Last updated: August 23. 2013 6:26PM - 67 Views

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Each general election, The Lima News provides this section profiling the candidates and issues. The Lima News sent questionnaires to every candidate in Allen, Auglaize, Hardin, Putnam and Van Wert counties for this election section. Candidates had the opportunity to give biographical information and discuss major issues in their races. Candidates also had an option to submit a photograph. Only names and residences identify candidates who did not return a questionnaire. American Township - TrusteeRonald L. BibleParty: Non-partisanResidence: Daisy Lane, ElidaAge: 67Relevant experience: One term trustee; 31 years American and Ohio history teacher; two years political science instructor at University of Northwestern Ohio.Education: Bachelorís degree in education; masterís degree in education; post-graduate work for one year.Years living in area: All my life in Allen County; 21 years in American Township; four generations born in Allen County.Major issues: We need a full-time trustee. Iím retired. I donít have another job or jobs. I would be a 24/7 trustee. Call, Iíll be there ASAP.Another area I see is to work on a plan to get rid of the concrete graveyard in the township.I think we need a new approach to maintenance of the township-dedicated streets and roads. Housing areasí streets would be better paved and then sealed. Use tar and chip in the rural township roads.Since we canít know what the state is going to do with local government funds, all departments must be managed very conservatively, so the township doesnít have to ask for any new taxes.My last point would be to make sure the township employees pay their fair share of their benefits. Key word is fair. Almost all employees have to pay part of their benefits. I pay part of mine; my wife has to pay part of hers.Iím not running for health care benefits or a retirement check. I like the job and helping the people of the township.Joseph T. GuagentiParty: Non-partisanResidence: Sycamore, ElidaAge: 45Relevant experience: I have been running small businesses most of my life. I have the ability to work well with employees and vendors.Education: Graduated in 1984 from Lima Central Catholic; associateís degree in applied science from Columbus State Community College.Years living in area: I have lived in the area 41 of my 45 years.Major issues: I think that there is a need for some new ideas in American Township. In tough economic times, we must pay close attention to where every dollar is spent. I will do my best to make sure our taxpayers get the most out of every tax dollar.Larry K. Vandemark (incumbent)Party: RepublicanResidence: North Wapak Road, ElidaAge: 58Relevant experience: Local real estate business manager; 12 years as American Township trustee.Education: Graduated from Elida High School; two years at Ohio State University; licensed real estate broker in Ohio.Years living in area: Lifelong American Township resident and 58 years living, farming and working in Allen County.Major issues: As a lifelong resident and local business manager, it has been a joy to watch and be involved in the growth of American Township. As trustee, Iíve been instrumental in bringing businesses such as Lowes and Meijer and developing roads such as American Avenue and Hartzler Road, creating safe traffic flow.Four years ago, the township took over management of the fire and EMS departments. Good budget planning allowed us to upgrade several pieces of safety equipment, allowing American Township Fire and EMS to maintain the highest quality of safety services.Zoning is part of a townshipís growth. I was heavily involved in updating our zoning code into a code that can be upgraded to meet the changing needs of the township. Recently, we adopted a new building maintenance code that will help preserve property tax values.I have worked earnestly to obtain the best value for your tax dollars, using local grants to establish a spring township cleanup day and a monthly recycle day. I have leveraged 80-20 matching state funds for rebuilding Edgewood Drive.Overseeing a balanced budget is a top priority. Major budget cuts are being passed down to local governments, and American Township is no exception. My goal and commitment is to attack these cuts and keep a strong, balanced budget yet maintaining quality services. Tough decisions lie ahead. Past experience has prepared me to continue working hard as your trustee and keep American Township a great place to live, work and raise a family.

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