WADSWORTH TWP. — The race for two seats on the Wadsworth Township Board of Trustees has incumbent Jim Gardner facing three challengers: Shawn Bouscher, Bob Engler and William McCall.
Elected in 2010, Gardner, 70, is the chief building official, inspector and planning examiner for the city of Akron.
A registered Republican, Gardner is a member of the Five County Building Officials Association, a member of the Knights of Columbus and a past president and treasurer for the Ohio Sportsmen and Farmers League.
If re-elected, Gardner said he would continue to keep close watch on the township’s purse strings.
“The most important thing is to continue on a path of fiscal responsibility, excellent services and helping the community resolve any issues,” he said.
Two of his challengers have been specific and outspoken in what they think those issues are.
Engler, 68, said the township is getting the short end of its relationship with the city of Wadsworth and losing its rural atmosphere.
He blames annexation and said the practice needs to be curbed.
“There had better be a good reason and we’d better be sharing the revenues,” he said.
A political newcomer, Engler has owned ETE Heating and Air Conditioning for 34 years.
Engler, also a registered Republican, is a Downtown Wadsworth member and was president in the late 1990s. He also served on the township Zoning Board of Appeals for five years and serves as Lions Club director where he is a nine-year member and past president.
Bouscher, who lost a race for trustee in 2011 by 35 votes, also said too much of the township has been annexed by the city.
Bosucher, 46, singled out the 2006 and 2009 annexations of the property where Lowe’s and Wal-Mart now sit, saying neither deal netted any revenue for the township.
He added that the township’s fire and EMS support levy no longer generates enough money to pay the city for those services after Wadsworth more than doubled the cost — $180,000 to $404,000 — in 2011.
Bouscher said that deal needs to be revisted and the township should consider a joint economic development district with the cities of Rittman and Norton.
He also wants to restructure zoning laws to allow for residential development that will not compromise the township’s rural feel.
Bouscher is a welding engineer at GM’s Lordstown plant for the past six months. He previously worked 13 years at Twinsburg Stamping.
A registered Republican, Bouscher has been on the township’s Zoning Commission since 2010 and served on the zoning and planning steering committee in 2006.
McCall, 60, the only registered Democrat in the race, also is a political newcomer.
The owner of McCall’s Auto Service, 400 College St., McCall serves as a trustee for the Rittman Historical Society.
“I have no hidden agendas. I will see that rules and regulations are enforced and be obtainable any time from my shop on College Street or by phone after hours,” he said.
Contact reporter Dan Pompili at (330) 721-4012 or firstname.lastname@example.org.