Incumbent Franklin Twp. Trustee Brian Morris is being challenged by two men who are seeking the open seat on the Board of Township Trustees.
Retired teacher Bill Taggart and Tony Workman, a retired Warren County Sheriff’s deputy are running for the seat. This is Workman’s second try in two years for a seat on the board of trustees. Taggart was also Morris’ biology teacher at Carlisle High School.
Franklin Township trustees serve four-year terms and will receive an annual salary of $12,478.
Morris, 34, is seeking his second full term as a township trustee. After he was in office for two years, two of his fellow trustees left office leaving him to lead two newly elected trustees.
“I think people should vote for me because I don’t vote in line with friendships or other relationships, I only vote on what’s important to the township and I vote with my heart,” he said.
The Fairview Drive resident said the most pressing issue facing the township is its future economic standing. The township recently developed a Joint Economic Development District with Middletown to grow the area in Hunter and around the Atrium Medical Center complex and other commercial projects. He also said the township is working with Springboro on a commercial project on Sharts Road.
“We have to be open-minded and not fight the cities,” he said. “We need to work with them.”
Morris, who said he would like to serve a final term as a trustee, said he wants to make sure projects are completed in the Pennyroyal and Hunter areas; have a resolution for emergency response issues; and continuing to promote fiscal transparency.
“As a taxpayer, I want to know were our taxdollars are going,” he said.
Taggart, 63, said he’s running for township trustee because he doesn’t feel that the current trustees are not representing him or his neighbors. He also said the economic stagnation of the township is creating hopelessness in people.
“I live in the township but I have different issues,” he said. “I have issues on how the township is run and that if a trustee levies taxes, they should be a property owner. I’m a resident, not a politician.”
The East Decker Road resident said the fire protection issue is unequal, noting that some areas of the township can rely on full-time firefighters while other areas rely on volunteers.
The village of Carlisle and city of Franklin have their own fire departments and are operated by levies approved by voters in those communities. However, those residents who live in the municipalities cannot vote in township levies.
Taggart, said the township continues to have drug issues and only one sheriff’s deputy patrols the unincorporated areas of the 33-square miles of the township.
If elected, Taggart said he wants to work on zoning issues related to conservation and set aside land for parks and farms. He also said he wants to revitalize communities but restrict urban sprawl.
“I want to make sure we are fiscally responsible,” he said. “We’re one of the poorest townships in the state and we need to make sure our taxdollars are being spent wisely.”
Workman, 56, said he is running for township trustee because he wants to give back to the community.
A retired Warren County Sheriff’s deputy, he wants to focus on improving the foundations of the township’s basic public safety and non-public safety services. A 30-year law enforcement veteran, Workman worked as a deputy for 25 years.
In addition to improving public safety, the Noble Way resident also wants to expand services at the Deardoff Senior Center.
“The most pressing thing is the fire department,” he said. “We have to figure if we should contract it out or find another way to fund it or pass a levy. We have to look at all of the options available.”
If he’s elected, Workman said he’ll need to learn more about the township budget to better understand.
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