Bethel Township voters have 2 options for 1 trustee seat


BETHEL — Incumbent Donald Black is facing off against Kama Dick in the Election for Bethel Township Trustee, which carries a four-year term starting on Jan. 1, 2024.

Miami Valley Today sent questionnaires to both candidates, and their responses are compiled here to let community members know the candidate they might vote for on Nov. 7.

Dick has been married to her husband David for 45 years; they have three children and 10 grandchildren. She believes there is a need for a conservative on the board of trustees who is ethical, transparent, keeps taxes low, and spends responsibly.

Sher has been employed at Kandi Enterprises LTD LLC for 30 years, is a member of the Dayton Area Board of Realtors and a former member of Bethel School’s Board of Education.

Black is married with two daughters and three grandchildren. He has a bachelor’s degree in business from Wright State University.

In addition to being a farmer for 54 years and an Ohio Operating Engineers Apprenticeship and Training Fund administrator for 33 years, Black has served as a Township Trustee for the last four years.

Why are you running for trustee?

Dick: “I love where I live. I know what a special place Bethel Township is, and I do not want to see it disappear. Many other residents and I are very disappointed that our current trustees do not always listen to their constituents. The trustees have also been voting to turn our farmland into residential lots. I want to be a voice of the people while I fight to preserve our township, our rural lifestyle, and our quality of life.”

Black: “I wish to continue to provide service, experience, and dedication to the township by always being ready to work and provide resources to my community members.”

Why do you feel you’re the best candidate to serve as a trustee?

Dick: “I have 30 years as a business owner and realtor. In doing so, I have grown the skills essential to being a trustee: financial planning & budgeting, organizing, communicating, scheduling, prioritizing, negotiating, and problem-solving. I believe in ethical conduct and will never use the Township to benefit myself personally. I have a proven track record of fighting for our community to save our land, protect our lifestyle, and keep taxes low.”

Black: “Time and time again, I have proved to the community that I am always ready to serve in any and all capacities. Throughout my 67 years in the community, I have volunteered, supported the schools, and developed strong relationships. The township has been positively impacted during my time of service, and I would be honored to continue to devote my time into the community.”

How can you improve communication with township residents?

Dick: “I believe transparency is key. I would like to see our financial transactions available monthly in the Ohio Checkbook rather than every 2 years. I will invite and value citizen input. I will push the Fiscal Officer to catch up on the outstanding meeting minutes, as I believe minutes should be available in a timely manner for any resident who may miss a meeting. Meeting minutes should be thorough, accurate, and reflect a full discussion of the issues discussed during the meeting, not just a slim interpretation of what occurred.”

Black: “Currently, we send out a quarterly newsletter, provide regular updates on Facebook and our website. I would love to see the community become more involved and interested in the workings of our township so they can stay accurately informed.”

What is the biggest challenge the township is facing?

Dick: “Annexation and development of our farmland. I have been fighting for 30 years for our right to protect and preserve our township and our rural way of life. I have been involved in three referendums in recent years and also have worked to stop inappropriate development. I do not want to see all of our township become residential lots. Huber Heights has taken our land and, in a very short time, built enough houses to last us a lifetime, bombarding our school with new students, stretching our road infrastructure to its limits, and destroying our country lifestyle.”

Black: “Annexation.”

How do you bring more funding to the township?

Dick: “Much of our funding comes from our 3.8 million dollar levy. Recently our trustees chose to replace our levy rather than renew it, which raised our taxes, hurting many of our residents. I believe there should have been a community forum to have an open discussion of the need for these additional monies, as well as the options and their pros/cons. I will never vote for a tax increase without holding a public hearing, and then only when it is shown that the funds are required to fulfill projects to which the community agrees are needed.”

Black: “To date, I have saved the township over a quarter of a million dollars in construction and demolition fees through my expertise in the field. We continue to look at all grant possibilities.”

Any comments you’d like to add?

Dick: “I will work to be the true voice of the people in the protection of our community and will conduct all Township business in full public view. My focus will be on the preservation of our township and our rural way of life. We know growth will happen, but we must have a plan to grow in a slow, controlled manner- not at the whim of outside developers. We must look long term, so that our children and grandchildren can also enjoy the rural lifestyle and quality of life.”

Black: “I have the experience, commitment, and education to get things done in our township; whether it be budgeting, financing, building, negotiating, or communicating.”

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