Sharon Township voters will see a packed ballot when they select two candidates to township trustee seats out of a group of seven.
Incumbents John Oberle and Phillip Smith face challenges from Henry Belszek, Stephen Daley, Lucas Haire, Ed Johnston and Laura Kunze in the Nov. 7 election.
Five of the seven candidates answered ThisWeek's questions about their qualifications and local issues. Their responses have been distilled into the following capsules in alphabetical order, but their complete and unedited responses also are available at ThisWeekNEWS.com/Worthington.
Belszek, 61, is an architectural planner who has not held public office.
He emphasized security as his priority for the township and said he would like to create a block-watch program, along with outfitting township police with "state-of-the-art" technology.
Belszek wrote an emergency-preparedness plan that he hopes to distribute to residents. He said it details "how to handle natural or man-made events."
Daley is a 52-year-old financial adviser. He did not respond to messages requesting comment.
Haire, 37, is the director of development for Canal Winchester.
He said managing "the increasing costs of providing services while existing revenue streams are decreasing" is the most important issue facing the village and said Sharon Township needs to "live within its means and focus on efficient and cost-effective services."
Haire said he would "focus on economic development within the township" and said he plans to bring his economic experience with him.
Johnston, 57, said "finding ways to raise revenue and doing my part in declining health-care coverage" would be his priority as a trustee.
The CEO of a security company, Johnston is a former police officer and has consulted with municipalities.
Johnston said he would attempt to find "alternative financing" for local projects and would seek state and federal funding to help offset township costs.
Kunze is a 44-year-old health-care administrator who serves as the chairwoman of the Mount Air Improvement Corp. in Columbus.
She said "balancing our budget and supporting economic development that provides new revenue" would be her priority and said she would "fight to represent the unincorporated area" of the township if elected.
Kunze said it's "important" to have the unincorporated portion of the township represented, and she hopes to "work with the state legislature to encourage fair access for township residents to basic services."
Oberle, 47, has been a Sharon Township trustee since 2006.
An attorney, Oberle said he believes his experience is important "to help train the next generation of leaders at the township to keep the township as strong as it is."
He said he believes residents "do not want to expand shared services," and he wants to focus on economic development, expanded local funding and working with Franklin County.
Smith, 60, has served as a trustee since 2014.
He did not respond to messages requesting comment.