ASHVILLE — Three men are vying for two positions on Ashville Village Council.

Current council members Nelson Embry III and Roger Clark and challenger Darryl Ward are running for the two seats, with the term beginning on Jan 1. 2020. Embry was elected in 2015 when he ran unopposed. Clark was appointed earlier this year.

Clark, 71, is a Westfall High School and Franklin University graduate and is retired from Nationwide Insurance. Embry, 78, is a graduate of The Ohio State University and is former co-owner of WNRE Radio. Ward, 57, is a Circleville High School graduate and is retired from the Pickaway County Engineer’s Office.

All three 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.

Incumbent Roger L. Clark

Describe what is motivating you to seek office? I was appointed in February 2019 to fill a vacant seat and serving these past months I have found it to be challenging and interesting. Ashville is growing rapidly, and I would like to be a part of maintaining our rural identity as much as possible, doing the best we can to manage the growth and still providing the needed services.

What makes you feel like you’re the best candidate for the position? This question is very difficult for me to answer. I’m sure there is someone out there that would be as good a candidate, but for this term they are not running. My career at Nationwide involved working with the public every day for almost 39 years. I feel I am a good listener and will do what I can to try to help people when they have an issue.

Articulate your thoughts on three issues you deem most important and why? 1. As the village continues to grow, we need to be sure we have the proper police and fire protection to protect our residents. By continuing to manage our resources to be sure they are being used where most needed.

2. To maintain adequate sewer and water plants to meet the needs of the village. The EPA sets the requirements for any actions the village must take. The six council members must work together to keep moving forward with any needed improvements to our sewer and water systems.

3. As the village grows and may soon become a city due to the current housing boom, we will face new challenges not even known yet. I have learned over the past few months that the current council works well together for the good of the village.

Additional comments:

I plan to work hard to fulfill the Village of Ashville’s mission statement:

“Remembering our rural heritage, Ashville will be a vibrant and friendly community, offering an enhanced quality of life achieved through planning, progress and collaboration. It will be a welcoming place where people want to live and businesses prosper.”

Incumbent Nelson Embry

Describe what is motivating you to seek office? I am seeking reelection to Ashville Village Council to continue helping with the community’s future growth, especially with the intermodal development around Rickenbacker Air Base and have been involved in the formation of the Comprehensive Economic Development Area (CEDA) and two Joint Economic Development Areas (JED), which govern the economic growth portion in Pickaway County. I have served on Planning and Zoning and as Clerk-Fiscal Officer of the village. My business, community and government experience have provided me with unique qualifications to seek reelection.

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

1. EPA requirements to control I&I (too much storm water) entering the wastewater recovery plant.

2. Preparing for residential, commercial and industrial growth

3. Financing the current services and those brought on by growth.

Additional comments:

Looking down the road, Ashville’s population continues to grow and by the 2030 Census should be over 5,000, which would mean city status. This will cause a change in the makeup of the government. However, I feel the village needs to enact a charter to keep our government simple to operate as it is now. Ashville is a great place to live. Council, the mayor and village administrator have to the best of our abilities solved issues and problems facing our community. I ask for your support for my reelection to council.

I have served on many boards: Pickaway County Red Cross, Scioto Society (Tecumseh) and Ted Lewis Museum. I have received the following awards: Friend of 4-H, The Ashville Community Club Distinguished Service Award and inducted into the Ohio Senior Citizen’s Hall of Fame. I currently serve as president of Wellbeing (Berger Hospital) Foundation of Pickaway County and Pickaway PERI Chapter #41 (OPERS Retirees); commissioned reserve auxiliary Pickaway County Deputy Sheriff, Chair of the Finance Committee and President Pro-tem of Ashville Council. Also, I am active at the Village Chapel Church.

Challenger Darryl E. Ward

Describe what is motivating you to seek office? I have been a volunteer throughout my life. Active member of the Ashville Knights of Pythias currently serving on rand line of Ohio K of P. Member of Ashville Community Men’s Club Ashville Heritage Society and a member of the Nazarene Church. I have volunteered all my life educating our youth while serving as 4-H advisor for Madison Live wires and a past fair board member of 15 years. I care about our hometown and would work day and night to see that Ashville stays a great community to live in.

Articulate your thoughts on three issues you deem most important and why? My goals for the village and the residents of Ashville are to maintain the village community feel and hold costs for residents down, while working with current council to keep up with the maintenance of the village such as;

1. Street Maintenance – The village streets need to be maintained better and there needs to be a budget allocated every year, not just election years. There has been more being done this year than previous years. We have to keep on top of streets yearly.

2. Water Treatment and Storm Sewers – Our water plant is in dire need of replacement. It was built in the 1900s or earlier. Our village is growing and the plant is to its max. We need to raise water tap fees up for new builds to offset the cost of a new plant. This would help to take some of the burden off current residents and taxpayers.

3. Keeping our community safe for our Police Department and County First Responders – I have seen with my own eyes drug deals going down in our village and we need to crack down on drugs. We have to think of our kids and get rid of the dealers and the drug houses. I will help to insure our police department has the tools and the training to get this task done.

Additional comments:

I’m currently employed by the Harrison Township Trustees as Cemetery Sexton of Harrison Township Cemetery. Also for the last two years I have been serving on the Village of Ashville Zoning Board. I have been married to my lovely wife for 33 years. We have four beautiful children. My Wife, Sherri, is a deputy sheriff for Franklin County Sheriff’s Office. My son Steven is a former Ashville police officer and currently working for OhioHealth Police. My son, Bryan is a heavy equipment operator for Geo Tech Construction and our youngest son, Landon, is a student at Teays Valley East Middle School.

I would appreciate your support in the upcoming November election and I look forward to serving the Ashville community both as a volunteer and as a council member.

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