Ross Twp. challenger wins trustee spot

Of the two Ross Twp. trustees seeking to be returned to the board, only one won Tuesday.

Incumbent Tom Willsey was re-elected Tuesday to the board and will serve alongside political newcomer Keith Ballauer, according to unofficial Butler County Board of Election results.

RELATED: Ross Twp. police chief has cheated death twice

Tom Willsey received 35.57 percent of the vote while Ballauer received 34.30 percent.

Incumbent Raymond Wurzelbacher finished third in voting with 30.14 percent of the vote.

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This is Ballauer’s second attempt at being elected to the board.

Willsey and Ballauer could not be reached for comment Tuesday evening.

Willsey previously told the Journal-News he spent nearly 50 years working with and for the people of the community, and the last 32 as a Ross Twp. trustee.

He said the biggest problem facing the community is “controlling and managing growth while continuing to provide and maintain the best possible services for the residents of the community.”

“Since our state legislature cut the local government funding to all communities, we have had to find additional ways to be able to provide and maintain the level of services our community has grown accustomed to receiving. We are constantly looking for ways to partner with other neighboring areas to share equipment, manpower and ideas so that we can continue to deliver the best possible service for the lowest cost to the residents of Ross Twp.”

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Ballauer has lived and worked in Ross Twp. since 1972. He was a volunteer firefighter for the township for nine years and a part-time police officer for 17 years. He also was a call-in snow plow driver.

He previously told the Journal-News he felt the trustees had “overspent on property deals and overlooked things that were viable to the township before these properties came up.”

Ballauer also said he believes the township has had trouble retaining quality firefighters and police officers as they head to bigger communities that offer full-time jobs.

“Also, I think more thought needs to be put on towards the expenditures,” he said. “I’m for tighter control over township business.”

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