New faces on local boards in January

By Cecilia Fox -

MIAMI COUNTY — While the candidates for Tipp City and West Milton councils are running unopposed, there will be new faces on each next year.

Jason Land will be the newest member of the West Milton village council. A 20-year resident of West Milton, Land works as a lightning rod technician and has four children, two boys and two girls.

He is running for council to try to help maintain a “safe and tight community,” he said in response to a candidate questionnaire.

“Also, to engage more people in the process and to be a voice for hardworking families, who just want to live their lives in peace,” he said.

He sees limiting government intrusion on people’s daily lives as the greatest need to be addressed in running for office.

Current council members Anthony Miller and Scott Hurst will also appear on the ballot, running for mayor and vice mayor respectively.

As mayor, Miller aims to focus on controlled growth for West Milton, community beautification, water rates, improving amenities and building strong community partnerships.

“As we continue to move forward into the future, we must position our selves for stability years down the road. By controlled, planned growth we are able to build upon our fantastic village services, improve life of current and future residents and place the village in a financially stable position for years to come,” he said.

Frank Scenna will join the Tipp City council in January. He is an engineer and has been active in the community for several years, including Downtown Tipp City, the farmers market, and the city’s zoning review committee.

“I believe I can bring a fresh prospective and make a positive impact. I care about the city that I have lived in for over 10 years,” he said.

Scenna’s main areas of focus include the budget, noise pollution and quality of life, and collaboration with the schools in funding and planning.

Incumbents Katelyn Berbach and Joe Gibson are running for reelection.

Berbach said she is looking forward to “continually finding ways to maintain our budget, work with other governmental entities to come up with a plan to prepare for the possibility of our Fire and EMS becoming a full time department and not a volunteer base, and to continually maintain and support our infrastructure.”

Because candidate Ryan August dropped out of the race in order to pursue a new career opportunity, there will be a vacancy on council in January. The city law director is working to determine what council needs to do to fill the seat.

In Bethel Township, new trustee Carolyn Wright will take retiring trustee Jerry Hirt’s seat on the board. Wright has a background in social work and works for a healthcare provider.

Wright grew up in Bethel and made the decision to return and raise a family in the township, she said at a recent candidates’ night.

“We are all very privileged and blessed to be a part of this community and I think that’s why I’m sad sometimes to hear how negative people have been. I think we have lots to celebrate,” she said.

Other unopposed candidates include:

• The Village of Casstown’s elected officials running unopposed include Nicolas Rice and Neal Norman for council and Mayor Brandy Norman.

• The Village of Fletcher’s elected officials running unopposed include Penny Reed, Brian Reed and Bonnie Sue Davis.

• The Village of Laura’s elected officials running unopposed includes Harry McKenna for mayor and and Chris Foster for council.

• The Village of Pleasant Hill’s elected officials running unopposed include Trishanda Barhorst, Penny Fessler, Terri Studebaker for council.

• Brown Township Trustees Doug Cron and Larry Coffing and fiscal officer Art Bowser

• Elizabeth Township Trustees Greg Dilts and William Sutherly

• Lostcreek Township Trustees Eric Carey and Samuel Buchman

• Milton-Union Exempted Village School District board member Douglas Thompson

By Cecilia Fox

Reach Cecilia Fox at

Reach Cecilia Fox at