Mayor, Council races spark interest as filing deadline nears
- Published: July 20, 2017
Yellow Springs community residents interested in getting involved in local governing will find a variety of opportunities in this year’s elections. There are more open seats than candidates so far in the race for the local school board, two newcomers and one incumbent are running for two Yellow Springs Village Council seats, and the race for mayor is showing intense local activity.
Those running for office are required to file a petition with the Greene County Board of Elections, 551 Ledbetter Rd., Xenia. Candidates for Village Council or the office of mayor need the signatures of 33 registered voters; those running for Miami Township Trustees or school board need to gather the signatures of 25 registered voters. The petitions are due by 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 9.
Petitions may be obtained online at the website of the Ohio Secretary of State, or in person at the board office. However, candidates are encouraged to come in person to pick up the petition to make sure they get the right one, according to Board of Elections Director Llyn McCoy this week.
The election is Tuesday, Nov. 7.
Especially heating up is the race for Yellow Springs mayor, with four announced candidates so far and another expressing interest. The energetic race follows the announcement from longtime Mayor Dave Foubert that he’s retiring this year after serving 13 two-year terms, for a total of 26 years, in the office. The mayor runs the local Mayor’s Court and also performs ceremonial duties.
According to Greene County Board of Elections Deputy Director Denise Percival last week, two villagers have already turned in petitions for the mayor’s race. Those candidates are Pam Conine, a retired educator, and current Village Council member Gerry Simms, a retired analyst from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Former Village Manager Laura Curliss, an attorney, and Cathy Price, a retired pharmacist, have also announced their intention of running, although they have not yet turned in petitions. This week Dean Pallotta, the owner of Dino’s Cappuccinos, said he’s taken out petitions for both the mayor’s race and Village Council, and will decide by Aug. 9 which office he’s running for.
Two seats out of five will be open on the Yellow Springs Village Council, and so far only one incumbent, Brian Housh, has announced his intention of running, although two newcomers, Kevin Stokes and Lisa Kreeger, have also thrown their hats in the ring.
The open seats are currently held by Housh, the midwest policy director for Rails to Trails and current Council vice-president, and Gerry Simms. This week Housh said he is running again, seeking his second term in the office. He previously served one four-year term, after being a top vote-getter in 2013. Simms, who has already served one four-year term and one two-year term, is not seeking re-election to Council because he’s running for mayor. The top vote-getter in the race will serve for four years and the second for two years.
The newcomer candidates are Stokes, an IT specialist for Antioch College, and Kreeger, a registered nurse and graduate of the Antioch University Ph.D program in Leadership and Change, who have filed petitions for the Council seat.
Continuing in their seats until 2019 are Council President Karen Wintrow, Judith Hempfling and Marianne MacQueen.
Three seats out of five are open on the Yellow Springs school board, with two out of three incumbents, Aïda Merhemic and Steven Conn, seeking re-election and no candidate so far announcing an intention of running for the third seat, which is currently held by Anne Erickson.
This week Merhemic, a mental health therapist and co-owner of Yellow Springs Psychological Center, said she is seeking re-election. She is seeking her fourth four-year term on the board, and is currently board president.
Conn, a professor of history at Miami University, also said he is seeking re-election, for his second four-year term. Erickson, a former board member who was appointed a year ago to fill out the term of Evan Scott, is not seeking re-election, she said this week.
Current board members Sean Creighton and Sylvia Ellison each have two more years in their positions, and will be up for election again in 2019.
Two out of the three seats on the Miami Township Trustees, currently held by Mark Crockett and Lamar Spracklen, will be open in November, with both incumbents intending to run for re-election.
According to Crockett this week, he will seek his fifth four-year term as a trustee. He is the retired longtime owner of Rita Caz. Spracklen, a longtime local farmer who is a former trustee, ran for the office two years ago to fill out the term of the late John Eastman. He will be running for the office again, he said this week, and will soon turn in his petition.
The third trustee, Chris Mucher, will be up for re-election in 2019.
The News will write detailed profiles of the official candidates in upcoming months.