Election 2021 – Trustee candidate profiles – Part 1

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 2, 2021

The Ironton Tribune sent questionnaires to all township trustees appearing on the ballot in Lawrence County. These are the responses we received:

Michael McDaniels
Age: 62
Office Sought: Upper Township Trustee
Professional Background: College Degree in marketing from Ohio State University Minor in business management from Ohio University. Graduate of Hondros Real Estate College.
Occupation: Realtor/ sales consultant C-21 BWE, owner; property manager of Ohio Valley Properties, Upper Township trustee, two terms and seeking a third term.
Political Experience: Board member of the land bank of Lawrence County, advisor to the Woodland Cemetery board, and supporter of Lawrence County Animal Shelter.
Civic Involvement: Supporter of all Ironton civic volunteers working to make our city better.
What will your top priority be if elected to office? To bring change to Upper Township by supplying our fire department with the newest and most updated equipment, with safety being first, and by providing new and updated equipment to our fleet.
What makes you the best candidate for the job? Two terms as trustee, my knowledge of maintenance required to run the township effectively and under budget.
What professional accomplishments are you most proud of? All of the changes that I have brought to Upper Township and with full accountability and within our budget.
What would you do to increase cooperation in our government? Get people involved to promote change within our community.

Tim McMaster
Age: 42
Office Sought: Fayette Township Trustee.
Professional Background: EMT, firefighter and school bus driver.
Occupation: EMT, firefighter and school bus driver.
Political Experience: Not much, other than the fire department.
Civic Involvement: Fire Department and worked passing of levies, also have worked on several grants.
What will your top priority be if elected to office? Roads, clearing back trees on township roads and work on getting water for two areas in the township.
What makes you the best candidate for the job? I plan on working hard for the community and the people of Fayette. I don’t want to just hold office.
What professional accomplishments are you most proud of? Receiving my fire certificate, my EMT Certificate, 30 years of experience on the fire department and then becoming fire chief for four years, fire instructor certificate.
What would you do to increase cooperation in our government? Be open to all political views, open meetings.

Larry Pernestti
Age: 52
Office Sought: Lawrence Township Trustee
Professional Background: B.S. Degree, communications/public relations; U.S. Army veteran – Officer Field Artillery 1/17 FA.
Occupation: Pure Cycle Technologies – Ironton.
Political Experience: Trustee for Lawrence Township – four years.
Civic Involvement: President; banquet chairman National Wild Turkey Federation., South Hills Chapter
– Organized Oak Ridge Road neighborhood watch
– Admin of Concerned Residents of Lawrence County
– Treasurer of Lawrence County Trustee Association.
What will your top priority be if elected to office? Continue to improve our township roads and township community. Continue working on projects already in progress to improve our township.
What makes you the best candidate for the job? Four years of experience as Lawrence County trustee, great working relationship with current trustees. Leadership, knowledge and experience residents can trust.
What professional accomplishments are you most proud of? Ordered and installed all new township road signs in 2019, also ordered a desperately needed township dump truck in 2020.
What would you do to increase cooperation in our government? Encourage fellow trustees, fiscal officers and county elected officials to share more information and training to develop better working relationships. Host seminars on grant opportunities.

Kevin Wilds
Age: 49
Office Sought: Elizabeth Township Trustee
Professional Background: Special Metals
Political Experience: None
Civic Involvement: Tiger Clan Booster Club – secretary
What will your top priority be if elected to office? Improving township road conditions to ensure safe travel of emergency vehicles, school buses and the Elizabeth Township residents.
What makes you the best candidate for the job? My commitment to every resident of the township by performing trustee duties with honesty, integrity and transparency. I will question each decision by asking, “How will this decision benefit/affect the township?”
What would you do to increase cooperation in our government? I will contact local and state leaders for input when needed, apply for grants that are available, and incorporate accountability to produce positive results for Elizabeth Township.

Brent Dickess
Age: 56
Office Sought: Lawrence Township Trustee
Professional Background: Graduate of Symmes Valley High School
Occupation: Shift supervisor at Altivia Petrochemicals, Haverhill. Also owner of Dickess Market, Kitts Hill.
Political Experience: Eight years of being Lawrence Township trustee.
What will your top priority be if elected to office? Maintain township roads and improving them, if possible.
What makes you the best candidate for the job? Eight years of experience as a Lawrence Township trustee, ability to communicate with others.
What professional accomplishments are you most proud of? I am proud of the forward thinking of the trustees and our ability to purchase new equipment to be able to keep our roads adequately maintained.
What would you do to increase cooperation in our government? I’d be willing to work with local and state government, as needed, for the good of our community.

Norman R. Humphrey II
Office Sought: Windsor Township trustee
Professional Background: I am currently one of the trustees for our township.
Occupation: I am a school bus driver and a farmer.
Political Experience: I have served one term as trustee.
What makes you the best candidate for the job? I worked for the township for 15 years doing maintenance of the roads.

David Rowe
Age: 34
Office sought: Upper Township Trustee
Professional background: Commercial transportation and industrial gas distribution
Occupation: Operations manager Holston Gases – Ashland, Kentucky
Political experience: Two years, president of Lawrence County Firefighters association (LCFFA)
Civic Involvement: 18 years as an Upper Township volunteer firefighter, with the last five years serving as the assistant chief.
What will your top priority be if elected to office? I have a few. First and foremost, to make sure that the needs and the welfare of the residents are number one. The second is to make sure the trustees are always transparent with the community. Other priorities include trying to implement a better system for residents to report problems within the township, as well as looking for possible ways to give back to the community (parks/rec, etc.).
What makes you the best candidate for the job? I, as well as the people who I have surrounded myself in life, have always considered myself to be an honest and hardworking individual. I believe that you are only as good as your word.
What professional accomplishments are you most proud of? Rising to the position of operations manager within a large corporation is a great accomplishment and something to be proud of. However, serving my community and the communities around me as a fireman has been the greatest accomplishment, and something I plan to continue, even if elected to office.
What would you do to increase cooperation in our government? I would push for more transparency; the residents should always be aware of what is going on within their community. I would also look for cooperation with other local and state level governments to reach the common goal of meeting the needs and improving the community for our residents as well as those who travel through Upper Township.

Nick Catalogna
Age: 40
Office Sought: Windsor Trustee
Residence: Lawrence County, Windsor Township
Professional Background: Foreman/laborer highway safety
Occupation: Union highway worker
Political Experience: None
Civic Involvement: None at this time
What will your top priority be if elected to office? Better road maintenance and tax revenue.
What makes you the best candidate for the job? 15 years roadwork experience, I’m a hard worker and self-motivated.
What professional accomplishments are you most proud of? I take pride in my job and everything I do.
What would you do to increase cooperation in our government? Government officials need to start working together, this would start at the top — meaning; when two candidates run for presidency, whoever wins the election would become president and the other candidate would become vice president. This should go for every office position — you will have two individuals who have different opinions, but, between the two, they would have to work together to find the right solution to our problems.

Larry Delawder
Age: 44
Office Sought: Windsor Township trustee
Professional Background: I’m a husband and a poppy to three grandbabies, heavy equipment operator and fixing roads. Firefighter at Windsor Volunteer Fire Department and a 4-H volunteer.
Occupation: Foreman at Thayer Power and Communication
Political Experience: Going to vote on Election Day.
Civic Involvement: 4-H volunteer, firefighter
What will your top priority be if elected to office? Getting roads in decent shape, making sure that the people in my community are happy.
What makes you the best candidate for the job? Years of experience running heavy equipment and road construction, always helping in the community.
What professional accomplishments are you most proud of? My work ethic and my family.
What would you do to increase cooperation in our government? Working as a team, not trying to divide our government.

Scott Black
Age: 42
Office Sought: Perry Township trustee
Professional Background: Work in crude oil field
Occupation: Commercial transport drive
Political Experience: None
Civic Involvement: None
What will your top priority be if elected to office? To make Perry Township have smoother roads and cleaner roads, just make Perry a better place.
What makes you the best candidate for the job? Work ethic – it’s a job, not an image.
What professional accomplishments are you most proud of? Being able to run for public office in an area I care about.
What would you do to increase cooperation in our government? Bring more funding to Perry Township and actually spend the funding and grants that are given, not complain about the lengthy paperwork to get the grants.

Ron Meadows
Age: 48
Office Sought: Perry Township trustee
Professional Background: 30 years on the Perry Township Fire Department
Occupation: Automotive technician
Political Experience: Ran last election for township trustee
Civic Involvement: Emergency volunteer
What will your top priority be if elected to office? Maintaining safe roadways.
What makes you the best candidate for the job? Since I have been an emergency volunteer who has traveled all these roads and has a love for this community, I would be an asset to help improve and grow our area to its fullest potential.
What professional accomplishments are you most proud of? All my years of training and helping our community members is what drives me and makes me proud of myself.
What would you do to increase cooperation in our government? Take more time to listen to the needs of our community and relay those to the appropriate personnel. I would fight for what is important to myself and my community.

— See Wednesday’s edition of The Ironton Tribune for additional trustee questionnaires.

 

 

Randy Wise
Office Sought: Upper Township Trustee:
Professional Background: Living and owning an established business in Upper Township has given me a unique understanding of the needs and challenges our community faces. I’ve been fortunate to develop many life-long relationships and friendships from my 41 years in business at Randy’s Salvage and to serve as a notary public.
Political Experience: I am happy to be running for re-election as your Upper Township trustee while I continue representing my community as a strong and proactive leader. Prior to my term as a trustee, I served on Coal Grove Village Council for 15 years and, during that time, one year, I was nominated to fulfill the duty as mayor pro tempore. Throughout my political experience, I knew the position of a trustee would require the dedication that I was willing to provide to serve my community well.
Civic Involvement: My wife, Diane, of 29 years, has been supportive with both my business and my political career. Together, we have volunteered with our local Little Leagues, HeeU MTC and work with NECCO foster program.
Anyone that knows me, realizes giving back to my community has always been something I want my family legacy to continue. My son, Randy, and his wife, Savannah, have blessed me with four grandchildren, Hadley, Greyson, Weston and Boston. Hopefully, I can lead by example of helping others, that even at their young age, they know the importance of making a difference.
One of my original objectives when elected to office in 2017 was to open the gate to Woodland Cemetery on the Coal Grove Village side.
Listening, and understanding that many families were still grieving the loss of their loved ones as they were asking for a more convenient access, was an issue I was able to facilitate with the cemetery board.
After engaging in this project, I became more familiarized with the cemetery board and was appointed as a member to represent Upper Township Trustees. I would like to extend my appreciation for allowing me to serve as a trustee for the past four years. With the communities continued support, I will diligently work to keep our community a place people will want to remain and raise their families.
Transparency will always be important to me and I want to be open for discussion with regards to future plans to help the development of our community. Please feel free to contact me anytime.
Barry Blankenship
Office Sought: Perry Township trustee
Professional Background: For the past 20 years, my leadership has been proven by being an elected official and from my employment experience as a supervisor at Marathon Petroleum Corporation and other management roles in my career path. As a new career, I currently own and operate The Snak Shak in South Point, our family-owned restaurant. During the pandemic, the challenges have given me additional experiences with improvising based on unforeseen obstacles.
Political Experience: During the past 15 years as a trustee, I have been committed to assist with the improvements of the township infrastructure and the completion of many projects. We have paved multiple township roads, replaced old metal culverts, purchased a new dump truck, a tractor, new fire engines, rescue tools, acquired land and built a shelter to help preserve the newer equipment.
One of my most recent involvements was during the ice storm that crippled our community. It was a humbling time for many of us to work together while prioritizing the needs for the elderly. We worked with the Joint Response Operations Center along with the National Guard and a strong group of dedicated men and women residents who are the backbone of our community and proudly call it home.
As a lifelong resident of Perry Township, I am honored to run for re-election as a trustee. I grew up attending Ice Creek Missionary Baptist Church and graduated from Dawson-Bryant High School. My Father, Gary Blankenship, was my first mentor, and I was fortunate enough to work alongside him at a young age as he instilled in me a strong work ethic.
Early in life, I put into practice some valuable lessons and skills that has shaped my commitment to public service.  From my grandfather, John Waller, to my uncle, Johnnie Waller, serving the community as a trustee has been an inherent obligation and an honor to continue.
Our township may have some challenges, but I have no doubt we will work together and pursue to be one of the best communities. As a servant leader, I’m excited to continue my role as a Perry Township trustee and strive for the future of our township. Most importantly, I believe in the values that our community has protected.
I promise to soundly base all my decisions with the philosophy of “serving our community.” I take the responsibilities as your trustee very serious and will continue to fulfill my duties for Perry Township to the best of my ability.