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Township trustees appoint Spracklen

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During the year John Eastman served on the Miami Township Board of Trustees, he showed an interest in road safety and regional issues, such as maintaining good water quality and protecting source water in the region, fellow Trustee Chris Mucher said last week. Eastman had planned to retire from his day job as an environmental engineer this year and devote more time to these Township issues.

But his untimely death on Dec. 28 left a vacancy on the Township board that the two remaining trustees, Mucher and Mark Crockett, had until Jan. 28 to fill. At their meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 21, they voted to appoint former longtime Trustee Lamar Spracklen to the position. Spracklen, scheduled to be sworn in this week, will serve one year until voters elect a permanent replacement in November 2015 to fill the two years remaining of Eastman’s four-year term.

Spracklen, an active grain and cattle farmer who also owns the Yellow Springs Country Bed & Breakfast, said this week that he was eager to serve the Township again.
“I wanted to go back on the board because I’d like to see somebody from out in the township representing the farmers and helping them deal with zoning issues.”

By the first week of January, the trustees had received offers of service from every candidate who ran in the previous election, plus several others, Mucher said. All the candidates were well qualified and would have brought useful expertise to the board. Mucher and Crockett agreed on Spracklen because of his familiarity with Township government, lifelong residency in Miami Township, his “vast knowledge of agriculture in the township, and 14 years of experience as a prior trustee,” Mucher said.
“In order to provide a quick transition and maintain continuity within the Township administration, Lamar was quite a natural choice,” Mucher said.

Spracklen and his two sons manage Lamar Spracklen Partners, Ltd., a 2,700-acre diversified grain and cattle operation and tree nursery in Greene, Clark and Madison counties. He served as a Township trustee from 1999 through 2013 and said this week that he is returning to the board to provide representation for the farming and rural community whose livelihoods often depend on issues of zoning and comprehensive land use. A township resident is also more likely to know area residents to recommend for the Miami Township Zoning Board and the Board of Zoning Appeals that legislate and adjudicate those same land use issues, he said. None of the previous board members, Mucher, Crockett or Eastman, were residents of Miami Township, nor did they practice farming.

“It’s good to have someone who knows the township and how the residents there think,” he said. “I know people whose families have been there for decades, and some who’ve been here for over a hundred years.”

Spracklen said he believes in land preservation and protecting family farms and wants to continue to support them through governance. He led the Greene Soil & Water Conservation District for many decades and directed the Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation districts and has served as a trustee of the Yellow Springs wellhead committee.

After completing Eastman’s term, Spracklen said he was interested in running for the remaining two-year term in November. In that election, two other Miami Township seats will also be available, including the Township fiscal officer, currently filled by Margaret Silliman, and the four-year Trustee’s term currently filled by Chris Mucher.


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