Tuesday, July 17, 2018 Medina 72°
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Local Medina County News

Election 2017: Guilford Township trustee

  • GUILFORD-TWP-Bock-Dan-jpg

    Dan Bock

    PHOTO PROVIDED

  • GUILFORD-TWP-Morris-Gene-jpg

    Gene Morris

    PHOTO PROVIDED

  • GUILFORD-TWP-Fulton-Steven-jpg

    Steven Fulton

    PHOTO PROVIDED

  • GUILFORD-TWP-Winkler-Jerry-jpg

    Jerry Winkler

    PHOTO PROVIDED

  • GUILFORD-TWP-Strong-Jonathan-jpg

    Jonathan Strong

    PHOTO PROVIDED

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Five candidates are running for two open trustee seats in Guilford Township: Dan Bock, self-employed in farming and construction; incumbent Trustee Steven K. Fulton; Gene Morris, owner of Jarvis Septic and Drain; Jonathan Strong, a self-employed business owner; and Seville-Guilford fire chief and restaurateur Jerry Winkler. Each candidate was asked to answer two questions.

 

 

 

 

 

GUILFORD-TWP-Bock-Dan-jpg

Dan Bock

PHOTO PROVIDED Enlarge

Dan Bock

  • Age: 60
  • Education: Cloverleaf High School
  • Family: spouse, Cheryl; daughters, Annie and Heather
  • Occupation: farmer, construction

 

 

 

 

 

GUILFORD-TWP-Fulton-Steven-jpg

Steven Fulton

PHOTO PROVIDED Enlarge

Steven K. Fulton

  •  Age: 60
  • Education: high school
  • Family: spouse, Beth; adult children, Andrew, Rebecca, Kimberly and Cory
  • Occupation: farmer, Maple Valley Farm

 

 

 

 

 

GUILFORD-TWP-Morris-Gene-jpg

Gene Morris

PHOTO PROVIDED Enlarge

Gene Morris

  • Age: 56
  • Education: high school
  • Family: spouse, Kathy; children, David and Kari
  • Occupation: owner, Jarvis Septic and Drain

 

 

 

 

 

GUILFORD-TWP-Strong-Jonathan-jpg

Jonathan Strong

PHOTO PROVIDED Enlarge

Jonathan Strong

  •  Age: 56
  • Education: attended the University of Akron; graduate of National Institute of Technology
  • Family: married with three grown children and two grandchildren
  • Occupation: network engineering, self-employed, Technology Engineering Group

 

 

 

 

 

GUILFORD-TWP-Winkler-Jerry-jpg

Jerry Winkler

PHOTO PROVIDED Enlarge

Jerry Winkler

  • Age: 49
  • Education: bachelor of arts, University of Akron; executive fire officer, National Fire Academy; pursuing master of arts in organizational leadership, Waldorf University
  • Family: spouse, Anita; children, Sydney Winkler, Millie Kirkendall and Erika Kirkendall
  • Occupation: Seville-Guilford Township fire chief and restaurateur — Digsby’s Pizza, Pasta, Pub Grub

 

 

 

 

Question: What makes you the best candidate for Guilford Township trustee?

Bock: I think my involvement with different organizations over the years has given me the experience I need to deal with the public and handle different situations or issues.

I was a trustee for the Medina County Farm Bureau for several years, as well as worked membership. Within that time, I was a delegate to the state annual meeting and represented Medina County one year on the state policy development board. The Farm Bureau exposed me to the concerns of the public and how to either handle them or be proactive in avoiding any possible conflicts, as well as developing programs to educate people on different issues.

Being self-employed in farming and construction has given me the experience needed to manage time and money, as well as prioritize which job needs to be done first.

I make decisions based on facts, rules or the law, not emotion.

Fulton: The experience I have gained being a township trustee the last 12 years has enabled me to make informed decisions for our community while being responsible with township funds.

Morris: My job takes me to many of our Guilford Township and Seville Village residents’ homes on a weekly basis. This frequently gives me the opportunity to hear their thoughts and concerns. As the owner of a successful small business for the past 25 years, I have a strong attitude of financial responsibility, yet with the common sense of not being penny wise and dollar foolish.

Strong: I have been heavily involved with the community over the past three years, attending the bimonthly trustees meetings and serving as a member of the Guilford Township Zoning Commission. As such, I am familiar with the issues and processes to start making an immediate impact, if elected.

I have been a resident of Guilford Township for over 23 years. I have seen the changes and new challenges facing the township, and will bring a common-sense, practical approach of problem-solving to the position.

I am an advocate of open communication and utilize technology where appropriate. As a local entrepreneur and business owner, I will bring a breadth of corporate and business experience, which will help lead the township and keep taxes low.

Winkler: Though I will retire as the fire chief of Seville-Guilford Fire and EMS at the end of this year following a 27-year career in public safety, I have a desire to continue serving my community. As a resident, property owner and business owner, I am very interested in the continued success of Guilford Township as we work to meet the challenges of the future.

My career has enabled me to build working relationships with many agencies and political subdivisions throughout the county and state, which will help our township pursue coordinated efforts with other entities.

I have extensive experience and success in grant writing, disaster planning and mitigation, and conflict resolution. I have attended nearly every township trustees meeting over the past 11 years, and understand how township government works. I care deeply about our township and our citizens, and want to give back to this community that has done so much for me.


Question: What are the biggest challenges facing your township and how would you address them?

Bock: I think the biggest challenge facing Guilford Township is the construction of the NEXUS pipeline and compressor station. As far as construction, I think there needs to be some sort of monitoring to make sure trucks are using the approved routes, all necessary requirements are being met for erosion control, roads are kept free of mud, EMS fire and police are trained to handle any emergency associated with the construction of the pipeline and compressor station, as well as ongoing training once the pipeline is in operation.

As far as the compressor station, I am disappointed that the Environmental Protection Agency allows Spectra to self-monitor the emissions released from the compressor station. I discussed this with the oil and gas representative for the Farm Bureau at last year’s annual meeting as I felt if the EPA was issuing permits, then it should be the ones doing the monitoring.

He did say there was a need for an 800 number that would be used for any type of emergency regarding oil or gas, so I presented a policy to the delegate body asking that an 800 number be established for that purpose. It passed and is in the process of being established.

I would like the township to receive a report each time emissions are checked, and to be kept on file so the township has a record of each test and the amounts being released.

I would hope any training monitoring, continuing education or any other matters associated with the pipeline or compressor station would be at Spectra’s expense.

Fulton: Some of the challenges we are currently working on or will be challenged with in the future include completing the fire station rebuild project. I am involved with the rebuild plan that’s moving forward.

We need to hire some new department leaders and have an interview process to find the best leaders.

There’s also growth pressure. We need to make sure we keep a country setting in the township using our zoning rules that are in place.

Morris: One of the biggest challenges in addition to financial responsibility is communicating with the people year-round, not just during election month. My job allows me to do this, and I have developed a first-name relationship with many of them. I enjoy meeting people and talking to them.

Strong: The biggest challenges facing Guilford and the Village of Seville are coming from outside the community. The impending NEXUS natural gas pipeline and compressor station slated for our community will require the trustees to perform careful oversight and the necessary due diligence to insure public safety through construction, that the roads are properly maintained, and Seville-Guilford Fire & EMS are properly trained and equipped for any new potential emergency situations.

This community is no longer a “sleepy” farming community. We have many new homes being built, and Guilford is a growing community that will require strong leadership as it navigates the next three years and beyond.

If I am elected, being intimately familiar with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission process, I am the most qualified to be the advocate for our community. I will, with great tenacity and fervor, defend the people of Guilford and Seville. My pledge is to work hard to preserve the quality and atmosphere of our amazing community.

Winkler: Like many similar communities, our fire and EMS department will have to deal with staffing issues and the declining availability of volunteers, as well as rising call volume and increasing operational, equipment and apparatus replacement costs. Of all the candidates, I am uniquely qualified to address these issues, so that our fire and EMS department can continue to provide excellent service while remaining fiscally responsible.

I have written grant applications resulting in awards totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars, and will continue to seek grants to increase staffing and purchase equipment, work with neighboring departments to facilitate group purchasing programs to reduce costs, and look at ways to work with our neighbors to share expenses and reduce redundancy.

The current “hot button” issue we are facing is the impending NEXUS pipeline and compressor station. We have residents who support the pipeline as well as those who passionately oppose it. Legal counsel has advised that the township trustees have no authority to stop the project, so the responsibility lies in ensuring that there is minimal impact on the community and environment, and working with NEXUS to prepare our safety services and road department to handle situations arising during its construction and operation.

My extensive training and experience in community risk reduction will help us prepare and manage the challenges brought on by the pipeline project.

THE CANDIDATES



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