BRADFORD — The candidates elected to the Bradford Board of Education are still unclear due to close margins from the unofficial results between candidates.
The current top three candidates are Scott Besecker, who received a total of 394 votes; Louis Reindel, who received 305 votes; and Mike Miller, who received 286 votes.
Approximately 19 votes are separating Miller and another candidate, Carolyn Smith, who received a total of 267 votes. The final candidate, Damon Brewer, received 215 votes.
Those votes were the total unofficial results compiled from the boards of elections in Miami, Darke, and Shelby counties.
Certified results will not be available until the end of this month after provisional ballots have been taken into consideration.
Besecker, who is currently on the board, is a lifelong resident of Bradford and graduated from Bradford High School in 1972. He has worked in education for 35 years, with 30 of those years spent at Bradford teaching high school chemistry, physics, science, and junior high math. At Bradford, he was also athletic director, a coach and director of technology.
Besecker’s son and daughter also graduated from Bradford, and he now has two grandchildren attending Bradford. Besecker, who retired from Bradford schools in 2015, is currently the IT support for Bradford Public Library.
Reindel, also a sitting board member, is known as “Pastor Louie” in the community after having been the pastor of the Bradford Church of the Nazarene for nearly 11 years. He has also worked in various aspects of construction, transitioning into a full-time, mid-size farming operation. Reindel has also driven a school bus for Bradford schools for over five years.
Miller, a past board member, is a lifelong Bradford resident who has participated with the athletic boosters for over 30 years and other youth programs. Miller graduated from Bradford schools in 1973 and has had three children graduate from Bradford schools as well.
Smith, another sitting board member, has been a resident of Bradford for 43 years. She is a member of Lions, Lioness, Friends of the Library, BAAC and secretary/treasurer and deacon of her church. Smith has worked more than 30 years in the accounting field.
Fire levy passes
Bradford residents approved a replacement and increase levy in support of the Bradford Fire Department.
The replacement 5-mill levy passed approximately 72 percent to 28 percent by a vote of 236 votes for it and 94 against it, according to unofficial results from the boards of elections in Miami and Darke counties.
The previous levy was for 3 mills.
The funds are needed for training of volunteers, along with paying for part-time firefighter and EMS employees when the department is not able to get volunteers.
Had the levy failed, residents would have had to rely on emergency services from other areas.
Chief Jan Mottinger of the Bradford Fire Department previously said the community has always supported the department and that asking for funds is not something the department likes to do.
“We don’t like to ask people to pay more money, but we have no other way out,” Mottinger said.
The department, which began as a volunteer rescue squad in the 1970s, provides emergency medical services Monday through Friday, with a part-time staff ready on the weekends. Staffed by 38 employees and volunteers, the department is located at 200 S. Miami Ave. in Bradford.
Reach Sam Wildow at email@example.com