June 12, 2003



Eight positions available in local elections this year

Yellow Springs residents interested in running for Village Council or Yellow Springs mayor this year may now file petitions with the Greene County Board of Elections to get on the November ballot.

In addition, residents can also file petitions to run for the Yellow Springs school board, the Miami Township Board of Trustees and the Township clerk-treasurer position.

A total of eight seats will be decided in this year’s election, which will be held on Nov. 4.

In order to get on the ballot, local residents must submit petitions carrying a certain number of signatures — the number of signatures depends on the position being sought — with the Board of Elections by 4 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 21. There is a $30 filing fee.

Petitions for the school board and Miami Township races are available at the Board of Elections office, 651 Dayton-Xenia Road in Xenia. For more information, call the board at 562-7470.

Official petitions to run for Village Council and the position of Yellow Springs mayor are available at the office of the clerk of Council, Deborah Benning, in the Bryan Community Center. For more information, contact Benning at 767-9126 or dbenning@yso.com.

This year, Yellow Springs voters will vote for three Council members and for mayor.

The available Council seats are currently held by Mary Alexander, Joan Horn and George Pitstick. Of the three, only Horn could say definitively what her plans were for this fall: she will not seek re-election. “It’s been an interesting experience but four years is enough,” said Horn, who was elected to a four-year term in 1999. Horn said that she hopes “some good people apply,” and she encouraged younger people “to step up to the plate” and run for office.

Alexander, who was appointed to Council in April to fill a vacancy created when Hazel Latson resigned, said that she was “not sure” if she would seek a full term on Council this fall. Elected to a two-year term in 2001, Latson resigned in March because she moved out of town. The Village Charter stipulates that appointed positions expire at the next regular municipal election.

Pitstick was also noncommittal about his intentions this year, saying that he “never closed” his election committee with the Board of Elections. “I’d like to see what’s going to happen around here,” said Pitstick, who was elected to a two-year term in 2001. “I’ve been pretty pleased with the way things have turned out on this Council,” he added, explaining that he likes the way Council has worked together and has listened to residents.

The two candidates in the Council race garnering the most votes will receive four-year terms. The candidate receiving the third most votes will serve a two-year term. The winners of the Council race will join Tony Arnett, the Council president, and Denise Swinger on Council.

Mayor David Foubert said on Monday that he intends to seek a seventh term in office this year. Foubert planned to start his bid for re-election this week by taking out a petition and gathering the necessary signatures to get on the ballot. The mayor’s position is a two-year term.

“I love serving Yellow Springs,” he said. “Every week brings something new and exciting.”

The Village Charter states that the mayor of Yellow Springs is recognized as the official head of the Village for all ceremonial purposes and by the governor of Ohio for military purposes. In addition, the mayor oversees the local Mayor’s Court. The mayor may attend Council meetings and participate in discussions, though the mayor does not have voting power.

Petitions for both Council and mayor must have 32 valid signatures of registered Yellow Springs voters.

Voters in the Yellow Springs school district will elect two people to the Board of Education this fall. The available seats are held by Tom Haugsby, the board president, and Rich Bullock. The winners of the school board race will both receive a four-year term, and will join members Mary Campbell-Zopf, William Firestone and Angela Wright on the board.

Elected in 1999, Bullock said that he is “90 percent sure” that he will run for re-election. He said that it takes a year or two “to get the sense of all the different issues and the different facets” of the district, so it’s worth running for another term on the school board. “The learning curve for being a school board member is so steep it takes a couple of years to understand the place and to be really effective,” he said.

After 12 years on the Board of Education, Haugsby said that he will not run this year. First elected in 1991, Haugsby said, he had not intended to serve on the board for more than three terms. Plus, he said his job as the director of the Co-op Department at Antioch College, a position he started in the fall of 2002, had increased his responsibility at the college.

Haugsby said that in Yellow Springs there is “no public service equal” to work on education matters.

Petitions for school board must have 25 valid signatures.

Both Miami Township officials whose terms expire this year will seek re-election.

Chris Mucher, the president of the Board of Trustees, said that he plans to run for another four-year term on the board, which also includes Mark Crockett and Lamar Spracklen. Mucher, whose store, Photoworks, processes film for the News, said that he wants to see the relationship between the Township and the Village continue to evolve. “We’ve made a start and with continued effort by both bodies we can make something of it,” he said, adding, “I’d like to participate in that.”

Mucher has served as a Township trustee for seven years, starting in 1996 when he was appointed to fill a vacancy. He was then elected twice, in 1997 and 1999.

The Township clerk/treasurer, Margaret Silliman, also said that she intends to seek re-election this year, explaining that she enjoys the job. Silliman was elected in 1999. The clerk/treasurer position is a four-year term.

Petitions for the Board of Trustees and the clerk must have 25 valid signatures.

—Robert Mihalek