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Four seek two Middleton Township trustee seats

NEGLEY- Middleton Township residents will have a choice of four candidates for two seats on the board of trustees Nov. 2.

Incumbents Gregory A. Lipp and Jack Johnston are joined by Janine Evans and Riley A. Pancake on the ballot.

Janine Evans

Born and raised in Negley, Evans purchased a home three years ago and returned to the area with her husband of 38 years. She has worked at Walmart the past six years, but before that had their own truck and hauled steel.

“I am an honest, hardworking and dedicated person wanting to serve the township with pride and dedication. Approachable, a strong communicator desires to ensure the best support from other government agencies with a transparency to the public and community as to what is happening, and how funds are being used in all areas of the township. And to ensure the interests and concerns of the citizens are being heard but acted on to the best of my ability,” she said.

Evans said safety is a huge area of concern for her and as an advocate against the dump site/demolition debris, she wishes to see that all rules are followed to provide a safe environment for the residents and community.

“I support and will promote local clean up to properties and areas not following regulations needed for a safe community,” she said. “[I’m] a strong supporter of roads maintained to the highest standard possible for safety and travel.”

Evans graduated from East Palestine High School in 1979 and attended the career center in Lisbon her last two years of high school for horticultural and landscaping.

She lives with her husband on Chamberlain Street in Negley.

Jack Johnston

Johnston, currently the trustee chairman, was appointed to his current position as trustee, having previously lost election in 2007. He is retired after 45 years with Asplundh Tree Experts, with experience in the supervisor position, and currently helps the needy by donating money, food and Christmas gifts to local families.

As a retiree, Johnston said he has extra time to give back to the community in which has lived for over 50 years. He said his qualifications include being people oriented, maintaining a CDL driver’s license to operate township trucks, and being very knowledgeable with tree removal and flagging which may be needed to clear township roads during storms.

“In the short time that I have been a trustee, I have traveled many of the local roads and notified township workers of things that needed to be fixed. I have assisted in getting township equipment fixed and have helped clean up the township’s cemeteries.”

Citing his standing as a retiree, Johnston said he has plenty of time to invest in the position and to the people of Middleton Township. He also noted he has his own medical insurance, saving the township money. He said he is also qualified and willing to assist township workers to clear roads and maintain cemeteries and equipment.

Johnston live on state Route 170. He is married with three children, six grandchildren, two great-grandchildren.

Gregory A. Lipp

Lipp has been self-employed since June 1973 at Paul R. Lipp & Son Inc., excavating contractor, ready mixed concrete producer, survey and construction instrument sales. His education includes Youngstown State University-Associate in Applied Science-Civil Engineering Technology. His current community activities include Clarkson Cemetery Board, Carmel Cemetery Board and New Castle School of Trades Advisory Board.

Lipp noted his experience as a small business owner as qualification for the trustee position and said he is seeking re-election to make Middleton Township a great place to live.

Lipp has previously been appointed to the Columbiana County Planning Commission.

As an incumbent, Lipp said the biggest accomplishments of which he has been a part include continued improvement to township roads and drainage, the township electric aggregation program and getting Ohio EPA to stop the transfer of C&D debris from rail cars in Negley.

Lipp and his wife of 38 years live on Pancake-Clarkson Road, Rogers. They have two children, Lindsay L. Lipp and Gregory P. Lipp.

Riley A. Pancake

A 2012 East Liverpool High School graduate, Pancake completed some college courses at Kent State University before taking another career path. She has taken part in township clean up days and has been teaching and giving the necessary paper work to help people who would like to register to vote.

Pancake’s work experience includes Wendy’s in Calcutta while attending high-school and Giant Eagle bakery while studying at Kent State. She was also previously employed at IBEX Global as in bound technical support, and Two Smart Cookies as a cook. She is also currently working as Office and Sales Manager at Pancake Lawn Care LLC since 2014.

Pancake said her qualifications for the office include being a qualified elector and a resident of the township since 2013, She said she has voted in many elections, and in my opinion, in the best interest of the township.

“I would love to be highly involved in the decision making for this community,” she said.

Pancake said she is seeking office “because I am looking for purpose and opportunity to be helpful to my community. I believe that diversity in both thinking and age are essential to ensure the governing body represents Middleton Township as a whole. I love to give back to the community and I believe I can help make this township a better place by taking the opinions of the residents seriously.”

Pancake said with her background and years of experience communicating with the residents of the township she has the necessary talent and experience to improve the present situation.

“I am a fast learner and willing to efficiently learn whatever is needed if I get the chance to sit on the board. I interact with a variety of personality types so I can adapt to just about anyone,” she said. “I often have to resolve issues and complaints in my line of work, much like a Township Trustee would need to. I am very adaptable to change, work well under pressure, and work well in a group setting.”

If elected, Pancake said she would like to start by making an official social media page for Middleton Township in hopes of reaching the community with significant changes or information some may not see otherwise.

“Social media is a free and effective way of advertisement and communication I feel would help greatly get the word out,” she said. “I would also like to help plan and organize events for our township.”

Pancake said she has also recently been doing research and reading articles about what makes a good township Trustee, “a lot of the attributes I feel as though I already meet. One of the most important things is to be a good listener and being able to make tough decisions while knowing none of the trustees have the power to make decisions on their own. It is very important to be able to support a group decision even if it’s not voted in your favor. Of course, I understand I would also have a lot to learn, that is why I have been diving into the Ohio Township manual as well.”

Pancake and her husband Travis live on Pancake-Clarkson Road in Rogers.

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