Saturday, October 18, 2003

Candidates differ on Warren growth

By Erica Solvig
The Cincinnati Enquirer

MASON - Candidates vying for leadership spots in southern Warren County have different ideas about managing rapid growth.

The 18 people running for Mason City Council, Deerfield Township trustee and clerk, and Mason and Kings school boards voiced their ideas Thursday night.

The forum, attended by more than 100 people, was sponsored by the Mason Landen Kings Chamber of Commerce.

For the six candidates running for three open seats on Mason council, it was a chance to voice ideas to revitalize downtown and alleviate congestion.

"We do have some solutions, but we don't have many," argued Steve Osborne. "We need to act on some of these things before it's too late."

Candidate Gary Burket agreed on rerouting heavy truck traffic away from downtown. Incumbent Charlene Pelfrey, who had encouraged City Council to adopt its downtown plan, disagreed with a proposal to extend Third Street.

Candidates, including Denise Fath, William Ehrstine and C. Anthony Bradburn, said long-term planning were necessary.

In Deerfield Township, Trustee Bill Morand argued that traffic along Mason-Montgomery Road would be less of a problem after roadways are added where shopping centers are being built.

Challenger Lee Speidel disagreed. "The great urgent need is a number of intersection improvements," he said. "The new roads being built in the area are not going to solve any of your problems."

Also attending Thursday's forum: Township Clerk Kristin Spiekerman and challenger John Kenny; Mason school board members Eric Kantor and Kevin Wise and challengers Debbie Delp and Michael Lane; Kings incumbents Konrad Kircher and Roger Jones and challengers Toby Darkins and Michael Sharbaugh.


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