents and helps to resolve their issues,” Zerkle said. “I am a good steward of the townships’ resources, I am proactive in seeing equipment we own is maintained and properly cared for. I believe a trustee should be working, not just showing up to meetings and collecting a check.”
Nick Walton can be reached at 937-652-1331 Ext. 1777 or on Twitter @UDCWalton.