YELLOW CREEK - A field of five candidates has emerged for the two seats that are up for grabs on the Yellow Creek Township Board of Trustees this November. Of that field, incumbents David Boyd and Larry Brewer are facing challenges from Stanley Cunningham, Rodney Lyle and Glenn McKenzie.
A graduate of Wellsville High School, Boyd is a 72-year-old farmer who lists no party affiliation. When asked why he is seeking re-election after 14 years as a trustee, Boyd says it comes down to his being a lifelong resident who wants to give back every way he can.
That includes physical duty assisting the road crew with whatever needs done around town. "I get down and shovel in the ditches, help put down patching, run the equipment, and I am always available during ice and snow storms," Boyd said.
Boyd's goals for a next term include upgrades for the township's aging fleet of equipment and erecting a structure for the road department's store of winter road mix. Under present conditions, he said it has a tendency to freeze into large clumps that won't flow through the truck's spreaders. These must be broken up, taking valuable time and fuel on winter mornings.
According to Boyd, the most significant issue facing Yellow Creek is the combined effect of reduced funding from the state and higher costs for most everything. "We try to spend wisely and always comparison shop for our needs," he said.
The other incumbent, Larry Brewer, is the owner/operator of Larry Brewer Plumbing and is a recently retired county employee. The 61-year-old Democrat is a graduate of Wellsville High School, earned his natural gas certification and is a certified Master Plumber.
Brewer lists his ambition in office as continuing "to make a positive difference in Yellow Creek Township." He would do so by seeking greater dialogue with Yellow Creek residents and seeking more state and federal funding for projects in the township.
Brewer sees fiscal matters as the most significant issue facing the township in coming years, with the continuing need to maintain roads a concern. Others including budgeting for equipment, insurance and material costs.
Stanley Cunningham, a 54-year-old certified mechanic, equipment operator and business owner, says he is seeking township office to change the way Yellow Creek addresses issues by utilizing his 30 years of experience in business.
Cunningham, an independent, is a high-school graduate with no previous political history, but says that his many years of running his own business suit him well for the needs of the job. He agrees with Boyd and Brewer that the biggest issue facing the township is funding.
According to Cunningham, there are numerous tasks around town that have not been addressed correctly, making expensive fixes necessary later on, something he would strive to avoid. "To do the jobs at hand right the first time would cut costs rather than going back and doing the same job over again," he said.
Rodney Lyle, another political newcomer, says that he would seek to improve communication amongst the board, township employees and members of the community. "Teamwork and communication is the key," he said.
Lyle, 56, is a Democrat and a lifelong resident of the Hillcrest area. A graduate of Wellsville High School, he is employed as a service technician with Heritage Thermal Services in East Liverpool.
Lyle says his top priorities would be keeping an eye on the budget and saving money for Yellow Creek legislatively and by working alongside township road workers when necessary. "I would try to keep our community in the black," he said.
Glenn McKenzie says that he would institute better road maintenance in the township if elected. The 55-year-old self-described liberal, like Cunningham and Lyle, has never held public office. What he lacks in political experience, however, McKenzie says he makes up for with his 17 years of working in the area. "I know what must be done," he said.
A graduate of Southern Local High School, McKenzie was trained as a mechanic in the U.S. Air Force and is the owner of an excavation business.
McKenzie says he understands the budgetary constraints the township faces, but feels a better job must be done regarding maintenance. "Money is always an important issue, but roads must still be taken care of," he said.