By susan tebben
Several candidates are interested in being the third Austintown Township trustee, who would replace David C. Ditzler on the board.
Ditzler is vacating the position to start his term as Mahoning County commissioner. Ditzler won the post in November easily with 64 percent of the vote. He will start as commissioner Jan. 3.
The remaining two trustees have 30 days after Ditzler vacates the seat to fill it. Thirteen people have verbally or through written notice said they would like to be considered for the seat.
Trustees Jim Davis and Lisa Oles are not allowed to choose or make the appointment until after Ditzler leaves the post.
“At this point there’s not been a whole lot of discussion so I wouldn’t say there’s a frontrunner,” Davis said.
Township Administrator Mike Dockry said those who sent letters of interest are former Austintown trustee and retired teacher Ken Carano, and former Austintown Fire Department chief Andrew Frost Jr.
Carano was a regional director under Gov. Ted Strickland and an Ohio House member along with an Austintown trustee. Frost retired in October after 27 years as chief of the fire department and 46 years with the department.
The others were simply verbal inquiries, Davis and Oles said.
Ditzler said he plans to turn in his resignation Dec. 31 and will not have input on the decision of his replacement. But he said boards are of the most value when there is a mix.
“My value came from having experience in the business world, in the private sector,” Ditzler said. “So I think the trustees will need someone with business experience and someone who has been in the private sector.”
Oles and Davis said the choice comes down to a candidate who is a part of Austintown in both the business and community sense. The trustee must be an active part of the community along with having the mind-set of running the township like a business.
“We have a lot on our plates as to the direction of the township,” Davis said, adding that he is looking for a candidate with an idea of how to make the township more efficient through the use of technology.
If Davis and Oles do not come to a decision, the choice will be deferred to a committee chosen by Ditzler when he became trustee, Davis said. But both are prepared to meet and make a choice.
“Jim and I are involved in the community enough to know what the community would want in a trustee,” Oles said.
Whoever is appointed to the seat will have to run in 2013 to keep his or her seat on the board.