ELLSWORTH TWP. – Four candidates will vie for two seats on the township board of trustees Tuesday.

Candidates include incumbent Laura Lewis and challengers John Bates, Fredrick M. Houston and Bob Toman.

– John Bates is retired following an employment history including grocery management from 1972 to 1978, Prudential from 1978 to 1995 and New York Life from 1995 to 2011. He is a graduate of Lakeview High School with a bachelor’s degree in education from Kent State University and holds a LUTCF designation for insurance.

A member of the Ruritans and Fire Corp, as well as trustee chair at Ellsworth Presbyterian Church, Bates lost an attempt at trustee in 2011. He said as a retiree with a business and financial background, he will have time to serve the township.

“I have the right background, have volunteered much time in the community and have a strong sense of fair play,” he said.

Bates said he has worked with incumbent Laura Lewis to become an effective team in getting things done. He said the pair hope to be able to bring a community park to the township, with both candidates possessing knowledge of grant writing, and develop a conditional use provision for zoning.

“The bottom line is to benefit all the people of Ellsworth,” he said.

Bates lives with his wife on Western Reserve Road. They have three children and one grandchild.

– Laura Lewis, incumbent, has served as trustee for the past four years. She is currently a materials engineer at Delphi Packard Electric.

Holding a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Youngstown State University, Lewis boasts experience applying knowledge in stress/strain (bridges), materials (roads) and fluid dynamics (sewers) to township issues. She obtained a patent for Delphi, proving herself an innovative problemsolver, and is Six Sigma certified, a complex problem solving tool.

Having traveled to Europe and Mexico, Lewis said she has worked with a diverse people and has used her collaborative skills with the Ellsworth Fire Department, Ohio Department of Transportation and county health department and engineer’s sheriff’s office and sanitary engineer’s offices. She also noted that she holds a class A CDL license and has developed grant writing skills from the Ohio Township Association Training Conference that has benefited the township.

Having grown up on a fruit farm and a member of 4-H, Lewis said she understands the role of farming in the township and can serve as a farmer and business advocate while supporting youth activities such as 4-H, scouting and baseball.

During her tenure as trustee, Lewis said her biggest accomplishments include constructing and maintaining the township website where the approved budget is posted for true transparency, working with the fire department to start an EMS transport service and writing two grants in 2013, with an eye on additional ones in the near future.

Lewis is working with candidate John Bates due to their experience in grant writing. She lives with her husband on Gault Road. They have three children.

– The Salem News did not receive a response from Fredrick M. Houston and Bob Toman to an election questionnaire.