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Robust field for local races

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In the past several weeks, several additional villagers have thrown their hats in the ring for local elective offices, making this year’s election season especially robust. Eight people are running for the three open seats on Village Council, seven seek the three seats on the Yellow Springs Board of Education and seven are running for two Township Trustee positions.

Having successfully filed their positions by the Aug. 7 deadline, the candidates were officially approved by the Greene County Board of Elections on Tuesday, Aug. 13. The election will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 5.

New to the Village Council race is Christine Monroe-Beard of Yellow Springs, joining challengers Chrissy Cruz, Brian Housh, Marianne MacQueen, Patty Purdin and Dan Reyes, who had previously announced their intention to run for the three open seats. Incumbents Karen Wintrow and Rick Walkey are also seeking re-election. Council President Judith Hempfling, who has served two four-year terms, is not running again.
Monroe-Beard is a longtime Yellow Springer who, with her husband, Don, is co-owner of Peach’s Grill. In a phone interview this week, she said she is running to give back to the community, and to provide “more forward movement” for the local business community.

Jennifer Berman and Allen Hunt have joined the race for three school board seats, joining Ara Beal, Steven Conn, Evan Scott and incumbents Aida Merhemic and Angela Wright, all of whom had previously announced their intentions to run. Board Vice-President Benji Maruyama is stepping down after one four-year term.

Employed as the community liaison for Antioch College, Berman hopes to “serve as a bridge” between the college, the schools and the village, she said last week. The parent of two Mills Lawn students, she also supports the district’s project-based learning initiative, and hopes to “continue the good work we have done in terms of reframing and rethinking the issue of bullying as one of (in part) social inclusion.”
Hunt, a professor of physics and earth and environmental sciences at Wright State University, is the parent of a Mills Lawn student. He decided to run after attending a community meeting on project-based learning, he said last week, where he realized that his expertise in math could make a difference in executing the project.

Joining the race for two open Township Trustee seats is Don Hollister, a member of Village Council from 1993 to 1999 and the Greene County Board of Elections for eight years. He serves as executive director of the Ohio League of Conservation Voters, and currently works half a week in the village and half in Columbus.

Hollister said he joined the race because he believes the Trustees’ upcoming decisions regarding building a new fire house and township hall will have a significant impact on the community. “I want to be a part of that process,” he wrote last week.

Hollister joins challengers Dale Amstutz, John Eastman, Steve McFarland, Zo Van Eaton Meister and John Struewing in the race, along with incumbent Mark Crockett, who seeks reelection. Longtime Trustee Lamar Spracklen is not running again.

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