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More candidates vie for offices

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With just under two weeks left to file petitions to run for local office, the races for Village Council, school board and Township Trustees are becoming more robust, according to the Greene County Board of Elections this week.

As of Tuesday this week, eight villagers have taken out petitions to run for the three open seats on Village Council, six have taken out petitions for the three seats on school board, and six Township residents have taken out petitions to run for the two open seats on Miami Township Trustees. No one has yet returned completed petitions, according to a Board of Elections official.

The filing deadline for all offices is Aug. 7. Those running for Council need to collect 37 signatures from registered Greene County voters, and those running for school board or Miami Township Trustees need 25 signatures. Petitions may be picked up at the Greene County Board of Elections, 551 Ledbetter Road in Xenia.

Villagers who have recently taken out petitions to run for Village Council are Chrissy Cruz, Patty Purdin and Tawn Singh. The three candidates join incumbents Rick Walkey and Karen Wintrow, who have also taken out petitions, and challengers Brian Housh, Dan Reyes and Marianne MacQueen, who previously said they would run. Judith Hempfling, who has completed eight years on Council, has said she does not plan to run again.

In a phone interview this week, Cruz said she has lived in the village off and on for 38 years. She is raising her 11-year-old grandson, along with running her own baking business, selling baked goods at the local farmers market.

“When I first came to Yellow Springs, I felt I had found a refuge,” Cruz said this week, stating that she is running because “I want to do what I can to make sure other people find a refuge here, too.”

Purdin is a third-generation villager who owns the local business No Common Scents. Purdin said she decided to run because she feels it is her duty to serve the community she lives in. She also hopes to bring to Council the perspective of a resident with long-standing ties to the village.

A lifelong villager, Tawn (Jackson) Singh said she is running for Council because she wants to be more active locally. A board member of Home, Inc., Singh said she comes to Council to listen to the needs of villagers. Singh has worked for 14 years at Wilberforce University.

Two additional newcomers are joining the race for school board. Recently Evan Scott and Dennis Peer took out petitions for the race, joining Ara Beal and Steven Conn, who previously announced their intention to run. The four newcomers join incumbents Aïda Merhemic and Angela Wright. Benji Maruyama has stated he will not run for re-election.

Scott and his wife, Amy, are the parents of four children, from age 7 to age 18. He has for five years owned Terrain Strategic Integrated Marketing, a firm that helps CEOs move their businesses forward successfully.

In an interview this week, Scott said he is running because he wants to support the innovative educational vision of the school district’s current administration.

Peer could not be reached for comment.

The race for Township Trustees has also heated up, with six candidates seeking the two open seats. New this week to the race are Dale Amstutz, John Eastman, Steve McFarland and John Struewing, who will be on the ballot with incumbent Mark Crockett and Zo Van Eaton Meister, who last week announced her intention to run.

This week Amstutz said he is running because he believes it’s important that the Trustees include representation from Township residents, and he has lived on a 160-acre farm on Hyde Road since 1981. Along with part-time farming, he has worked for 25 years as a letter carrier in Fairborn for the Post Office.

Eastman, who also ran for a Township seat in the last election, is an environmental engineer who was raised in Yellow Springs. He frequently serves as an engineering consultant to the Village of Yellow Springs on water issues.

McFarland, who lives in Clifton, served as mayor of Clifton for 24 years and has also been on the Greene County Regional Planning Board. A volunteer with the Miami Township Fire-Rescue squad, he works as a machinist at JBK in Dayton.

Struewing is a local contractor and a longtime member of the Village Planning Commission, where he served as president.

Hours for the Greene County Board of Elections are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more informaton, call the board at 562-6170.

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