June 30, 2016



There are two candidates seeking to fill the unexpired term for the Columbia Township fiscal officer’s job.

What are the challenges of the job?

Thomas-Hicks: I feel one of the challenges of the job consists of picking up where the previous fiscal officer left off. It will be a challenge to learn to blend workstyles to make the transition seamless from one person to another.
Plata: In these economic times, it is imperative that a close watch be kept on revenues and expenses with expenditures adjusted accordingly.

How are you best suited to handle them?

Thomas-Hicks: I am best suited for this position because I have past experience handling the business account for Signature Floors as well as maintain the office duties.
Plata: I have worked for the township for 12 years and am very familiar with all aspects of its daily operation. As fiscal officer, I believe in working closely with the trustees, service director and fire chief to ensure tax dollars are used efficiently with the goal of providing the best possible services to the residents.

What changes/enhancements/improvements would you like to make if you are elected?

Thomas-Hicks: The enhancements I would make if I was elected is to keep up with the advancements of modern technologies to best serve Columbia Township.
Plata: I would continue to look for ways to save money through purchasing decisions and keep the residents informed about the township’s finances.

Jenine Thomas Hicks
Education: Bachelor of science from Eastern Michigan University
Family: Single mom of three kids ages 9, 7 and 5
Job history: Currently employed at Ultimate Leads Systems as customer service representative and data entry; previously employed as an office manager at Signature Floors

Rita J. Plata
Education: Graduate of Magnificat High School in Rocky River; associate degree in business from Lorain County Community College
Family: Husband, Steve, and children Steven and Stephanie
Job history: Employed by Columbia Township since 1997 and for the second time appointed as fiscal officer on May 1, 2008. I have worked for Columbia Township as office secretary, administrative assistant, minute taker and fiscal officer. I was first appointed to the position of fiscal officer in February 2007 and served until March 31, 2008. Prior to working for the township, I was a stay-at-home mom for 13 years.