Berlin Township residents will vote on trustees, five levy

BERLIN TOWNSHIP — Berlin Township residents in November will have to decide not only who their trustees will be, but also whether they want to spend more money on the fire department.

Incumbents Denny Furman and Jodi Kale will be joined on the ballot by Christopher Wills. There will also be a 2.8-mill, five year additional levy for the fire department.

The levy will generate $133,835 annually for five years. To learn what the levy will cost an individual taxpayer, homeowners can contact the Mahoning County Auditor’s Office to get the dollar amount it would cost them on their property tax. A request for amounts from an officer went unanswered for this story.

According to Furman, the money generated by the levy will be used to replace an outdated fire truck which does not meet current regulations. Currently the township has two continuing levies in place which are used for all operating expenses exclusively for the fire department.


Denny Furman

Furman is seeking his second term as trustee.

A graduate of South High School in Youngstown and Choffin Career and Technical Center, Furman created his own business in 1976, Denny’s Auto Supply in Berlin Center, which he continues to operate today.

As trustee, Furman noted he has helped lower township utility bills in addition to starting the Adopt-a-Spot program in an attempt to keep roadways litter free and introduced with Ellsworth Township trustee Bob Toman the Western Mahoning County Crime Reporter on Facebook which has expanded the focus on crime awareness in the two townships. More importantly, he said he has spent the past four years using local tax dollars efficiently and making the township safe.

A Berlin Township property owner since 1973, Furman said he wants to continue serving the township because he takes pride in his community and he wants it to remain “solvent and safe.”

“I will be readily accessible to all of the residents and I will handle any issues with a fair and open mind,” he said. “I will work with the other trustees to form a ‘unified working team.’ Together we will seek federal, state and local grants for improvements in our township.”

In addition to his duties as township trustee, Furman is also treasurer and board member of the Berlin-Ellsworth Ruritan Club and a member of the Berlin Center Historical Society. He has also adopted five miles of state Route 534 for litter control and is a trustee for the Youngstown Saxon Club and lodge education officer for the Argus Masonic Lodge in Canfield. He also served on the Berlin Center Fire Department for 13 years.

Furman lives with his wife of 46 years, Mary Jo, on South Pricetown Road.


Jodi Kale

Kale has been a trustee since 2006.

A 1982 graduate of Genoa High School, she has worked managing and accounting for a trucking business since 1987 and served as a volunteer coordinator/editor for Western Reserve Roundup from 1996 through 2012.

In addition to her position as township trustee, Kale’s volunteer appointee positions include secretary for the Mahoning County Township Association since 2009, secretary for the District Advisory Council to the Mahoning County Board of Health since 2009 and board member to the Mahoning County Board of Developmentally Disabilities since this year. She said her community activities include supporting local organizations by attending dinners, functions and fundraisers.

As trustee, Kale counted as her accomplishments helping to manage negotiations of a pipeline right-of-way dispute, which benefited the township in the amount of $66,559.50; initiate and submit applications to the Green Team for recycling and site improvement grants-awards totaling $31,992; and write the narrative for two paving grant applications to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, which awarded the township a total of $300,000 of matched funds that paved approximately half (6.5 miles) of the township roads.

“I have experience, trusted leadership values and am dedicated to serve,” she said. “If re-elected, I will remain actively involved to continue seeking out opportunities to benefit Berlin Township.

I will remain dedicated and committed to provide the means necessary to seek out the most benefits for the residents of Berlin Township, while taking serious consideration for each tax dollar spent. I have a positive, established working relationship with other elected officials and offices, including county and state. My schedule is flexible; therefore, I am available to residents as needed as well as to conduct and manage township business with other governmental offices during daily business hours.”

Kale lives with her husband of 29 years, Bob, on South Pricetown Road. They have four sons and five grandchildren.

The Salem News did not receive a response to an election questionnaire from Wills.