Townships Where, Mostly, Everybody Gets Along
Not everybody in Claridon and Hambden townships may approve of their state or federal government. National polling actually suggests that most do not.
But a vast majority of residents are content with their local township trustees, re-electing longtime incumbents.
Overall, those who were elected Nov. 5 say people in their townships get along — and like where they live.
Amongst a crowded five-person field, residents elected Nadine Pope with 934 votes and Ed Kaminski with 697 votes, according to final unofficial results of the Geauga County Board of Elections.
Pope, elected to a fourth term, still enjoys the role.
“I hope I am still making a difference,” she said. “I sure am trying to.”
Hambden has saved money for improvement projects before starting them, putting the township in a good fiscal situation despite state cuts, Pope said.
“We don’t take on debt,” she said. “We do a bunch of road projects at once, which means we get a better price. And we work together.”
Kaminski said “it’s been awhile,” regarding his tenure, which began in 1981.
“I’d like to thank the residents for their continued support and believing in me,” he said.
Kaminski enjoys the job and considers Hambden a “well run, pretty efficient” township that provides “good services to the residents.”
Keeping politics out of township decisions was key, Kaminski said.
“We talk to a lot of the residents and they are supportive,” he said.
Trustees are limited in what they can do, both agreed.
“We can’t create laws or anything like that,” Kaminski said. “But I’d like to make it even better than it is now. Looks like going ahead, we’re going to have to do it with less finances.”
Residents sent Mike Farrell, with 563 votes, and David Brockway, with 427 votes, back into township office with landslide victories, according to the final unofficial results.
Farrell will begin his third term and told people during the campaign, door to door, he feels a duty to serve the people of the township.
“It’s a mission,” Farrell said.
He said the majority of residents’ concerns deal with the state and federal governments. For the trustees, it’s about maintaining roads.
As a county highway worker, he puts an emphasis on roads and workers’ safety.
“Keeping your guys safe out there, calling before you dig, that kind of basic non-flattering stuff, that’s the job of a trustee,” he said.
Farrell also wants to work with other townships and watch the budget closely, he said.
“You have to look outside the box and keep working in that direction because it’s getting tighter, keeping local townships solvent,” he said.
Farrell and Brockway said the Claridon cemetery needed some maintenance, like water, and also needed expanded for future tenants.
“We’ve got paving projects next year,” said Brockway, who grew up in Claridon. “(We need) extensive repavement of some roads. We’re trying to upgrade our playground at the park and we need to expand the cemetery. Maybe not next year, but soon.
“That will keep us pretty busy.”
Brockway said the township has been running smoothly.
“It was a little rough there for a while, but things are going really good now,” he said.
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