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Broad slate of candidates as village, township races kick off

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Local voters will have a broad slate of candidates from which to choose in the Nov. 7 general election races for Yellow Springs Mayor, Village Council, Board of Education and Miami Township Trustees.

The Greene County Board of Elections certified candidate petitions Monday, Aug. 21, and posted on its website the names and contact information of those who met all the filing requirements.

The results for Yellow Springs are four candidates for mayor, six for three open seats on Village Council, five (one of whom has since withdrawn) for three school board seats and four for two township trustee positions.

The mayor’s race was of particular interest after longtime Village Mayor David Foubert announced in late spring that he would not seek re-election after 13 terms — 26 years — in office. The candidates hoping to step into that position, with the primary responsibility of presiding over Mayor’s Court are: Pam Conine, a retired educator; Laura Curliss, an attorney and former village manager; Catherine Price, a retired pharmacist; and Gerald Simms, a retired analyst from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base who currently serves on Village Council.

The three contested seats on Council are currently held by Matt Housh, Karen Wintrow and Simms. Of those, only Housh, the Midwest director for Rails to Trails and current Council vice president, is seeking Council re-election.

The five additional Council candidates are: Chrissy Cruz, a member of the YS Human Relations Commission; Lisa Kreeger, a registered nurse and graduate of the Antioch University Ph.D. program in Leadership and Change; Taki Manolakos, an economics professor at Wright State University; Kevin Stokes, an IT specialist for Antioch College; and David Turner, a computer and electronics technician and member of the Justice System Task Force.

Three of the five seats on the Yellow Springs school board are open, with two of the three incumbents, Steven Conn and Aïda Merhemic, seeking re-election. Anne Erickson, who was appointed last summer to fill the unexpired seat of Evan Scott, had already announced that she will not run for re-election.

Joining the race are community members Dawn Johnson and Steve McQueen. Johnson, a planner for Warren County, Ohio, is a former member of the YS Planning Commission, and McQueen, who is active with The 365 Project, serves on the Village Human Relations Commission. Joseph Carr, a former intervention specialist in Dayton, filed a petition that was certified, but wrote in an email Thursday morning that he has decided not to run.

Incumbent Conn is a history professor at Miami University, and Merhemic, who is seeking her fourth term on the board, is a mental health therapist and co-owner of Yellow Springs Psychological Center.

The two township trustee incumbents whose terms are ending on the three-person panel, Mark Crockett and Lamar Spracklen, are both seeking re-election. Joining them are Douglas Bailey and Don Hollister.

Crockett, the retired owner of former village shop Rita Caz, is seeking his fifth four-year term. Spracklen, a longtime local farmer, ran for trustee two years ago to fill the term of the late John Eastman. Hollister, who has served on various area boards and councils, currently works with the Arthur Morgan Institute for Community Solutions. Bailey has served on the Village’s Environmental Commission and documents properties with conservation easements for Tecumseh Land Trust.

Four petitioners for Village office did not meet the election board’s requirements, board Director Llyn McCoy said Tuesday.

The board rejected petitions for mayoral candidates Kelly P. Gray and David Scott Osterholm and Council petitioners Shonda Sneed and Jared Whittaker.

McCoy said Gray failed to qualify because his voter registration is not current. Osterholm did not list the number of signatures required in his circulation statement, McCoy said.

She also said that Whittaker appeared to have printed an incorrect petition from the Secretary of State’s website and did not indicate the race in which he wished to run, while Sneed’s filing certificate was “incomplete.”

As of late Tuesday afternoon, neither Whittaker nor Sneed had heard anything from the election’s board about their petitions.

Whittaker, a co-owner at Super-Fly Comics, said that he had seen the list of certified candidates online, and knew his petition had not been accepted, but he hadn’t yet been informed of the reason. He said he had consulted with people in town familiar with the process, so he thought he had followed proper procedures. As to McCoy’s statement that he hadn’t indicated his desired office, Whittaker said “Village Council is fairly clear on (the form).”

Sneed said she was disappointed. “I collected 93 to 95 signatures,” she said. The elections board requires 33 valid signatures. She said she also verified she had the correct form and had the petition notarized before filing. She said the photocopied petition form for Yellow Springs office is difficult to read, but “I’m not making an excuse,” she added. If the form was incomplete, “I take full responsibility,” she said.

Whittaker said the filing process is unclear, especially for newcomers. “I’m not a professional politician,” Whittaker said.

As the Nov. 7 election nears, the News will provide in-depth information about the local candidates and races.


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