Two trustees face pair of challengers on ballot
Orange Township residents who head to the polls Nov. 5 will be asked to select from four candidates to fill two seats on the board of trustees.
The candidates are incumbents Debbie Taranto and Rob Quigley and challengers Angela F. Wilkerson and Bob Ruhlman.
"I only have the best interest at heart when serving the residents of Orange Township," said Taranto of why voters should elect her to her first full term in office. She was elected in 2011 to a two-year term.
"It's not about politics, it's about taking care of Orange -- our hometown," she said.
She said if she is elected, she will continue seeking grants to offset township costs, encouraging development and collaborating with local governments to share resources.
"Our township is aging and we have a lot of roads to maintain and improve upon," Taranto said. "There is a theory out there that we should use all of our general-fund money on parks, fire and road improvements and have no parks or fire levy. That is a recipe for disaster.
"It would bankrupt us, close down our parks and fire department, and there would be no road maintenance after just a few short years," she said. "I need to look to the future and protect the residents and Orange, and if that money is depleted, I can assure you that there will be increased taxes and road improvement levies for the residents."
Taranto, 46, is the owner of Taranto's Pizzeria and the founder of the Orange Township Business Association and the July Fourth Orange Celebration Parade.
She has lived in the township for 15 years and has two sons who graduated from Olentangy Orange High School and a daughter who currently is a student at Orange.
To learn more about Taranto and her campaign, visit VoteForTaranto.com.
Quigley also said it's important for the township to find a way to maintain services while decreasing taxes.
"Managing the township's budget efficiently and growth effectively while creating a sense of community and keeping taxes to a minimum are some of the top issues," he said.
Quigley is seeking his second term.
"Looking ahead, I am working on some shared service ideas that will cut our operational costs and I am working with the business community to develop a responsible economic growth plan which strikes a proper balance between the needs of all Orange Township residents and its businesses," he said. "I will continue to push for grants for parks and fire. With a focus on proper economic development, my goal is to alleviate the tax burden while maintaining quality of life."
Quigley, 40, is vice president of public-sector product development for Evalon Inc. He serves on the Delaware County Central Committee and the Rosemont Center board and also is an active OYAA coach. Quigley is a U.S. Army veteran.
He and his wife, Stacey, have lived in the township for more than a decade and have two children.
For more information about Quigley and his campaign, visit VoteForQuigley.com.
Wilkerson said if she were a trustee, she would make sure she's always responsive to residents in an effort to create a sense of community in Orange Township.
Because maintaining the township's positive identity and strong infrastructure while expanding are such important issues, Wilkerson said, she would use her experience in government accounting to balance the township's budget in a way that will sustain adequate fire, police and EMS staffs, sanitary sewers and roads.
"Although we live in an affluent community, that does not excuse waste or poor planning," she said. "I promise that I will keep a sharp eye on the bottom line and protect the budget as if it were my own."
Wilkerson, 51, has been a tax preparer for 30 years and owns Diamond Tax Service.
She has lived in the township for four years and has three grown children.
For more information about Wilkerson and her campaign, search "Angela Wilkerson for Orange Township Trustee" on Facebook.
This will be the second time Ruhlman has vied for a trustee seat. He ran in 2011 and continues to run on a campaign of lowering residents' tax burdens while improving township services.
He could not be reached for comment this week, but according to BobRuhlman.com, to achieve those goals, Ruhlman would rank capital-spending projects by resident benefit to ensure purposeful spending, implement EMS billing for insured users, rent the township pool and sports fields after hours, consolidate services with nearby municipalities and reduce the parks levy by half.
Ruhlman, 41, is a manager in corporate financial planning and analysis. He also is an OYAA coach and the founder of an after-hours youth exercise program at Glen Oak Elementary School.
He and his wife, Carrie, have lived in the township for seven years and have four children: Evan, 10, Emma, 7, Lily, 4, and Bryce, a newborn.