NEWBERRY TOWNSHIP — There are two candidates vying for one open seat as trustee for Newberry Township for the upcoming Nov. 3 election.
Those candidates are Robert (Rick) Reck, bus driver for the Covington School District and business owner, and J. Jason Sargent, professional farmer and former road worker of Newberry Township. Amie D. Hollinger vied as a write-in, but has withdrawn from the race.
Although he has limited political experience, Reck has been a business owner for over 30 years and has lived in the township for many years. His position as a bus driver has given him the opportunity to meet and get to know many of the residents in Newberry.
“I have always had the desire to serve my community on this level and now is the right time for my family and me to make this commitment,” Reck said. “My business experience has provided me with an intimate knowledge of the laws, regulations and inner workings of local, county, and state governments. I believe I will add value to the trustees, and will help make good decisions for the township based on my business experience and knowledge of the community.”
Along with repairing the roads in Newberry Township, Sargent also maintained the cemeteries. Having this experience, he said he is familiar with the location of all of the roads and cemeteries within the township as well as the equipment, duties, and personnel.
“Our township has generally done a good job caring for our roads and cemeteries,” Sargent said. “However, in today’s budget environment, that is becoming increasingly difficult to do. As a farmer, and also as treasurer for my church, I know how to run a budget to make sure the quality of our township doesn’t suffer.”
Reck’s main goals in office include addressing the needs of residents in a fiscally responsible approach.
“My goals would include preserving our rich history while continuing to improve the amenities available to our residents in a fiscally sound manner,” Reck said. “As a trustee, I will be an advocate for the concerns of our residents and will be accessible and approachable to those who wish to be heard.
“I plan to listen to the voices of the residents of the township and will take well-planned actions to make their voices heard. I would appreciate this opportunity to serve the township that has been a great place to raise my family.”
Sargent’s focus will be on “stretching every dollar” as a trustee.
“The one big issue facing Newberry Township is adequate funding,” Sargent said. “The amount of money the township receives from the state is on a downward spiral. In addition, fuel-efficient cars have led to a decline in fuel tax revenue as well, yet the cost of maintaining roads continues to go up.
“The trustee of the future must know how to do more with less. I have that experience to stretch every dollar. I want to visit with other county and township officials to see if there are any ideas that they have implemented that might help us run a more efficient township.”
Reck has been married to his wife Jill for 20 years and is the father of Sam, Brady (Kate), Erica (Brandon), Zach, and Zoe and he is the grandfather of Hudson. Sargent is married to his wife Heidi and has two sons, Owen and Caleb.
Reach reporter Amy Barger at (937) 451-3340 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall.