Love for Liberty Township, reducing bickering among trustees and service to residents are cited as motivations by six township trustee candidates running for two vacant seats Nov. 3.

Love for Liberty Township, reducing bickering among trustees and service to residents are cited as motivations by six township trustee candidates running for two vacant seats Nov. 3.

Mary Carducci, 47, Preston Court, has lived in the township since 1993. She and her husband Ernest have one daughter.

Don Grubbs, 47, of Delaney's Circle, has been a Liberty Township resident for 11 years. He and his wife have two grade-school age children.

Peggy Guzzo, 44, of Aberdeen Avenue, is a Delaware County native and has been a township resident since 1996. She and her husband, Vince, have two children.

Don Rankey Jr., 51, of Woodland Glen Drive, has been a township resident for two years and a county resident since 1985. He and his wife, Pam, have three children.

John Schuette, 73, of Seldom Seen Road, is a lifelong township resident. He and his wife, Betty, have seven grown children.

Curt Sybert, 48, of Hunters Bend Road, has been a township resident since 1993. He and his wife, Robin, have two children.

All six candidates have served or are serving elected public or political office.

Sybert and Guzzo, serving their first terms, are seeking re-election. Schuette has served 16 years as Liberty trustee. His last year of service as an elected official was 1989.

Rankey served from 1997-1999 on Delaware City Council.

Grubbs has served on Powell City Council since 2003; if elected as trustee, he said he would give up his council seat. Carducci holds a seat on the Delaware County Republican Central Committee.

Sybert and Guzzo each said they want to continue the work they have begun as trustees.

"I want to help guide responsible growth and development that compliments our community and protects against over-commercialization," Guzzo said.

She also said she wants to see through the completion of projects such as Havener Park, the Sawmill Parkway beautification plan and bicycle paths.

She cited her experience as a trustee working on projects with the Ohio Public Works Commission, Ohio Department of Transportation and the city of Powell.

She said her research skills have helped the community fight big-box retail development.

"(I) empowered the community to fight against inappropriate retail. With Walmart I was the one that discovered that there was limitation ... in the approved development plan that needed to be adhered to," she said, referring to a limitation on the square-foot density of retail space.

Siebert said he wants to complete what the board has started.

"There's unfinished business," Siebert said. "We've come a long way in the last four years. We've completely overhauled the township, but there are some things we could not complete and I'd like to see those things completed."

Siebert said the board approved an overhaul of the record-keeping system including zoning paperwork, keeping track of zoning developments and financial records.

"I've been active (in the township) since 1995," he said. "Ten years in zoning, four years as trustee and my (23 years of legal) training has helped me through all this. I understand a lot of issues."

Carducci has practiced law for 23 years, mostly as a private attorney with three years as an assistant to the Ohio Attorney General.

She said she is a "hard worker" whose legal degree helps in understanding litigation -- knowing "when to use it, if it's cost-effective and what the chances are of winning in court.

"This township has been shackled with legal fees that I don't think are necessary. A lot of this zoning (issues) could have been settled behind closed doors instead of incurring millions of dollars of fees. It's getting out of hand with the legal fees we can't afford it," she said.

Carducci also said she is running to return "civility" to the board.

"I think it's a bad reflection on any office when people bicker and can't get anything accomplished," she said, referring to the frequent arguing on the current board.

Rankey said a candidate must be a "problem-solver and also have the ability to play nicely with others. You can't let personalities get in the way of making good decisions."

He said his 25 years as a developer of retirement communities provides experience that would be useful as a trustee.

"I'm a very good business person (with) a strong financial and business management background," Rankey said. "That's what we really need right now. (I'm) good at strategic planning (and) looking for better ways to be more efficient, grow revenues without raising taxes and increase the services we provide. I do that every day with my business at Home Life."

Grubbs said he wants to see more cooperation between the township government and Powell, which is part of the township.

"(My) main motivation is dismay of the current trustees and their lack of being able to control what their expenditures are, added to the inability or unwillingness to cooperate with their neighbors in Powell," Grubbs said. "So instead of just complaining about it, I think I can do something about it -- get people pushing in the same direction for the benefit of the whole community and getting the township back to its core services -- fire, township road maintenance, parks."

Grubbs has said the township is spending too much on legal fees fighting Target and Walmart.

He said his experience as an attorney, six years as a councilman and two years as mayor have given him experience "with administration of government, keeping track of money, spending it wisely, dealing with and supporting staff and employees of the government, so they're doing the best job."

Schuette said he raised his family and has run a construction business for 42 years in the township. That gives him insight into the "evolution of the area," he said.

He also cited his 16 years as a trustee.

"I have business sense and common sense which is very lacking with the present board," he said.

Schuette said he would have a realistic but protective approach to the township he "loves."

"I know we can't keep it like it used to be, but you have to have some controls so that it doesn't go completely bonkers," Schuette said.

bbutcher@thisweekenws.com