Meet the Candidates – Township trustees – Part two

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 7, 2021

Remainder of trustee questionnaires from the Weekend Edition.

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.

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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 of 29 years, Diane, 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.