Five candidates have filed petitions to run for three seats on the Johnstown Village Council.
Ryan Green, Ben Lee, Lewis Main, Russell Sparks and incumbent Cheryl Robertson have all filed with the Licking County Board of Elections. The filing deadline was Aug. 5.
Incumbent councilmen David Keck and Bob Orsini are not running. The general election is Nov. 3 and the council terms will start Jan. 1.
Cheryl Robertson, 59, has lived in Johnstown for 34 years and previously was employed with Johnson & Johnson in sales and management, but now she manages her family farms in Sandusky County.
She said this is an exciting and challenging time for Johnstown as it gets closer to obtaining city status after the 2020 census.
"My goal is to help maintain the small village charm while managing the growth," Robertson wrote in an email."My focus will be on economic development, to help provide jobs to our residents, and financial stability to our village."
She has served on Johnstown Village Council for almost two years now, after being appointed in January 2014.
"I take this responsibility seriously, as local government, be it village council, township trustee, or county government has a direct impact on our lives," Robertson said.
"I was taught to leave a place better than I found it. If elected I will do my best to live up to those teachings."
Ben Lee, 31, has spent 21 years in the village and he and his wife chose to move to the village so they could raise their two young daughters in Johnstown.
"I want to make sure it's the same Johnstown experience for them that it was for me," Lee said. "I'd like to lend my voice to the progress that's coming."
He explained he believes progress is inevitable, especially with how many families are moving in, but the progress needs to be a win-win for the community.
Lee graduated from Ohio State University with a degree in public affairs journalism and is the Distribution Center Operations Manager at L Brands.
Lee acknowledged other candidates have lived in the village longer than he has, but his passion for preservation and progress sets him apart.
"I have a passion for small towns," he said.
"I love walking around and saying 'hi' to people. I'm good with faces and I feel I know a good amount of people in the town, but I'm not opposed to meeting new people by going door-to-door."
Lee said he hopes to raise the visibility of what goes on in council and increase fiscal responsibility.
Ryan Green, 27, originally from Pataskala, has lived in Johnstown for two years. He has a degree in political science from OSU and works in sales at Scott's Miracle Grow.
"There's a lot of great things going on here and potential for growth," Green said. "I want to continue to push the village in the right direction."
Green said he hopes to bring new ideas into the area and is looking forward to doing as much as he can for Johnstown.
Lewis Main, 71, previously served on the Village Council in 1983, following the death of Whang Phalen, and then was elected in 1984 and 1987.
He also served as Johnstown mayor from 1986-1991 and two terms on the Village Planning and Zoning Commission.
"Due to my involvement in the village via my previous years of service, I believe I have the time, knowledge, and am the most-qualified person to fill one of the council vacancies," Main wrote in an email.
Main was employed by Western Electric, AT&T and Lucent Technology in a variety of accounting and supervisory positions. He retired after 32 years of service.
Following that retirement, he has spent 10 years with the Ohio Department of Development as a tax credit auditor.
He also is a 20-year veteran of the former Johnstown Rural Volunteer Fire Department, original chairman of Chimes Terrace Living Center and is treasurer at the Presbyterian Church.
Main graduated from Alexandria High School, and attended Ohio State University and Franklin University. He and his wife raised two girls who graduated from Johnstown High School.
Russell Sparks views the Village Council as an opportunity to be a good steward and responsible with taxpayer's money.
"Community members elect us to be their representatives and trust us to make sound decisions on their behalf when they are unable to attend meetings all the while taking their opinions and needs into consideration," he said in an email.
Sparks, his wife and three sons -- Ryan, Reece and Rylee -- have lived in Johnstown for more than 22 years.
He grew up in Alexandria, graduated from Northridge High School, earned an associate's degree in business management from Central Ohio Technical College, and was a member of the Johnstown Fire Department for 19 years as a volunteer.
Sparks works in the emergency department at St. Ann's Hospital and volunteers with the Boy Scouts of America.
"While I keep involved with various volunteer activities, I feel at this time I would like to serve my community in the capacity of Village Council member," he said.
"I want to bring fresh ideas and perspectives on things such as ensuring fiscal responsibility and communication."