Liberty Township trustee Melanie Leneghan is not seeking reelection, and three candidates each hope to be the one to replace her.

Scott Donaldson, 39, of Picardae Court; Melanie Farkas, 39, of Waltham Court; and Bryan Newell, 43, of Pine Creek Drive all are seeking to fill the sole seat available on the township's board of trustees.

Donaldson, married with two children, is a retired business owner and stay-at-home father.

He is a member of a number of community and service organizations. He also served in an appointed position on the redevelopment commission in Marion, Ind., where he formerly lived.

"Like many residents, I have watched what has been going on within our Liberty Township trustee meetings and our other public events and have been saddened and embarrassed," Donaldson said. "I look forward to being able to dedicate my full-time attention to the needs of the township and I am passionate about the many issues that face our community.

"We need to keep Liberty Township Fire/EMS under our local control and make sure we maintain service levels without increasing taxes," he said.

Farkas, who is married and has two children, cited her children among her reasons for seeking office.

"I decided to run for Liberty Township trustee because I want a better future for my kids," she said. "I've watched for years as our trustees made decisions that are in direct opposition with what the community wants, most notably with our fire department and EMS.

"I love living in Liberty Township and promise to always support our township-based fire department, be responsible with our township dollars and bring trust and transparency back to our board of trustees," she said.

Farkas is a marketing and communications specialist who volunteers locally at her church and with Girl Scouts.

Newell, a planner and project manager, serves with a number of professional and civic organizations and is a past member of the township's board of zoning appeals and Comprehensive Plan Update Committee.

"As a conservative that believes in local control of our community and services, I feel we have gotten away from community-first decision-making in favor of personal agendas," Newell said, citing contention over local control of fire and EMS services. "I believe we can better manage and plan the growth of this community for the benefit of everyone by communicating and working together.

"Through partnership and collaboration, we can increase township revenue and keep taxes low while increasing the level of service the township provides our residents and businesses," he said.

Newell is married with two children.

In the township's race for fiscal officer, incumbent Nancy Denutte of Picardae Court will face challenger Rick Karr of Brentwood Court.

Denutte, 66, is seeking reelection to "continue the work that I have successfully undertaken as fiscal officer," she said.

Denutte is president of Action Group Inc. A widow, she said she is active in politics and social activities in the community.

Karr, 51, is a finance and marketing professional. His business experience will serve him in this position, he said.

"I have over 30 years of business and financial-planning experience and want to leverage the experience to be a budget hawk to make sure politicians don't waste taxpayer money on unnecessary spending," he said.

"This includes a focus on a competitive-bidding process to generate the best value for taxpayers, establishing controls to minimize information-security risks and improving transparency and access to township records and documents," he said.

Karr is married with two children. He also is active in a number of community organizations, he said.

NOTE: Look for candidate Q&As and additional election coverage in the coming weeks in ThisWeek Olentangy Valley News and online at ThisWeekNEWS.com.

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