Four candidates, including two incumbents, are seeking two Grafton Township trustee positions. One candidate, Denise Vasel, did not respond to a questionnaire mailed to her home.
What are the biggest issues facing the township?
Giese: As always, continued maintenance of township roads and fire/rescue departments. Third in line would be getting the old Belden School demolished, so we can go forward with plans for a new township/community center on the same site.
Podulka: The main issue facing the township is fiscal responsibility. In these uncertain economic times, we need to watch all of our spending, making wise decisions.
Wesemeyer: The most important issues include the condition of the existing township roads and public safety. We need to be more proactive in the repair and maintenance practices of our roads and bridges. The Grafton Township Fire Department is an important public service. A good fire department ensures the safety of all of the residents.
How do you plan to address them?
Giese: Fortunately, the voters of Grafton Township have approved fire and road levies in the last two years, so we are comfortable in those areas for the next three to four years. We are in the process now of getting bids for asbestos abatement for Belden School, which has to be done before demolition can begin.
Podulka: I realize the taxpayers cannot afford tax increases at the present time. The township must live within its means and not ask the taxpayers to approve any new taxes at this time.
Wesemeyer: A long-range plan for Grafton Township should be for a new community hall, along with a demolition of the old Belden School. A short-term plan is updating the current township hall.
What makes you best suited for the job?
Giese: I have been in service to Grafton Township in one capacity or another since 1972, when I joined the fire department. Currently, serving as a township trustee, I know the needs of Grafton Township and many of its people.
Podulka: Nine years ago, I was appointed to the position of township trustee to fill a vacant seat. I have since then been re-elected twice to this position, involving myself in the many aspects to running a township: Helping to wisely disburse tax money into the best-needed areas, with road repairs, resurfacing of roadways, cemetery maintenance and their upkeep, updating and the purchasing of new fire and rescue equipment, which includes one new rescue squad, one new fire truck and the set of rescue extrication tools. Plus, purchasing three new road trucks with plows for snow removal.
Wesemeyer: My experience with my construction company gives me expertise in accomplishing these goals.
Thomas M. Giese
Education: 1972 graduate of Midview High School, attended LCCC and is a 1986 graduate of Lincoln Welding School.
Family: Wife, Terri; daughters Amanda, Amy, Angela and Andrea
Job history: Self-employed farmer and excavating contractor, 18-year part-time employee of Grafton Township Road Department, former road superintendent and fire chief, and current Grafton Township trustee
Education: Attended Belden Elementary School and graduated from Midview High School in 1971.
Family: Wife, Ruth; children Anne, Robert and Thomas
Job history: Full-time farmer and current Grafton Township trustee
Education: Midview High School graduate and current state of Ohio plumbing license
Family: Wife, Cindy; two daughters, Candice and Carlene
Job history: Owner of Wesemeyer Construction Inc. since 1977 which specializes in residential and commercial work, also a farmer raising grain and evergreen trees