Fairfield Twp. trustees’ 4-candidate field has only 1 incumbent for Nov. 2 election

There are four candidates for Fairfield Twp. Trustee in the 2021 general election. Pictured, clockwise from top left are incumbent Trustee Shannon Hartkemeyer and candidates Benjamin Wall, Michael Berding and Denise McCoy. They are vying for one of two open four-year terms on the township trustees board. PHOTOS PROVIDED
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There are four candidates for Fairfield Twp. Trustee in the 2021 general election. Pictured, clockwise from top left are incumbent Trustee Shannon Hartkemeyer and candidates Benjamin Wall, Michael Berding and Denise McCoy. They are vying for one of two open four-year terms on the township trustees board. PHOTOS PROVIDED

Credit: Photos Provided

Credit: Photos Provided

Opportunities for growth, safety among issues discussed by hopefuls.

There will be one definite change to the Fairfield Twp. Board of Trustees after the Nov. 2 election as one incumbent is not seeking reelection.

Trustee Susan Berding decided to step away from the dais, which leaves Trustee Shannon Hartkemeyer as the only incumbent in this general election’s four-way race.

Other candidates include Denise McCoy, Benjamin Wall, and school board member Michael Berding, husband of Susan Berding. The winners of the election will serve alongside Trustee Joe McAbee.

ExploreCurrently little to no wait, but lines expected to get longer as Election Day nears
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Shannon Hartkemeyer

Shannon Hartkemeyer
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Shannon Hartkemeyer

Hartkemeyer is seeking her third consecutive term on the township trustee board, and has been active in local and regional organizations, including Caring Like Angels and Heroes and the Jo Ann Davidson Leadership Institute.

“In the last 7-plus years, I have dedicated my time and talents to making our community a better place to live, work, and play,” she said.

Over her past two terms, she said the trustees and administration have “solidified our financial position and built for the future.” The township has replaced an outdated fire station, built a new public works facility, widened roads.

Over the next four years, she said she’ll work to “strengthen our financial position to safeguard our future,” streamline methods of providing services, and promote economic and community development.

“Our team constantly strives to improve processes and operations at all levels,” she said.

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Credit: JanetGay

Michael Berding’s public service career is long, which includes nearly a decade on the Fairfield School Board. He previously served on both the township’s Zoning Appeals Board and Zoning Commission.

The 27-year township resident said he wants to continue what the trustees have done in recent years.

“As I look to the future, I see lots of opportunities for Fairfield Twp.,” Berding said.

Berding, whose school board term expires at the end of the year, said he wants to focus his efforts now toward improving the quality of life for Fairfield Twp. residents.

“I have the experience with balancing multi-million dollar budgets during my tenure on Fairfield and Butler Tech school boards,” he said. “As a 25-year business owner, I have experience with managing personnel and expanding business relationships into seven states.”

Two of Berding’s goals involve maximizing the township’s budget. He said he’d like to see more full-time firefighters and pay off borrowed debt. But he also wants to seek more entertainment and quality of life options for township residents.

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Denise McCoy, candidate for Fairfield Twp. Trustee, 2021

Credit: Provided/Facebook

Denise McCoy, candidate for Fairfield Twp. Trustee, 2021
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Denise McCoy, candidate for Fairfield Twp. Trustee, 2021

Credit: Provided/Facebook

Credit: Provided/Facebook

Denise McCoy is running for the first time for a seat on the board. The life-long township resident decided to become more involved with her community a few years ago. She’s involved with Fairfield Twp.’s zoning appeals board.

“Over the last few years I have been paying attention to the operations of the township and now that there is an opening on the board of trustees I want to be move involved so I decided to run for the trustee seat,” said McCoy.

If elected, she said she believes she could work to “make a difference for our residents, township funds, and township property.”

“I’ll work hard to solve township problems while staying within the township’s budget,” she said. “I will not waste our money. I will make our current residents the top priority with every decision made.”

She said she believes trustees have “spent very little time discussing township business in public and allows little, if any, public interaction.”

If elected, she said, “We will have open discussions of all township business. We will fix our roads, retain more police, and have real financial accounting of all township funds at every meeting.”

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Benjamin Wall, candidate for Fairfield Twp. Trustee, 2021

Credit: Provided/Facebook

Benjamin Wall, candidate for Fairfield Twp. Trustee, 2021
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Benjamin Wall, candidate for Fairfield Twp. Trustee, 2021

Credit: Provided/Facebook

Credit: Provided/Facebook

Benjamin Wall said he’s “hoping to make a positive impact on the community, specifically the families in our community.”

The “number one issue” for Wall, according to his campaign Facebook page, is safety and accessibility for families. There are multiple videos of Wall driving some of Fairfield Twp. pointing out areas he believes needs improved walking and bike paths.

He recalls the 2015 accident when a 16-year-old was riding his bike along Princeton Road and was struck and killed. Police at the time said the boy was riding in the middle of the street, and died two weeks later.

“This really affected me and I still think about it a lot today,” said Wall. “It’s one of the reasons I’m running for trustee because I hope to change the safety issues in the township.”

He said six years after that accident, “there are still no sidewalks along the road, and obviously it’s an issue.”

Wall said he’d also like to see improvements at Ohio 4 Bypass and Princeton Road, and in a video posted on his campaign Facebook page, he questioned the safety of the crosswalk at the bypass and “needs to be improved.”

He also calls for sidewalks on Hamilton-Mason Road.


EARLY VOTING HOURS

Now through Oct. 22: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Oct. 25-29: 8 a.m.-7 p.m.

Oct. 30: 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

Oct. 31: 1-5 p.m.

Nov. 1: 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

SOURCE: Ohio Secretary of State

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