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Four will battle for council seats

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

Saturday, October 30, 1999

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is another installment of The Ironton Tribune’s continuing series of previews for the November General Election. Candidates are presented in no particular order.

COAL GROVE – Four village residents will vie for two Coal Grove council seats Tuesday.

John M. Aldridge, Frederick Phillip Roush, the only incumbent, and Jesse Suiter all have their names on ballots. Donnie Klaiber is a write-in candidate.

Council member Robert Self is not seeking re-election.

Aldridge, 56, grew up in Coal Grove and served as councilman two terms ago.

"I was privileged to serve the people up there in the past and did it to the best of my ability and want to do it again," he said.

Aldridge said he listens to constituents and will urge better communication with residents if elected. His priorities are in maintaining services, he said.

"We have a lot of things that have to be done," Aldridge said. "Our water situation needs straightened out."

One of the biggest complaints is hard water, he said.

"It’s safe, but every two years you have to replace hot water tanks, coffee pots and everything else."

Also, certain areas of the village need to be cleaned up and the council should work for better streets, he added.

Another priority is better money management, especially in relation to an emergency tax that’s still on the books, Aldridge said.

The tax served its purpose, then coal companies moved out and village services increased. Now, the tax has become a necessity, he said.

"I would like see the time come when we can do away with it," Aldridge said.

Klaiber, 35, grew up in Coal Grove and is employed at Ironton Iron. He also ran for council two years ago.

"I want to try again because nothing has changed," he said. "It takes a lot of work and everybody working together."

Klaiber wants to use his experience working for a pump service company, where he dealt daily with municipal water companies and flood control equipment, to help the village.

"More than one storm drain has collapsed and we need to work on those," he said. "If you have a culvert or drain 40 to 50 years old and it’s never been checked then you’re not maintaining the system."

Then, after fixing those drains underneath the roadways, the village needs a five-year blacktopping plan it can rely on, Klaiber said.

If elected, the council hopeful would seek more grant money, urge stronger enforcement of cleaning and beautification ordinances, and urge more new businesses to come to Coal Grove, he said.

"I would also like to concentrate on inviting new businesses and job opportunities to the village," Klaiber said, adding that Coal Grove should market its schools and good living conditions.

Roush, 44, has lived all his life in the village, except for a few years, and has been a small business manager for 25 years. He also has served as a volunteer village fireman for 25 years.

He replaced a resigning member of council a year and a half ago and currently holds that position. He also served a four-year term once before.

Roush credits his experience and desire to make sure someone works positively for the community as reasons to run again.

"The biggest issue has got to be staying on top of services, like garbage, water, sewer, fire protection and police," he said.

The village provides good services and needs to continue that tradition, he said.

"But in a small community, you can’t do everything at once," Roush said.

You have to determine what your priority is and that’s services, he said.

"And in five years that I’ve been on council, I have never missed a regularly scheduled meeting," he said.

Suiter, 61, has lived all his life in Coal Grove and is a retired self-employed truck driver.

He has served a previous four-year term on village council.

"The reason I’m running is I’ve just seen some things in the village that I might be able to help out with," Suiter said.

"I want to help the people here because it’s a great little community," he said.

Suiter said Coal Grove has issues it will face in the future, and the council must face those together, so he will wait before listing his ideas.

"I would like to benefit more of the village and the people," he said. "There was a sign that used to be on the ramp (from U.S. 52) and it said, ‘Home of 3,000 good people,’ and I want to help keep it that way."