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Three seek Goshen Township trustee seats

By KEVIN HOWELL

Staff Writer

GOSHEN TOWNSHIP – Township residents will have a choice of three for two trustees on the Nov. 2 ballot.

The ballot includes incumbents John Bricker and Teresa Stratton as well as former trustee Bob McCracken.

John Bricker

A 1984 graduate of West Branch, Bricker was elected to fill an unexpired term in 2019. He is currently the owner/operator for J&J Bricker Farms LLC for 40 years. He served on the Damascus Fire Department as a firefighter/EMT for 31 years, 17 of which as chief until his retirement in 2013.

As a former chief, Bricker said he remains a strong supporter of the Damascus Fire Department. He has also been elected to the Mahoning County Livestock Committee.

As a lifelong resident of the township with experience on the board of trustees, Bricker said his qualifications include his dedication to the community.

“I have currently been serving in the position of Goshen Township trustee and would like to continue to serve the people of this great township,” he said. “I have lived in the township my entire life, along with my family, who have been strong supporters of the township. From an early age I was taught the value of helping people, which is part of the reason I joined the Damascus Fire Department. During my time as Damascus fire chief, I was able to work with many other Mahoning County fire departments and was also a member of the Mahoning County Fire Chiefs Association.

“I know most of the people in the community and their concerns. I have worked hard at keeping the lines of communication open between our community members and the township officials, as I feel this is very important in keeping our township moving in a good direction.”

During his time on the board, Bricker said the township has seen Calla Road chip and sealed with grant money; purchase a new dump truck with snow plow for the road department; and put a new gym floor and air purification system in the administration building.

Citing his lifelong residency and passion for the township, Bricker said he wants to keep the community what it is.

“I have a strong passion to help this community grow, plus stay the community we love,” he said. “I grew up here, I work here, and I have raised my family here. My children also live and work in this community, and I want their children to enjoy all Goshen Township has to offer. My family has a long history with this community and I would like to continue serving as they have.”

Bricker and his wife of 32 years, Jackie, live on West South Range Road. They have a son, Josh Bricker and wife Niki, children Weston and Charlee; and daughter Kristen Sinkovich and husband John, children Oakleigh.

Bob McCracken

McCracken served as township trustee from 2000 through 2019.

A 1971 graduate of West Branch, he was self employed as a small business owner from 1979 through 2008 and worked for M&M Dairy Farm from 2010 through 2017. He attended several classes at Kent State in government collaboration and is a Leadership Academy OTA graduate.

McCracken is currently president of the Goshen/Butler Fund. He has previously been appointed to the Mahoning County Solid Waste Board, Mahoning County Board of Health and Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC).

As a former trustee and retired small business owner, McCracken said his qualifications include good connections with county and state officials and surrounding township officials. He said he is seeking office again because he “can work well with others, keep good relationships with county and state officials, will be a full-time trustee since I’m retired and do grant writing to raise township dollars.”

McCracken said residents should vote for him because he has the “experience to write grants to save money. I can save township money on health care. I believe we can collaborate more with surrounding townships and Mahoning County on equipment sharing, etc. I have worked well with other trustees and fiscal officers. Also have worked well with all department heads and employees. Really support all of our safety forces for what they have done through the pandemic.”

McCracken lives with his wife Louann on Duck Creek Road.

Teresa Stratton

Stratton has been a trustee for four years, the past two as chair.

A West Branch High School graduate, she has been the office manager at Stratton Chevrolet for 30 years, with an additional 10 years experience in parts and service. She has a two-year accounting course with R&R, is a notary for the state of Ohio and finished courses for township trustee.

Stratton’s current community activities include sporting events, local tractor pulls, car shows within the community and the scrap and tire drive at the township recycling center.

Citing her experience as trustee and management of employees in the private sector, as well as continuing education through the Ohio Township Association, Stratton said she is seeking re-election “because I strongly support our department heads to serve our community with full potential and trust, as well as showing strong devotion to our residents.”

As an incumbent, Stratton said she has been a part of “securing road grants and having safer community roads; securing contracts with the police district for a safer community; securing unsafe buildings and houses within the community; (and) promoting the assistance of our departments in building trust with all our residents of the township.”

Noting her devotion to the township, Stratton said residents should vote for her because she is actively involved in township issues.

“I recognize fiscal responsibility and I keep an eye on the budget,” she said. “I am easily accessible and very easy to see in person or on the phone. I am dedicated to taking care of any problems and/or issues in a timely manner.”

Stratton lives with her husband of 39 years, Don L. Stratton Jr., on state Route 14. They have one son and daughter-in-law, Dirk and Laci Stratton.

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