Voters will have the opportunity to choose from two incumbents and one challenger when they cast their ballots for two seats on the Jerome Township board of trustees in the Nov. 7 general election.

Joe Craft and C.J. Lovejoy are each completing their first terms on the three-person board, said Robert Caldwell, township fiscal officer.

The term or township Trustee Ron Rhodes expires in December 2019, Caldwell said.

Craft and Lovejoy are being challenged by Andrew Diamond, an informational technology professional who has lived in the township for about nine years.

Diamond said his attendance at trustee and zoning commission meetings along with his work with the Jacquemin Farms referendum campaign have helped prepare him for the role of trustee.

Growth and its effect on schools, roadways and public safety services is a key issue in the township, Diamond said.

"I would want to slow that growth and manage it in a more responsible manner," he said. Developers should also be responsible for paying for infrastructure improvements necessary for their projects, he said.

Diamond also said he wants to rectify what he described as a lack of information provided by township officials to residents. He said he would begin posting agendas and meeting minutes online, improve the township website and post information on a township Facebook page.

He said he would also be more generous with public participation during meetings.

Tax-increment finance districts are also a concern, Diamond said, because the resulting lack of property tax revenue shortchanges school districts.

A TIF is an economic-development mechanism available to local governments to finance public-infrastructure improvements and, in certain circumstances, residential rehabilitation, according to the Ohio Development Services Agency.

A TIF locks in the taxable worth of real property at the value it holds at the time the authorizing legislation is approved, diverting resulting incremental revenue increases to designated uses, such as funding necessary improvements or infrastructure to support a new development.

Revenue that exceeds the locked-in valuation of the land is diverted from entities that typically receive property-tax revenue, including school districts, parks districts, library districts and fire departments.

Craft and Lovejoy did not return repeated telephone calls requesting comment.

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