Unopposed on the Nov. 8 ballot once again, Wade Estep will soon begin his seventh term as Blendon Township fiscal officer, beginning his 25th year in the post.

Unopposed on the Nov. 8 ballot once again, Wade Estep will soon begin his seventh term as Blendon Township fiscal officer, beginning his 25th year in the post.

"I was first elected in '87 and have basically run unopposed the last four times," Estep said.

Estep is a self-employed certified public accountant, a job he said has allowed him to devote the time necessary to the township. As fiscal officer, Estep is in charge of all of the township's financial records.

"I enjoy it, and I like grassroots-type government. The small, township government is where it all begins," he said. "I've just really enjoyed it. Until I get to the point where I'm ready to retire, as long as they don't vote me out, I'll be there."

Estep, a Tiffin native and Vietnam War veteran, has lived in Blendon Township since leaving the Army more than 35 years ago.

He first lived in Minerva Park, where Mayor David Blair encouraged him to run for fiscal officer. Estep said he initially resisted, but ran four years after Blair first suggested the idea to him.

Estep said he loves life in Blendon Township and takes pride in the area.

"You're still exposed to that small-town atmosphere, but you have the benefits of living close to a big city, too. It's the best of both worlds," he said. "I think our township does a lot. A lot of people look at it as a brother or sister to Westerville, and I think we are. I think the township has a lot to offer."

The township does have its challenges, though, Estep said.

One of the its main police levies is up for renewal on the Nov. 8 ballot, and the township would be in a dire financial situation if it failed, Estep said.

The township also has seen its state funding shrink, with its Local Government Fund money being cut by 50 percent in the last five years. That equates to about 5 percent of Blendon Township's budget, he said.

The elimination of the estate tax cuts an additional $75,000 to $100,000 from the township's budget, Estep said.

Though fiscal officer is a nonvoting position, Estep said he does play a role in making budget recommendations to the township board of trustees, meaning he will help the township continue to cope with state funding cuts.

"I'm really honored to be the fiscal officer, and I'm really honored with the fact that I'm running unopposed. Hopefully, it's a sign that people are satisfied with me," Estep said. "It's something I look forward to and enjoy doing."

jnesbitt@thisweeknews.com