Trustee races contested at Tuesday election

By Martin Graham - and Ryan Carter

Two townships in Fayette County have contested races at the Tuesday, Nov. 7 general election: Jasper and Wayne.

In Jasper Township, two will be elected from the following three candidates, newcomer Chessie Ratliff and incumbents Glenn Rankin and Jackie Pursley.

Rankin, who is seeking a third term as a trustee, said he’s been proud to serve the people of Jasper Township and would like to continue that service.

“I certainly can’t take credit for everything that we’ve done, but one of the biggest things we did is replace a Civil War cannon that was stolen back in the 1960s,” said Rankin. “The cannon and cannon balls were stolen, so we got a replacement, replica cannon that sits back by the Veterans Memorial in Milledgeville.”

Rankin added that the trustees also erected a new veterans’ memorial that honors veterans who have served in the more recent wars, such as the Persian Gulf War. “We were running out of room on the other memorial so we opened a new section of the Milledgeville-Plymouth Cemetery,” he said.

Rankin said he’s tried to save the township money throughout his tenure. “Since I’ve been trustee, I haven’t had to use the insurance that is provided to the trustees and employees. I don’t know exactly how much that’s saved, but I think it’s saved the township some money,” he said.

Rankin said he believes the trustees and employees have done a nice job of keeping the cemeteries well-kept.

“We have three active cemeteries and two inactive cemeteries we take care of,” Rankin said. “We’re always doing things for the township as they come up. It’s nice for me to be able to serve and I would appreciate the support of the voters.”

Ratliff, a Milledgeville resident and native, said this is the first time he’s run for township trustee.

“I grew up in Milledgeville and have pretty much lived there all my life,” said Ratliff. “In talking to some of the people around town, I know they would like to see some change in there. I’d like to get things done with some of the roadways. Some of them need redone because they’re in bad shape, especially an area of West Fork Road.”

Ratliff said there have been Jasper Township residents who have approached him about volunteering to do work within Milledgeville and the township. “They’d like to have little get-togethers where we talk about how to make things better,” he said. “I’ve been asked, ‘Why can’t we decorate the town like they do in Court House for Christmas or other holidays?’ Town festivals is another thing….we don’t have anything like that right now.”

Residents have also discussed the old schoolhouse in Milledgeville with Ratliff. “They said there is only one room in the schoolhouse you can use,” Ratliff said. “They’d like to see something done with it where there’s more than one room you can use, and I can understand where they’re coming from. I’ve also heard some say they would like to see the sidewalks redone like they used to be. I think they want to see the trustees get out and talk to more people in town.”

Ratliff said if he’s elected, he’ll continue to talk to township residents and will take their input seriously. “I just want to see what I can help do for the people of the town and township,” he said.

Jackie Pursley could not be reached for comment on Friday.

Residents of Wayne Township will vote on Tuesday at the general election to replace current trustees Marie Fetters and Ron Weade, who decided not to seek another term.

Two will be elected as Wayne Township Trustees from the following three candidates: Kyle Hoppes, Jarrod Posey and Bob Redman. The Record-Herald recently reached out to the three candidates to ask what their reasons and qualifications are to run for the trustee positions.

Hoppes, a 42-year resident of Wayne Township, started work as a grain auditor for the state. After his auditor work, Hoppes began work for the Ohio Department of Agriculture where he stayed for 17 years. During this time in “Plant Pest Control,” he contributed to regulatory work done for state agriculture and worked with the Ohio Revised Code. Currently he works for Ohio Ag Equipment.

“I have several reasons why I am running,” Hoppes said. “I am a pretty black and white kind of person. I like to research the laws and regulations and abide by those. I just like to be fair. If it’s good for one person, it is going to be good for the other. If it isn’t good for one it won’t be for another. I would like to encourage everybody to go out and vote on November 7th. There are a lot of things on the ballot, a lot of local things, such as the Wayne Township fire levy and we need people to vote for these items. Everybody’s vote has an impact, definitely in the local races and especially when it comes to township issues. The numbers are small so every little bit counts.”

Also seeking one of the two available spots is Posey, a 35-year resident of Wayne Township. Posey said he is a family man with a wife of 12 years and three daughters, ages 10, 7 and 7 months. He said he has worked for a local distribution company for 14 years and has farmed about 25 head of cattle and 250 acres for eight years.

“I takes every person’s view into consideration before I make a decision,” Posey said during an interview Friday. “I am a member of the Good Hope Lions Club and have been a grain farmer in Wayne Township. I like working with people hands-on and I want to make sure the best decisions are being made for Wayne Township. I am pretty good at dividing my time out.”

The final candidate is Redman, a 54-year resident of Wayne Township. Redman was a union representative at Calmar in Washington Court House for 20 years where he negotiated contracts. He also worked as a service manager at Fayette Cycle for a few years. Currently, he is a driver for RNL. Redman said he has been watching Good Hope for a number of years and wanted to run to makes decisions he believes are in the best interest of the people of the community.

“I want to make great decisions for the people of Wayne Township, but also to keep them in the loop as to what is going on,” Redman said Friday. “I want to see Good Hope move forward in the future. We have been diminishing in size. Things have been taken away but have not been brought back. When I was a kid we had restaurants, we had stores, places to go. Now we have nothing so I would like to see stuff come back to the community. I am one of the kind of people who will tell you I am not looking for excuses, I need results.”

By Martin Graham

and Ryan Carter

Reach Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352 or on Twitter @rywica

Reach Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352 or on Twitter @rywica