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Three in race for Athalia Council seats

EDITOR’S NOTE: Here is another installment of The Ironton Tribune’s continuing series of candidate profiles for the November General Election.

Wednesday, October 27, 1999

EDITOR’S NOTE: Here is another installment of The Ironton Tribune’s continuing series of candidate profiles for the November General Election. Previews will continue through Sunday.

ATHALIA – Athalia will have two new council members after the Nov. 2 election.

The two incumbents decided against running for another term, and three will battle to take their places.

A 17-year Athalia resident, David Dishman has never run for political office before, but he says there’s no time like the present.

"Athalia’s a quaint little town," Dishman said. "It used to be booming, and I’d like to try to get that back up again. I’d like to get a park and a few businesses in here."

And Dishman plans on using his secret weapon to make that happen – a positive attitude.

"In years past, there was always a lot of negativity," he said. We’ve got a good council now, and I think I can work well with them."

A recent addition to the Village of Athalia, Todd Newman does have some contacts with the area’s political scene.

He’s the mayor’s son-in-law.

But Newman said he won’t let that dissuade him from running for village council.

"We have a pretty good relationship," Newman said. "We might have a few different views, but I think we’ll be able to work well together."

Newman is pleased with the work and progress Athalia’s government has made so far, but he sees that more work can be done.

"I’d like to see another park get established, and I’d like to see the police department get more established," he said.

Although not new issues to the area, Newman thought he might be able to bring a younger, fresher approach to the topics.

"I’m 26," he said. "And I thought I could bring some younger views with me that would be good for the town."

A fresh approach is not the only thing Newman has to offer the village, however. He also works for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and hopes his experience with sewer work will come in handy.

"The sewer really isn’t an issue," Newman said. "We’re going to have it. And it’s going to be cheaper if we do it now. In the long run, it will be a lot cheaper if we get everything done quickly."

The sewer must go in, Dishman agreed. But he will do his best to make sure the village residents aren’t harmed by the cost in any way, he added.

"I would want to do this in a way the people could afford it, if I’m elected," Dishman said. "I’d like to try to find ways to keep the cost down. We have a lot of low-income families and senior citizens in the area, and they can’t afford a big sewer bill. I’d like to see the costs kept down."

A sewer system is definitely needed, said Melodie Brumfield, another candidate for office. But the way to keep cost down remains unclear.

"I would just work with all the other council men to see how we can keep the cost down," Mrs. Brumfield said. "We all have to work together."

A lifelong Athalia resident, and substitute employee of the Fairland School District, Mrs. Brumfield’s main concern is the children.

"We need a park for the kids very bad," she said. "The kids have no park now, and when they did have one, they used it all the time. They really need one bad. I really love kids and when it comes to kids I’d do anything."