|Bethel meets their candidates|
|Written by Editor|
|Thursday, 03 November 2011 21:10|
By CECILIA FOX
Record Herald Writer
BETHEL TOWNSHIP - Candidates for public office in Bethel Township met for a “Meet the Candidates” event hosted by the Bethel Township Historical society on Oct. 27. Each of the candidates prepared a statement and was open to questions from the public.
Incumbent Cliff Wray and hopeful Brian Swinderman are both running for trustee. At the meeting Wray and Swinderman discussed their goals for the township.
Wray has served as a township trustee for the past eight years. He asked voters to consider the accomplishments the trustees have made during his time in office, including improvements to Fire and EMS services, sewer and road improvements, and decreased annexation. His goals for Bethel Township are to continue the fight against annexation, maintain a conservative budget, and preserve the “Bethel way of life.”
Swinderman’s goals for Bethel include encouraging small local businesses, improving the township website, and increasing communication with Bethel residents. He believes that the website could be used more effectively to communicate with residents and to support the Bethel business community. Swinderman also stressed the importance of keeping Bethel rural while building and supporting small businesses.
Two of the candidates, Michael Van Haaren and Scott Lawson, are running unopposed for spots on the Bethel Board of Education. Lawson was unable to attend the event due to a prior commitment to the pee wee football team, but his personal statement was read at the meeting.
Lawson has a long history of involvement in the school district, first as a student and later as a father to Bethel students, husband to a Bethel teacher, and as a coach. In his statement Lawson explained his views on fiscal responsibility and the need for increased communication between the school board and the public.
Van Haaren is a longtime resident of Bethel and his children attend Bethel schools. He asked voters to take his background in financial management into consideration.
“There are a lot of fiscal challenges that the school faces and those aren’t going away. I hope I can provide some help there,” said Van Haaren.