Westerville News & Public Opinion

Blendon incumbents plan joint re-election campaign


Blendon Township trustees Stewart Flaherty and Jan Heichel have announced they will seek to retain their seats and plan to run a joint campaign for the November election.

Their two seats on the three-seat board of trustees are due for election this year.

Flaherty has served on the board since 2007 and currently is its chairman.

Flaherty, who runs his own consulting business, served on Westerville City Council, including a stint as mayor, for 13 years before moving to Blendon Township.

He listed the recent development of a joint economic development zone agreement between Blendon Township and Westerville as one of his top accomplishments. Approved last year by voters, the agreement brings in more than $1 million for the township annually for infrastructure improvements and neighborhood revitalization.

The township is making further strides toward independence by seeking the creation of its own zoning codes and adding a building department.

"The township is in a state of transition, and I would like to serve the residents another term in order to continue to work on ways to enhance the township," Flaherty said.

Heichel was elected to the board in 2009 and currently serves as board vice-chairwoman. She previously served as board chairwoman.

Heichel has a financial background, and has worked for the credit card division of JP Morgan Chase Bank since 1999.

She and her husband have been Blendon Township residents and involved in the community for 39 years.

Heichel said she believes her knowledge of the township is a major benefit to the residents.

"I meet with many residents and listened to their concerns. I understand our diverse neighborhoods and work to insure that the residents' needs are addressed," she said.

She worked with the Westerville Area Resource Ministry to bring the group's free summertime lunch program to Ridgewood Park.

Flaherty and Heichel touted their accomplishments on the board, including working with the Ohio Department of Transportation to upgrade state Route 3, improving roads and curbs throughout the township, upgrading and improving the township complex and the cemetery, enhancing parks and expanding community activities.