ASHVILLE — There are two candidates for Mayor in the Village of Ashville, both of whom agree that improvements to Village infrastructure is one of the three most important issues for the Village.

Charles K. Wise, 60, of Ashville is running for re-election as mayor and has worked as an electronic technician for the Ohio Department of Public Safety. His challenger is Shawn Demint, 40, who previously worked for the Village before doing contract work as a landscaper and carpenter.

Both candidates responded to the Circleville Herald’s candidate questionnaire and below are their full responses edited only to fix spelling and grammar errors and for style. The responses are unedited for content.

Candidate Shawn Demint

Describe what is motivating you to seek office: With all due respect to my former coworkers, while working for Ashville, in my opinion, I have witnessed a lack of priority when it comes to spending and manpower. I feel issues are not addressed timely, if at all. Jobs are not completed in full. I want to fix the infrastructure right and timely. I believed we are overstaffed in areas and overspending.

What makes you feel like you’re the best candidate for the position? I have seen Ashville’s weaknesses firsthand; I realize the potential if we set a higher standard and prioritize what we are doing.

Articulate your thoughts on three issues you deem most important and why:

1. Infrastructure — Our infrastructure is crumbling and patching it back together is not good enough or sustainable. We need to start underground to replace outdated water, sewer and storm lines. We need more and better storm water systems and management. We have stormwater reaching into the sewers that is overwhelming the wastewater plant. We have sewer lines going into storm lines that are pouring into the creek untreated. We need to initiate pavement preservation methods as crack sealing and seal coating to extend the life of the pavement.

2. Finances — It is not cheap to fix these infrastructure issues but I have a plan to cut staffing and prioritize spending to do so. I will appropriate a minimum of $250,000 per year in infrastructure and pledge $1 million in improvements in my first term.

3. Recreation — The county, as a whole, has a lack of recreational outlets. I believe through collaboration, Ashville can have recreational opportunities such as a rec center and swimming pool. We have 40 acres of undeveloped land mast in a flood plain. This land will be part of the new park system.

Incumbent Charles Wise

Describe what is motivating you to seek office: Ashville is a wonderful place full of warm friendly people. I knew this was a place (at the age of 20) that I wanted to live and grow old.

I want Ashville to be a safe place where our children might want to call home and raise their children.

What makes you feel like you’re the best candidate for the position? Experience. With my years of working on the Ashville Police Department serving in various positions including Chief of Police, I attended council meetings, submitting budgets, served as planning and zoning clerk, inspector, street commissioner and supervising other departments.

This allowed me to know the interworking of how a village works or doesn’t work.

Articulate your thoughts on three issues you deem most important and why:

1. Street paving — Due to continued reductions in local government funding from the State of Ohio, and more fuel-efficient vehicles, Ashville’s paving funds have dwindled and the cost of paving has gone up. This is an issue all over the state and hopefully the local share of the gas tax increase will alleviate some of the shortages.

2. Inflow and infiltration — Most of our storm and sanitary sewers in the older section of town (south of Scioto Street) were installed prior to WWII. These sewers leak and have cross connections. During a rain event, we have massive amounts of water entering the wastewater plant. We are under pressure from the EPA to take corrective action.

3. Village charter — In the wake of our current political climate it is a way to take parties out of our local government. A charter also allows for rules on how we operate our village verses being a statutory village run by state rules. As we approach city status this will allow us to only create the extra positions required by the state as the residents see fit.

Additional comments:

This year we have spent the most we ever have on street repair in the amount close to $400,000. In 2020 in conjunction with the Ohio Department of Transportation, grants and OPWC, Main Street and Long Street (state Route 316) (Jefferson to Station) will be reconstructed including new curbs and gutters.

It has been my effort to keep Ashville on a slow or controlled growth path and to keep our hometown rural feel and to be a safe place for our youth to excel.

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