Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Candidates make final pitches to voters

JOHNSTOWN INDEPENDENT



At a meet-the-candidate forum Tuesday Oct. 27, four of the five Johnstown Village Council candidates explained to community members why they deserve one of the three open seats.
Candidates Ben Lee, Lewis Main, incumbent Cheryl Robertson and Ryan Green attended the forum. Candidate Russell Sparks did not attend the forum held in Village Council Chambers at 599 S. Main St.
Lee talked about his unique experience of growing up in Johnstown and how it has inspired him.
"The big reason why I'm running is for my two daughters," Lee said.
"I had a tremendous experience growing up and a good childhood and I want it to be the same for them," he said.
Lee said he is excited about the growth in the village and its schools.
"We need to embrace that progress but preserve our small town feel. I will do what I can to ensure the small town atmosphere but encourage growth," he said.
Lee emphasized in his position as distribution center operations manager at L Brands he has experience managing budgets, planning and making hard decisions.
Main told citizens he moved to the village in 1969, spent 15 years on the Village Council and eight years on the Planning and Zoning Commission.
"I am pro growth," he said. "I spent a lot of time initiating the first development on what is now Commerce Boulevard."
He noted his managerial experience and said he is an "accountant and auditor by trade."
Robertson told voters she wants to focus on three key issues.
The first is the village's shoestring budget which she said was partially caused because of revised state tax laws and the loss of a large business in the village.
"Second, I want to focus on economic development," Robertson said.
"We need to retain our current businesses and look for opportunities to bring in new businesses," she said.
Her third key point was developing a plan to work together with the school board to manage the village's future growth.
Green said he has been asking people as he goes door-to-door how he can help them.
"As a Buckeye, I was taught to pay it forward and give back to my community," he said. "I have some experience, but I'm willing to admit I don't know everything."
Green said the village will continue to see plenty of change and he would like to be part of that change and continue to help grow current businesses and bring future businesses to town.
Also at the meeting, all five Johnstown-Monroe school board candidates spoke about their qualifications and so did David Cole, candidate for Liberty Township Trustee and Troy Hendren, Monroe Township Trustee candidate.