CONTINENTAL — The race for two open Monroe Township trustee seats is crowded with five men running, two incumbents and three newcomers.
In other contested Putnam County races: three people are running for two Liberty Township trustee seats; in Pleasant Township, four are vying for two trustee seats; three people are running for two Sugar Creek Township trustee positions; two trustee seats are being pursued by four candidates in Union Township; and five candidates are fighting for two positions on the Pandora-Gilboa school board.
Rob Howell and Charles Zimmerman are the incumbent Monroe Township trustees running for re-election this year.
Howell has served as trustee for 24 years, he said.
“I just like doing it,” he said.
In more than two decades he has been involved in stoning nine miles of mud roads, repairing one of the township cemeteries and other projects, he said. Howell said his experience makes him a good candidate to re-elect.
“I know what’s been done and still needs to be done,” he said.
Kenneth Hazelton is a full-time farmer and the youngest candidate, 31, running for one of the two trustee positions, he said. His father was a trustee for 16 years, just recently retired two years ago, and Hazelton was there with him a lot of times so he knows what the job entails, he said.
If elected, Hazelton is interested in see what grants are available that could help the trustees better fulfill their duties.
“There’s a lot of assistance out there that can be utilized and isn’t being utilized,” he said. “I just think it’s time for a change.”
Ryan Ordway is a retired state highway technician and spent years running milling machines and doing a lot of paving on the state roadways, he said.
“I’m retired from the state and figured I’d take some of my knowledge I gained working for the state and use it as a trustee,” he said.
If elected, he would bring the perspective of someone who did roadwork firsthand to the trustee position, he said.
Now, he farms and has his own diesel repair shop. He’s always been a people person and tries to keep an open mind, he said. If elected he would treat everyone fairly.
“If I am elected I will serve the people of Monroe Township to the best of my ability,” Ordway said. “I know everybody who is running and they’re all good people.”
Incumbent trustee Charles E. Zimmerman is also running for re-election, but did not respond to phone calls and voice mails seeking comment. Gregory A. Simon, of Continental, is a new candidate running but no contact information could be found for him.
Howell said though it might seem odd that five people would be running for two township trustee positions, it actually is common. People tend to play the odds each time two seats are available at the same time, thinking they have better chances of winning a seat, he said.
Other contested Putnam County races:
Pleasant Township Trustee, 2 seats available — incumbent Mack Schroeder, incumbent Jefferey Hoyt, Bruce Schroeder and Bryan J. Troyer.
Sugar Creek Township Trustee, 2 seats available — incumbent James Mull, incumbent David Young and Kevin Siefker.
Union Township Trustee, 2 seats available — incumbent Mark Kahle, Jesse Gerding, Steve Smith and Gery Wurth.
Pandora-Gilboa school board, 2 seats available — incumbent Kathi Amstutz, Zachary Maag, Kimberly Murphy, Dawn Schulte and Kris Sherer.
Reach Bryan Reynolds at 567-242-0362