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Position papers: Richfield Township Board of Trustees

10/24/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Laurie Peters Gilmore (incumbent) vs. Robert Luther vs. Jeff Shupe

Voters living in Richfield Township will vote for two candidates for Richfield Township Board of Trustees in the Nov. 5 General Election. The race is nonpartisan. The information provided below was submitted by the candidates, with their responses to our questions printed as submitted.


Laurie Peters Gilmore (incumbent)

Why are you running for trustee?

“Richfield is a unique rural community and I’m proud to be the Trustees’ Chairperson for the past 12 years. I’m a ‘hands on’ working Trustee; in the office conferring with staff, work independently at home, thinking ‘outside the box’ to benefit our residents. I attend meetings with neighboring leaders and County agencies to look for ways to combine services to save costs, and maintain representation. I have 36 years of professional financing/planning/zoning experience. I supported the passage of our 10 year Comprehensive Land Use Plan to guide us in preserving/protecting our rural community. I recently voted against the rezoning of a residential property to commercial use and oppose annexation. I voted for the Joint Economic Development District agreement which is now a source of outside income tax revenue for the Township in the L/IO zoning district. I voted for the agreement with Metroparks protecting Rising Valley Park’s picnic area, softball/soccer fields, and pristine walking trails. I oversee our Road Department and have modernized equipment for everyone’s safety. I am currently initiating an agreement to partner with ODOT to share their salt storage facility at the Turnpike which will allow us to completely eliminate the unsightly salt dome on Boston Mills Road. This agreement will save the Township $63,000 in structural replacement costs. I am dedicated to continuing to support excellent safety services, free trash removal, road maintenance, snow/ice control. I have lived in Richfield for over 55 years, love our community, and would love to continue serving our residents!”

What would be your top three priorities if you were re-elected? Why?

  1. “Completion of our residentially designed administrative offices; thereby concentrating all department services at one location. This modest facility will allow the staff and elected officials to serve the residents without the cost of renting inadequate and deteriorating office space which is what has occurred since the separation of the Village from the Township 10 years ago. This permanent relocation and ownership of this office will save the township taxpayers monies over the lifetime of the energy efficient building. Eliminating the unsightly salt dome structure on Boston Mills Road will save the Township taxpayers $63,000 by partnering with ODOT to further advance combining government services while reducing operating costs.
  2. “I have supported combined local community efforts on federal grant fund road projects. The recent repavement of Boston Road is an example of combining forces with neighboring communities to obtain grant funds. Another joint application with Hinkley Township and Richfield Village is now pending for the complete repaving of Hawkins Road. ‘Regionalization’ is not just a trendy word to throw about to impress people; my ‘regional’ approach has documented and realized Township budget benefits.
  3. “Continue overseeing the Township’s overall budget with reduced state and local funding. I anticipate the increase of property values during our next County reappraisal equating to an increase in our property values. The effective tax rate on current levies would decrease. I will keep monitoring the budget to provide the services we all expect to receive. It’s an honor to be a Township Trustee!”


Robert Luther

Why are you running for trustee?

“After 40 years in farming, I’m now semi-retired and have time and the knowledge to commit to Township business.”

What would be your top three priorities if you were elected? Why?

“See the new office completed

“See that the road department is run at maximum efficiency.

“Oversee zoning issues.”


Jeff Shupe

Why are you running for trustee?

“I believe I am the best qualified of the candidates running for trustee. My family and I have lived here since 1987 and I have always followed local government and how it has served the community. I first became involved with local government as spokesman for a citizens group concerned about police protection. Since then I have served Richfield Township as an appointed member of the Zoning Commission, an appointed member of the township safety committee and as Township Fire Prevention officer. I have also been a Richfield volunteer fire fighter. I have had other involvement with the community such as a baseball coach for the Richfield Baseball League.

“I feel I have an honest, true concern for the whole township and if elected, will work to maintain services and keep the community a great place to live.”

What would be your top three priorities if you were elected? Why?

“BUDGET — A top priority of any candidate is: Maintain the budget! We are a township with a mostly rural flavor. We are not a well-developed area and do not have much commercialization. As time goes on, the cost of government services increases. I want to keep spending in order and make sure priorities are set, so that we can afford to pay for the necessary services first, and then other things later.

“PUBLIC SAFETY — I have served as a safety committee member and a safety officer. I have been a volunteer firefighter. We have seen some growth over the years and as such have seen changes in services to keep up with them. All that comes with costs. Public safety and local community budget processes go hand in hand. It is my priority to keep that quality of public safety at a high level.

“ZONING — Another priority of mine is to keep a watchful eye on zoning. In the past, outside businesses were trying to get local zoning changed so they could come in to our community and set up their operations. Businesses such as a concrete batch plant happened by a residential area and a municipal waste dump came to another area of the township. These things negatively affected our quality of life. Richfield Township does not want to see that happen again.”

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