Now that we are coming down to the final days of the 2017 election for the West Chester Township Trustees it’s easy to see who really wants the job and who doesn’t—as well as who has the passion to do the job correctly, as opposed to those who only want the position for a social statement. I was quite impressed by the efforts of Ann Becker and Mark Welch in the final days. In the picture below you can see that they pulled together to go door to door on the last Saturday before the election which says a lot about them as candidates. There are a lot of people running, but these two joined together to make a statement which reveals a lot about what kind of people they would be in office together. It takes a lot of teamwork to pull together resources in the way that they have and in the world of politics, that is wonderful to see for a change.
We already know what we are getting with Mark Welch, he is the current president of the trustees and has done a great job. Electing him only gets more of the same, which in West Chester is precisely what voters want. However with Ann Becker, this is her first crack at the job, and she brings fresh ideas to that seat which would only expand its effectiveness. I can’t imagine two better people running for a political office anywhere in the country than these two. Ann isn’t a carbon copy of Mark Welch politically by any stretch of the imagination. She brings her own flavor to the role, but as conservatives holding a very important office the team work they have shown during the campaign would naturally carry over into a good relationship working together to do the business of the people in West Chester.
That is the beauty of competition, and why we have competitive elections. Most of the times the candidates put out a bunch of campaign signs and that’s it— those with the most money tend to get the name recognition because people generally don’t know who else to vote for but the name they saw on the side of the road at a traffic light. They figure that if the candidate has enough money to put out a bunch of yard signs, that someone must like that candidate, so that is typically who they vote for. But this year there are so many candidates with so many yard signs that they are all running together in the mind of the political novice, which most people are. Few people pay much attention to-day to-day politics and the names behind them. They just want the system to work like the gas gauge in their car.
Competition especially in this current election race has really separated the truly serious candidates from those who just want the social status of being elected. That’s precisely what we have seen from Joan Powell the ex-school board candidate from Lakota. In that position she was a big spender and had a reputation for caving into the union demands during teacher contracts which she paid for with tax increases against the public. In the past she has supported cityhood for West Chester so she is one of those big government types—a person who thinks of herself as a Republican, but she’s more of a John Kasich Republican—a liberal who puts an “R” next to their name so they can get elected in a conservative county. If Joan were running for the same type of office just ten miles south of her West Chester home she’d be just another Democrat that has virtually destroyed the economic viability of Hamilton County. Watching her in some of the debates during this campaign season I would have thought that Joan was more savvy than what she showed, but she really fizzled out down the stretch. She put out a few signs, but showed no energy in the days leading up to the election on Tuesday and even though I don’t support her, her presence in this competitive election was really flat. Lucky for us all that we did have a lot of candidates to pick from because it has really exposed people like Joan for wanting the job more for a social statement in their personal careers than as a sincere person who really just wants to do a good job for the West Chester community.
Speaking of flat, Lee Wong is a current trustee and aside from a few signs has made very little effort to defend his seat. One thing about Lee that is obvious to everyone, he’s just lazy. He’s lazy as a trustee functioning from the politics of yesteryear where a trustee shows up for a few parades and expects free food when he goes out for lunch. He relies mostly on his time served as a veteran to cover for his socialist tendencies as a trustee. As an incumbent there is a lot of dirt on Lee that is floating around out there—a lot of smoke with some fire to feed it—you don’t see Lee out with his wife much. Based on the smoke the fire that produces it says that Lee has issues with people—particularly females. But that isn’t the most telling example of why he’s a bad candidate—he’s just a lazy person. By nature, he doesn’t like hard work and it shows in the way he has been a trustee and in this competitive race, he’s far down the ladder as far as effort. If people didn’t know better, they’d never know that he was running for re-election.
Lynda O’Conner is another one who put out a few signs next to Mark’s along the side of the road, but she hasn’t been out much to sell her candidacy. In the debate that really counted, the West Chester Tea Party Forum, Lynda was a no-show, instead she sent a note. As a school board member at Lakota she obviously thought that the run for trustee would be a lot easier than it turned out to be, so her effort matched that miscalculation. I have supported Lynda as a school board member before, and she isn’t the worst in the world, but as trustee for the high-powered West Chester economy, she showed down the stretch that she just didn’t have the ambition to really make a name for herself. Putting a few signs out in this election just wasn’t enough to show what kind of candidate she was, and she missed a lot of opportunities to make her mark yielding to Ann Becker when things counted most. Lynda starting off was probably the best option but Ann clearly outworked Lynda by a lot.
That brings us to Jullian Kelley who has been a well-known socialite within the Republican Party of Butler County for a long time. She has worked hard because she put her name out there and a considerable budget for signs—and she doesn’t want to lose. In a typical election Jullian would likely win a seat just because of her name recognition, but in this competitive climate—especially during the West Chester Tea Party debate she has shown that she didn’t know much about the topics and was more like a room mom in school making treats for the kids in class. Her heart was there, but her intellect just wasn’t prepared and she would likely be no better prepared for an average day at the office as a trustee than Lazy Lee Wong has been. Getting elected into one of these positions is about more than just showing up and displaying that you can put out signs. You have to actually know things, and do things. On that account, Jullian is clearly lacking in competency. Good intentions aren’t enough this time.
So on Tuesday November 7, 2017 make sure to vote for Ann Becker and Mark Welch and reward them for a well run cooperative campaign. Their partnership would only be good for West Chester. As trustees it takes a lot of cooperation to manage a vast township like West Chester, which has enough people in it to be considered a city, but needs to stay small enough to maintain its competitive edge over Cincinnati to the south and Dayton to the north. West Chester is the crown jewel of the I-75 corridor between two of Ohio’s best known cities, and it is the preferred destination for business and people of ambition who want to build a good life for themselves in a top 100 community in all of the United States. It takes work and Ann and Mark have shown that they are willing to do the work, and to do it together—and those are the first foundations of success. Before they can bring that success to the township however you have to vote for them, so be sure to do so. You won’t regret it!
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