Three candidates — incumbent Michael W. Schmidt, Joseph E. Doty and Craig Horner — are seeking two seats on the Westfield Township Board of Trustees in November.
Assistant fiscal officer Teresa M. Haendiges is running unopposed to fulfill the unexpired term of Fiscal Officer Martha Evans, who is retiring at the end of the year.
The trustee candidates were each asked two questions. See their answers inside, AX
Question: What makes you the best candidate for the position?
Doty: My experience serving on public boards: I served four years on the Cloverleaf Board of Education from 2008-11. I am currently serving on the Westfield Township Zoning Commission. I was appointed to the zoning commission in January 2014. I have served the last 2ﾽ years as chairman.
Education: My education includes a bachelor’s degree from Muskingum University with a double major in history and political science. I have a master’s in public administration from the University of Akron and my juris doctor is also from the University of Akron.
Professional experience: As an attorney, I have the ability to assess a situation from all sides and the ability to negotiate compromises.
Horner: Longtime resident. Know current trustee members. Have been Leroy United Methodist Church trustee before. I understand duties and financial decisions that need to be made to run the business. My kids are through the Cloverleaf system. I work day shift and will be able to spend the time at meetings addressing the township issues.
Schmidt: Community involvement including: Cloverleaf school board member, 14 years, and president; Medina County Career Center board member, four years, and president; Medina County Board of Realtors member and president; National and Ohio Association of Realtors, various committees; Westfield Township Board of Zoning Appeals member, 27 years, and former chairman; Westfield Little League Baseball president and coach; Westfield Girls Softball vice president and coach; Cloverleaf All Sports Booster president and member; Cloverleaf Schools Band Boosters member; Cloverleaf Schools Pulse Team Member and co-chair; Cloverleaf Schools PTO member; Cloverleaf Schools facility plan member and co-chair; Cloverleaf Schools Academic Hall of Fame committee member; Cloverleaf Soccer Association boys and girls coaches; Cloverleaf Pride Committee member; foreign exchange student program host family; Sunday school teacher; Westfield Township Comprehensive Plan; Cloverleaf Schools Comprehensive Strategic Plan; Medina County Career Center Comprehensive Strategic Plan; Cloverleaf Schools levy committees; Cloverleaf Local Business Scholarship Board; Rebuilding Together Medina County board member.
Question: What are the biggest challenges facing your township and how would you address them?
Doty: One of the biggest challenges is to maintain the rural/small-town atmosphere of the township in the face of potential development. The township has a comprehensive plan in place that addresses this issue and my goal would be to stay true to the comprehensive plan to the best of my ability. The overwhelming majority of residents of Westfield Township, myself included, want to maintain this environment. Any growth needs to be well planned and consistent with the wishes of the residents.
The other big issue is the cuts in the Local Government Fund from the state. We need to work with our legislators to restore those cuts to the Local Government Fund. These funds are used for our roads, safety services, parks and cemeteries.
Horner: Right now, we need to finalize the issue with the Kratzer property. From what I’ve learned, the legal fees are very costly, and we still have no end to the issue.
The current issue is the Westfield Fire Department building. The residents understand that a new building is needed. We need to make sure that the plan brought to the voters is the best and financially affordable.
Schmidt: 1. Creating housing and commercial growth for increased revenue; 2. keeping up with road maintenance; 3. our safety service operations.
1. We have just created our first subdivision in the township in our suburban residential district that is established for 104 high-density sublots with 30 percent open space (green space) when fully completed. Construction has started.
We are also in the final stages of approving an overlay district on the east Greenwich Road corridor. Our comprehensive plan completed in 2014 spelled out a detailed schematic of what should be established there to maximize future possible development plans that include many forms of commercial venues, light industrial, office, planned unit developments, senior housing and recreational facilities to name a few. This will expand exponentially the current uses of the area and provide growth and revenue to the township.
The highway commercial area of the township was also just revised through zoning changes this year and allows for increased density and east of access for drives and lot sizes, thus making it easier for developers and investors to engage businesses. Result will be increased revenue for the township.
2. The 19 miles of roads the township is responsible to maintain are always a top priority for constituents for safe travel. Through a careful and scheduled maintenance calendar, we have established with our experienced road supervisor, along with grants applied for and received through the county and state, we are proud of the level of integrity to our roads and keep them in excellent condition.
3. We are asking our voters to approve a 2.2-mill bond levy this November to build a new safety services building, which is badly needed. The current facility is not large enough to house all our vehicles and not a safe or healthy environment for our volunteer firefighters and EMT staff. This will ensure our community has fast, reliable and economical safety forces for their protection and emergency services.
Joseph E. Doty
- Age: 48
- Education: bachelor of arts, Muskingum University; master of public administration and juris doctor, University of Akron
- Family: spouse, Virginia; children, Jon, Dylan and Evan.
- Occupation: attorney, private practice
- Age: 57
- Education: Cloverleaf
- Family: spouse, Lila; children, Eryka, Cyanne and Madison
- Occupation: printer, MPI LabelTek, Wadsworth
Michael W. Schmidt
- Age: 64
- Education: Normandale College, University of Minnesota, Hondros College
- Family: spouse, Linda; children, two girls and one boy, and three grandchildren
- Occupation: Realtor, M.C. Real Estate, Medina