Incumbent Steve Kennedy will be the only candidate for Prairie Township trustee to appear on the Nov. 2 ballot, but two seats on the board are open.

Incumbent Steve Kennedy will be the only candidate for Prairie Township trustee to appear on the Nov. 2 ballot, but two seats on the board are open.

Former township trustee Joe Wharton and residents Chris Rymer and Ron Ball are running as write-in candidates. Trustee Nicole Schlosser decided not to seek re-election.

Ron Ball

Maintaining a balanced budget and making sure that Prairie Township residents continue to receive a high level of public service are among priorities Ron Ball has emphasized in his campaign.

Ball has been a homeowner and a township resident for more than 32 years. He began his career in 1971 as a volunteer firefighter for the township, was hired as a full-time firefighter in 1983 and was promoted to the rank of fire lieutenant in 1992.

He retired in 2008. He currently works part-time as a bus drive for Upper Arlington City Schools.

Ball said he also hopes to explore the possibility of a senior/community center and to resolve water rate issues for residents served by Ohio American Water.

Steve Kennedy

Kennedy has served one four-year term as trustee. He noted his first term on the board will end with a surplus of $200,000 in township coffers.

Kennedy is owner and operator of Steve's Country Drive-Thru, located on West Broad Street in Alton.

"Government shouldn't live beyond its means, and I want to continue to apply that philosophy to Prairie Township government," Kennedy said.

Kennedy has also spearheaded a regional effort to prevent Ohio American Water (OAW) from increasing its rates and is co-chair of Fight The Hike Ohio, an initiative to find a solution to the water and sewer fee issue.

Kennedy said he would like to see economic agreements like the JEDD come to fruition -- something that has the potential to redevelop and redefine the West Broad Street business corridor, he said.

Chris Rymer

Future growth and development along West Broad Street, along with the future of the Prairie Township Senior Center, top the concerns of write-in trustee candidate Chris Rymer.

Rymer currently serves on the township zoning board and has lived in the township for one year. He said he has more than 25 years of experience in construction management.

His first concern as trustee, however, would be to address the Ohio American Water proposed rate increase, Rymer said.

"I have the foundation to provide strong leadership and a new perspective for the future growth and development of Prairie Township," Rymer said.

Joe Wharton

Former Prairie Township trustee Joe Wharton is a write-in hopeful for trustee.

Wharton served on the board from January 2002 until December 2005 and has more than 30 years of experience in state government. He is retired from the Ohio Department of Taxation.

At the top of Wharton's many concerns is the future of the senior center and finding creative ways to fund it and make it better.

Wharton said the board he served on had many successes, which include implementing the first township-wide computer network and initiating a sidewalk replacement program and improved parks with additional playground equipment and walking paths.

"I have a vision for our township that combines the urban and rural areas blended into a community," Wharton said.