There are three candidates running in the Nov. 7 general election for two seats on the Violet Township board of trustees .
Incumbents Terry J. Dunlap and Harry Myers Jr. are being challenged by Melissa Wilde, who is a Pickerington city councilwoman
Here are the candidates' responses to a request for biographical information, a description of their motivation for running and their opinions about what they identifiy as key issues township reswidents will face in the coming years:
Terry J. Dunlap
Occupation: Farmer, retired law enforcement
Education: High school graduate, attended college
Experience: Dunlap has been a Violet Township Trustee since 1993. He has been a Scout leader, police officer and Safety Service Director.
Motivation for running:
Dunlap said residents of Violet Township need a qualified person who can "accomplish the job by using tax dollars prudently and can secure grants while using "innovative methods to provide services."
He said he wants to continue assisting with the planning stages of a community authority program which could produce revenues to build a new community center in Violet Township.
"My experience, knowledge and passion make me the best fit for Township Trustee," he said.
Creating jobs and producing tax revenue are two main issues Dunlap identified.
He said he will continue to support the Violet Township Port Authority and the U.S. Route 33 Growth Alliance to help bring development to Violet Township.
Dunlap said he wants to see a new "land use development plan" to both enhance the quality of life and protect property rights."
Harry Myers Jr.
Education: Pickerington High School
Occupation: Retired from the commercial construction industry
Experience: Myers has been a Violet Township Trustee since 2001. He is retired and currently helps coach high school football.
Motivation for running:
"Representing our citizens is an important privilege that I take very seriously," Myers said. He said he is seeking office so he can continue to provide "the best and most responsible services to (our) residents."
Myers said his unique experience developed from his career in the construction industry allows him to make "knowledgeable decisions about construction projects" in the township.
"I am always accessible to our residents and I can dedicate the necessary time to making Violet Township the best place it can be," said Myers. "I raised my family in Violet Township because I love it here."
Myers said managing growth is the major issue facing Violet Township.
He said one way the township can do so is by developing the community authority concept, which could provide "resources critical to responsible growth" without financially burdening residents.
"I plan to play a key role in the development and oversight of this process," Myers said.
As to the issue of a community center, Myers said the financial impact of any future community center in Violet Township "must be researched extensively."
He said there needs to be additional research into the feasibility of such a project.
"A nice idea does not always become a viable and sustainable project," he said.
Occupation: Business owner
Education: A bachelor of science degree from the University of Dayton and a master's degree in public administration from California State University-Long Beach.
Experience: Wilde is currently serving a four-year term on Pickerington City Council, having been elected in 2015. She touted her passion about community planning.
Motivation for running: Wilde said she is "passionate about city planning and development."
"The opportunities we have to bring light industry and office parks into the township are incredibly exciting," she said.
She said she has thoroughly researched the feasibility of building a community center in the township and hopes to continue that effort as Violet Township Trustee.
"It is time for the residents to have the opportunity to vote on a community center," she said.
Wilde said she envisions a center to have amenities such as an aquatics center, as well as classroom and theatre space that can be used by the entire community and also serve as a "business incubator."
"I am a mother of three who wants to make sure our community is a place our children want to raise their children," said Wilde.
Wilde said she wants to slow housing development which creates pressure on infrastructure and schools.
She said she wants to help develop a community vision plan and said she would work hard to attract light industry and business to the township to diversify revenue sources.
"Our budget currently relies heavily on residents. It is critical to identify a business corridor and set aside shovel-ready properties," she said.