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Published: Wednesday, 11/2/2005

Area townships: Challengers give prospect of big turnover in trustees

BY ELIZABETH A. SHACK
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Area townships could experience a lot of turnover in trustees after Tuesday's election.

In Monclova Township, Brian Craig and Keith Trettin are up for re-election. Challenging them is Gary Kuns, who was a trustee for 20 years.

Mr. Trettin, chairman of the trustees, is finishing his first term. He said one of the major issues facing the township is developing appropriate relationships with the municipalities that surround it, which is something he has worked on during the past four years.

"We have to protect ourselves from annexation," he said.

Mr. Craig was appointed in 2004 and is running for election for the first time.

A former zoning commission member, he said he is concerned about controlling commercial and residential growth. As a trustee he has been working on updating the township's land-use plan, which he expects to see completed in the next several months.

Mr. Kuns said he has some concerns about the priorities of the trustees, such as the upgrade of the Keener Road maintenance facility. The expansion, which could cost nearly $1 million, will allow the township to keep its trucks indoors and store more road salt, along with improving the current facilities.

He said the township needs to ensure that growth is of good quality.

"You can't stop growth, but you need to control it," he said.

Two people will be elected in Waterville Township, where Tim Pedro is running for his second term. The challengers are Kyle Hertzfeld, Lynne Myerholtz, Tony Urbas, and Brett Warner.

Mr. Pedro said the township should plan for growth and cooperate with the villages of Waterville and Whitehouse to share services.

After Mr. Pedro, who served on Waterville village council for a term, was elected a trustee, some township residents held a petition drive to separate the villages of Waterville and Whitehouse from the township. That would mean village residents could no longer vote on township matters, including the election of trustees.

Mr. Pedro and Mr. Urbas appealed a Lucas County Common Pleas Court decision ruling that the villages could be removed.

"We are one community," Mr. Pedro said.

Mr. Urbas, a former Archbold village engineer, ran for trustee in 2003.

Kyle Hertzfeld said the community was a good place to grow up and felt an obligation to help enhance it.

"I would like to see the community in general grow and be a great place to live," he said.

Ms. Myerholtz and Mr. Warner couldn't be reached for comment.

Two incumbents are being challenged by two newcomers.

Neil Hefflinger has served more than 15 years and said the township's biggest problem is a lack of money, especially for road work.

Greg Ludwig is running for his third term. He said the township needs to finish its land-use plan.

Steve Kendall, chairman of the zoning commission, said the township needs to involve its residents more in government and to plan for the future rather than dealing with issues day to day.

Lance Martin, a former Waterville and Walbridge police chief, served on the township zoning board. He also said the trustees need to communicate better with residents and do more long-range planning.

Grand Rapids Township's Eric Flora, who resigned from village council when he moved out of the village, and former trustee George Foos are challenging incumbents Les Heyman and George Limes for two seats.

Middleton Township's trustee race is uncontested.



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