New Concord Village Council Race: Meet the Candidates

NEW CONCORD – Five candidates are vying for four vacant seats on the New Concord village council.

For the November 2 election, three sitting council members are running and two newcomers will join them on the ballot.

Troy Cole and Stan Taylor will face current board members Kristi Kearns, Steve Wootton and Jim Whitehair.

Taylor could not be reached for comment.

Troy cole

Troy Cole has been a firefighter and EMT for 29 years. He is Deputy Director of the Coshocton County EMA.

The longtime New Concord resident has coached youth sports for 20 years, served on the village pool board and coordinates the youth wrestling program. He raised five children in the village with his wife Tricia.

Why are you running

In previous elections, few people turned out and the current council had to nominate seats. I do not believe that a position as important as the village council should be appointed by the members of the board of directors and not approved by and elected by the residents of the village.

What are one or two major goals that you would have for your next term?

Two things I would like to bring to the village are a grassroots effort to understand the needs and wants of the people in the village. The second is to work on growing the village while maintaining the hometown vibe we all enjoy.

What, in your opinion, are one or two elements of your career that will serve you and the people well if they are elected?

Being a firefighter and deputy director of EMA has given me the opportunity to work with a wide variety of people and agencies. I learned to plan for the future while dealing with what is happening today.

We have to look 10 to 15 years from now, plan the location of the village, while working day to day to make New Concord the best place to live. The village needs the intersection of Ohio 83 and Interstate 70 to grow and add businesses to the local economy, which in turn adds to the village itself.

My experiences and my journey have taught me to seize chance in an effort to move forward towards a better future for everyone involved. We have to work with our local partners to develop the village.

Kristi kearns

Kristi Kearns, who is currently president of the New Concord Village Council, grew up in New Concord. She graduated from John Glenn High School and Malone University. She has worked for the YMCA, Camp Presmont and various church staff.

Kristi kearns

She is chair of the board’s security committee and a member of the finance committee. She is now employed by Zanesville Neighborhood Church and sits on the board of directors of the Volunteer Firefighters Dependent Fund.

Why are you running

I am a candidate for the New Concord Village Council because I believe in education, employment, and working collaboratively and professionally to improve New Concord. I think I have a responsibility to participate and invest in my community in a way that uses my skills and experiences, not only for now, but for our children’s generation and beyond. I am hopeful that we will continue to look for what we can do to bring the businesses within the village limits while still maintaining the vibe of the main street and the small town. I believe in having a high level of transparency, regularly bidding on village projects, and working with residents of New Concord and those looking to invest in the village.

What are one or two major objectives that you would have for your mandate?

I want to represent the people who live here, and listen to understand and defend when there are ideas that improve the quality of life. I would love to see an evening restaurant sit in the village while continuing to support our existing businesses.

I am an advocate for a strong relationship between the village, the East Muskingum schools and Muskingum University. I would like the village council to make better use of the wealth of expertise that the University of Muskingum has to offer.

A big goal would be to continue to build a relationship with the loyal small business owners within this village. Senator John Glenn taught us, “If you start here you can go anywhere,” but New Concord is pretty special.

I am a strong supporter of the New Concord Police and Fire Department. I feel like I support them and I tried to listen to learn from them. We have very qualified police and fire departments in this village.

What are one or two major accomplishments of your mandate?

I was involved in taking action to improve traffic, especially on Main Street, while protecting our children and university students.

I have worked with the rest of the council to pass legislation that helps existing businesses and to attract new jobs to the area. I know a lot is happening outside of the board’s control, but we need to keep working to get our policies and regulatory systems ready for growth. We did a part of it. I would like it to continue.

Jim whitehair

Jim whitehair

Jim Whitehair, 53, was appointed to the New Concord board in December 2020 to fill a vacant seat. He has a daughter, Lily, and a deceased wife, Diane.

He works as a Quality Control Specialist for the Anti-Money Laundering Unit and Bank Secrecy Act Department of the Huntington National Bank, and holds a BA from Muskingum University.

He is a member of the East Muskingum Schools Levy Renewal Committee, a member of the Deacon of the First Baptist Church, president of the Cambridge City Band, and former principal of the Cambridge Singers.

Why are you running

A year ago, I applied for the vacant New Concord Village Council position because I felt deeply attached to the community. It was in this village that I met my wife at Muskingum University, moved here after her death, and chose East Muskingum schools for my daughter, Lily, to study. I felt so indebted to what New Concord gave me and my family that I wanted to give something back to the community, so I did it as a public service, and I was proud to represent residents for more than 10 years. month.

I chose to run to keep my current seat on the village council for the same reason. There are many projects that the council has invested a lot of time and energy in, and I would ask for another four years to complete these projects and continue to represent the hard working people of the village. Big things are on the horizon for New Concord, but the groundwork must continue.

What are one or two major objectives that you would have for your mandate?

If I were elected for an additional term on New Concord Village Council, I would commit to doing my part to keep our community financially healthy, socially responsible and accountable to all. In my current role at Huntington Bank, I assess and analyze potential risks to the bank, which easily applies to the day-to-day role of the board and its accountability to the village.

I am also committed to continuing to maintain a positive working atmosphere where all opinions and people are respected and an open forum for discussion. We have too often seen that the operations of the national political scene are not successful, but we can change it, even if it has to happen one community government at a time.

What are one or two major accomplishments of your mandate?

The accomplishments during my short tenure on the Board are the participation in positive successes that are attributed to the Board as a whole. Communication between the mayor, other council members and village officials and community members has been exceptional. The residents of the village are constantly informed about the various events in the village, whether they are meeting times or special events. Additionally, as a member of the New Concord Village Council, we are all committed to making New Concord a more business-friendly village while retaining the quaint charm that draws residents and visitors to the village.

We are equally committed to listening to concerns or ideas that village members may present. The current village council is keenly aware of the needs of the residents and its businesses, and is constantly on the lookout for the next opportunity and how we can shape the future of New Concord for the benefit of all.

Steve wootton

Steve Wootton was a member of the village council for four years. He is the chairman of the finance committee.

In the community, he is a board member for Evergreen Village in New Concord and a deacon at the Assembly of God in Byesville.

He has lived in the area since 1966 and in the village since 2004. His two children have attended schools in East Muskingum.

Why are you running

I am running for re-election to continue serving the residents of New Concord. There has been significant turnover in the village council over the past four years. My four years of experience is the second highest on the board and I think it will help me be more effective in helping to move the village forward.

Steve wootton

What are one or two major goals that you would have for your next term?

If I am re-elected, I would like to see more economic development in the village of New Concord. There are two distinct paths that we must follow to achieve this.

First, we need to make the village attractive to businesses moving to New Concord. We recently took steps to establish a community reinvestment zone. This should help businesses to set up or grow in the village.

Also, I would like the council to take measures to encourage new housing in the village. We currently have a housing shortage. The addition of housing will increase the population of the village, which in turn will make the village a more attractive place for new businesses.

What are one or two major accomplishments of your mandate?

There has been a significant transition period in the village over the past two years with a new mayor, a new fire chief and a new village administrator. Working through all of this during the COVID pandemic has been a major achievement for all village workers and council members.

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