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West Lafayette Lions Club hosts candidate night

| September 16, 2015

WEST LAFAYETTE – Bill Owens was happy with what he heard from the two people running for mayor of West Lafayette.

“I think we have two energetic candidates with a lot of good ideas,” he said.

Owens is a member of the West Lafayette Lions Club, which hosted a candidate night Sept. 15 at Schumaker Farms. The evening gave the West Lafayette community the chance to hear from Stephen R. Bordenkircher and Timothy L. Tubbs II, who are running for mayor and Ridgewood Local School District Board of Education candidates Dennis Bahmer, Vic Cardenzana, Scott Craigo, Alan Folkert, Helen Leindecker, Catherine McCrea, Rodney Merce and John Riebesell.

Both Bordenkircher and Tubbs want to be mayor to help make West Lafayette an even better place live.

“I have a true love for this village,” Bordenkircher said. “It’s been my home for 30 some years and I intend to stay here.”

He also shared that he has management and village council experience that he feels will serve him well if elected mayor.

“He (Bordenkircher) has a lot of experience that I don’t have, but I am new blood in this community and plan to be here quite a while,” Tubbs said. “I’m going to be involved in this community someway, somehow.”

When it came time for the board of education candidates to speak all eight of them expressed a genuine interest in helping area youth get the best possible education they can.

Riebesell shared about the technology and safety updates the district made during his time on the board.

“Technology is the future for our kids,” he said. “They’ve got to be tech savvy whether they are going out into the world or to college.”

McCrea retired from working in schools in Tuscarawas County and Ridgewood’s district and would love to continue helping children.

“I love this community and want to be involved,” she said. “I’ve run buildings, hired staff, resolved conflicts and can be a good steward of money.”

Merce also retired from working in the local schools.

“I think this is a wonderful school and I love working with the kids,” he said. “I want to do the best I can for the people here.”

Bahmer previously served on the school board and was superintendent of another district.

“I don’t think anyone can squeeze a nickel as hard as I can,” he said. “If we have to spend money we are going to get a good product that will help give these kids a quality education.”

Craigo doesn’t have school board experience, but he is ready and willing to learn.

“I’m a hard worker and not afraid of new challenges,” he said. “I’m also going to look out for the kids’ best interests.”

Leindecker, who is a retired teacher, currently serves on the board and has learned a lot from the experience.

“We have to respect everyone and listen to their requests,” she said. “We have wonderful staff members who are here long after they could go home or come in early to work. The whole district has to keep pulling together and we as a board have to listen.”

Folkert also wants to help the school system progress.

“I love Ridgewood School District and have a real passion for this community,” he said. “I want to help us grow and move into the 21st Century.”

Cardenzana once served as Ridgewood’s superintendent and would be happy to serve the school district again. If elected he would like to help expose students to diversity, promote the arts, expand their academic opportunities and work on eliminating bulling and discrimination.

“I’d also like to do career counseling so they have a goal when they move on to the JVS or college,” he said.

During the candidate night Owens also gave any trustee candidates in attendance a moment to introduce themselves.

“I thank the Lions Club for having this and wish all candidates good luck,” said Michelle Carpenter, who is running for trustee of Oxford Township.

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About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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