Described as often critical but always caring, Prairie Township resident and former trustee Judy Stalter is saying good-bye to a place she has called home for 46 years.

Described as often critical but always caring, Prairie Township resident and former trustee Judy Stalter is saying good-bye to a place she has called home for 46 years.

Stalter attended her last township meeting on Aug. 25, when her contributions to the township were recognized by the current board of trustees. Stalter served the township for 30 years, 10 as trustee and 20 as a member of the zoning board.

Stalter said she began her career in the township during the 1980s when a zoning board was first established.

"The issues the township faced back then are similar to what the township faces now," she said. "Stormwater was and continues to be a big issue, as well as annexation."

Stalter said acres and acres of land was annexed into the city of Columbus during the housing boom of the 1980s and '90s.

"We lost so much to Columbus," she said.

Stalter said zoning issues could be very contentious among the residents. She recalled when new rental units were to be constructed at the corner of Hubbard Road and West Broad Street.

"The residents did not want these rentals," she said. "The zoning meetings were so heated that finally the company spokesperson said if you don't want it we won't build it. They withdrew from the project."

Stalter said serving the township has been one of the most rewarding things she has done. Her position on the zoning board and as trustee complemented her day job as assistant clerk for the Ohio Senate.

"I was able to take the knowledge I gained from my full-time job and bring it to the township," she said. "Each place taught me different things. Working in government got in my blood."

Stalter said she considers one of her biggest accomplishments while serving the township was having a hand in resolving a stormwater issue at Little Farms subdivision.

"Now there is some place for the water to go," she said. "There is a feeling of accomplishment when you can see the visible improvements."

Stalter said she will very much miss working with township residents. She said she and her husband have decided to purchase a house in Findlay, in northwest Ohio, in order to be close to their children.

"I consider this my hometown," she said. "I raised my children here. It became my home and getting involved is a big part of my life. I will miss my friends and acquaintances."

Trustees recognized Stalter with a "thank you" and "good luck."

"We haven't always agreed on everything but we disagreed in a professional manner," trustee Steve Kennedy said. "We both want the township to be a good place to raise families."