WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP- Two men and one woman are vying for the two open Washington Township trustee positions on the board.

WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP— Two men and one woman are vying for the two open Washington Township trustee positions on the board.

Incumbent Jim Lands and appointee James Ewing look to keep their seats while Jeanine Leist McDowell look to join the board.

Ewing, 63, drives a fuel truck and is a full time farmer. Ewing was appointed to the position in June of 2012. He said he wants to be reelected because he likes working with the people of the township.

“I’ve wanted to be trustee for a while and now that I have been I’ve learned a lot,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of good input for the township. I want to keep the good here and I like working with the people.”

Ewing said he felt the biggest issue facing the candidates is the re-writing of the zoning laws. He said fixing that and also taking care of houses so there isn’t any blight is a top priority.

“We’re re-writing the zoning laws to fit right now as opposed to 20 years ago when they were written,” he said. “I also want to keep the township nice and keep is so people still like living here. We are working on nuisance and abatement claims on the vacant homes and getting things taken down.”

Lands, a 66-year-old retiree, said he wants to be reelected to continue the job he’s done over the last 12 years as trustee.

“I’m enjoying what I’m doing and there are a few things that I’d like to see that are completed," he said. “We’re currently getting several things taken care of including finishing up the annexation with Circleville and updating our zoning laws.”

Lands said the biggest thing moving forward for the township is maintaining the roads and services with a lesser budget. He plants to continue to look for grant funding to help with the roads as well as looking for new solutions.

“We’ve applied for grants every year I’ve been trustee,” he said. “We’ve also tried different ways to maintain the roads including crack sealing which has helped considerably with maintaining the longevity of the roads.”

McDowell, a realtor and retired teacher, said she was seeking the office because she can make a positive contribution in this position because of her experiences.

McDowell said she was part of the comprehensive land use planning committee, an experience that prompted her to get more involved in the township. She was a teacher in Logan Elm School District and currently serves on the Pickaway County Educational Service Center.

As a realtor for more than 30 years, she has worked with the local zoning official, Board of Health, county engineering department and Soil and Water Conservation District.

"I also initiated the formation of Partners For Paws, a 501C3 organization, instrumental in getting the new county dog shelter built in Washington Township," she said. "The experience of working with the public toward positive goals has made me a qualified candidate for this position.”

McDowell said the biggest factor moving forward is the budget and how to fund the township, noting the decline in local government money.

“Proper fiscal planning by the trustees is critical for the welfare of the township,” she said. “The township trustees need to make certain that the annexation agreement is enforced for any property that may be annexed into the city of Circleville. Also, communication between property owners and the township trustees needs to be improved.”

McDowell said she plans to also use technology to better communicate with the residents of the township.

“The use of technology is a great way to promote a better line of communication," she said. "The township Web site is a great avenue for improved communication.”