NEWBERRY TOWNSHIP — Residents will be choosing between three candidates for two trustee seats in Newberry Township.
Sitting township trustee George Furrow, along with new candidates Darrel Blanton and Michael Maniaci, will appear on the Nov. 7 ballot.
Newberry Township Fiscal Officer Mary E. Benedict will also appear on the ballot, but Benedict is running unopposed.
Furrow seeks re-election
Furrow has been married to his wife Tammy for 37 years. They have two daughters and three grandchildren.
Furrow has worked in construction for 40 years with Finfrock Construction.
“I’ve been a township trustee for 13 years,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed being the trustee for the last 13 years.”
Furrow’s goals for the township include “trying to maintain our 29 miles of roads,” along with the township’s numerous cemeteries and “trying to maintain them with our decreasing funds.” Furrow noted that three of the cemeteries are still active and in use.
He said that those goals — building roads and maintaining structures — coincide with his career in construction. Furrow added that he enjoys when he gets to work with the Miami County Engineer’s Office on repair and reconstruction work in the township.
“I really enjoy that and … it’s one way to give back to the people of the township,” he said.
In regard to the greatest needs in the township, Furrow noted maintaining the roads and cemeteries, along with supporting the Bradford Fire Department and Covington Fire and Rescue for the township’s fire and EMS protection.
Maniaci makes his case
“I’ve been married to Sally Subler-Maniaci for 46 years,” Maniaci said. “We have three children that graduated from Covington High School and six grandchildren and one in Covington Elementary.”
Maniaci is retired after working 46 years as a retail manager, but that has not slowed him down as his the owner of a lawn care service that mows residential and cemetery lawns. He is also a farmer and maintains a family farm.
“For the last five years, I was on the Miami County Zoning Commission Board,” Maniaci said. “I’ve been a resident of Newberry Township for the last 41 years. I consider a public service to be a honor.” Maniaci added that he felt he has the “time and experience to best service our township.”
Maniaci plans to stay informed on the issues that impact the township, saying, “I like to stay informed the events going on the top and to provide a fresh new voice.” He also plans “to continue to provide service to the Newberry Township, which I’m proud to be in.”
In regard to the greatest needs in the township, Maniaci noted replacing and repairing roads, maintaining side ditches in the area, and maintaining the local cemeteries.
“We need to find smarter and more creative ways to get the most out of our tax dollars that are spent,” he said.
Maniaci noted his qualifications include his experience on the zoning commission board, his 46 years of retail experience, and “the knowledge I have received working a family farm.”
“I would appreciate your vote on Nov. 7,” Maniaci said.
Blanton seeks trustee seat
Blanton has been married to his wife Kim for 28 years, and they have two daughters.
Blanton recently retired as the Newberry Township road and cemetery superintendent after 22 years in the position. His duties in that position included working with residents, keeping roads clean in the winter, performing over 700 burials, and maintaining the appearance of the roads and cemeteries.
Before that, he worked as an equipment operator for the Tipp City Street Department.
Blanton became interested in becoming a trustee after one of the current trustees, Dwane Runyan, decided to retire.
“I’m still interested in what we’re trying to do out there,” Blanton said.
Blanton is also seeking to come up “with better ways to do our duties for residents” and deal with budget cuts.
“I know the job, and I know the employees,” he said. “I’m more than willing to go in and help them.”
When asked about his goals for the township, Blanton said, “My main area would be to try to maintain the services that the residents have become accustomed to even though our budget is shrinking every year.” Blanton noted that he wants to “focus on the needs of the residents.”
“I’ve dealt with the public for 22 years, and I’ve had a good relationship with them. I just feel I can be an asset to them,” he said.
In regard to the greatest needs in the township, Blanton said, “I feel like the need to stretch the tax dollars is greater than ever” in order to provide services to the township.
Reach Sam Wildow at firstname.lastname@example.org or (937) 451-3336