Victor Paini has decided to run for a seat on the Madison Township Board of Trustees in November instead of seeking reelection to a second term on Canal Winchester Village Council.

Victor Paini has decided to run for a seat on the Madison Township Board of Trustees in November instead of seeking reelection to a second term on Canal Winchester Village Council.

"There hasn't been a (Madison Township) trustee from Canal Winchester in many, many years," he said. "I'm running so that Canal Winchester has a voice at the township table."

Paini, a Republican, has roughly three months to campaign before the November election. His choice to run for trustee leaves open a seat on village council.

Paini said he will campaign on cooperation, growth and transparency.

"The biggest thing for me is going to be regional cooperation and having the township take a leading role," Paini said. "There is going to be a lot of change in our region." After the next census in 2010, he said, "Canal Winchester is going to be a city, and Groveport may be a city, too. And we have the Intermodal at Rickenbacker.

"I'd like to get Canal Winchester, Groveport, Obetz, Lithopolis and Rickenbacker to discuss the future of the region. The township can be the glue between all the municipalities to save money and improve life for all residents."

Paini stopped short of backing a CEDA, or Community Economic Development Agreement, between Madison Township and local municipalities. Canal Winchester has had a successful CEDA with Violet Township."It's too early to say if a CEDA" is a good idea for the township, he said.

"But, it's definitely worth discussing," Paini added. "I'd like to see the township have an expanded leadership role in region."

To facilitate communication, Paini said that if elected, he would push for trustee e-mail addresses so constituents can directly contact elected officials -- something he said has worked well for council.

"I now get village resident e-mails frequently. And I take those to committee meetings," he said. "You have to open lines of communications."

During his council tenure, Paini said he's most proud of supporting expanded green space, reducing the speed limit on East Waterloo Street, expanding the safety and convenience of the covered bridge and residents' use of it, and the completion of the new water plant "on time and under budget."

"The community garden started out with five plots the first year, and is over 40 plots this year," said Paini, who spearheaded the project.

Notably, Paini broke with fellow council members on the bike path along Groveport Road, often casting the lone no vote. He didn't support the village's use of eminent domain to obtain the property needed for the path, he thought the route across Gender Road was unsafe and he thought the Ohio Department of Transportation's involvement increased the path's price tag.

"I thought the village could have done it cheaper," he said.

Paini said he's disappointed that he failed to secure a July 4 celebration with fireworks in the village.

Paini first entered public service as a mayoral appointment on a committee reviewing the village charter. The 36-year-old father of two has lived in Canal Winchester for a decade. His father graduated from Groveport High School and his family owned a "pay lake" on Hamilton Road north of U.S. Route 33 where people paid $5 to fish.

When not spending time on council, at home or at JP Morgan Chase, where he is a vice president overseeing technology, Paini serves on the boards of the American Red Cross for Fairfield and Hocking counties; the Central Ohio Eye Bank, which harvests corneas for blind patients; and Miracles & Magic, which raises money for children with life-threatening illnesses.

Being inside government has changed his perception of public service, he said.

"Everyone jokes about government bureaucracy, but it's a big eye-opener once you go through it," he said. "I wish sometimes that government would be more nimble. But in some ways (the red tape) is there for a good reason."

Paini said that he would eventually like to run for state office.

"I don't have a time frame. I think it would be good to work downtown at the Statehouse on some of the issues that are affecting our area."

Victor

Paini