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Trustees debate BWD appointment

November 16, 2012
Salem News

CALCUTTA - Two area residents are vying for a position on the Buckeye Water District Board of Trustees, and trustees whose townships are members of the district met Thursday night to discuss who should be appointed.

The ad hoc committee of member townships Center, Elkrun, Liverpool, Madison, Middleton, Salem, St. Clair, Washington and Yellow Creek was formed to help choose the three representatives on the BWD board who represent the townships.

Currently, the appointment of Bob Wines is set to expire in December, and he has made it known he would like reappointed. Sam Sowards of Lisbon has also indicated a desire to be considered for the six-year term.

Wines is a former St. Clair Township trustee and a retired Beaver Local administrator. Sowards owns Sowards Engineering Consultants in Boardman.

Although Liverpool Township Trustee Karl "Butch" Kontnier presided over last night's ad hoc committee meeting, he adamantly denied that he is the chairman, saying he just "stepped up to the plate" when former Chairman Bob Miller left office in 2001.

He offered an overview of how the committee has tried to unify the townships in deciding who their BWD representatives will be, emphasizing trustees "can't have our own agendas (but) need to look out for all our townships."

Kontnier noted that any person named to the BWD board must be available for day time meetings and asked Center Township Trustee Greg Shive, "Your man (Sowards) still works. Is he able to go to the meetings?"

Shive said, "As far as I know. He owns his own business."

Center Township has adopted a resolution naming Sowards as its candidate for the BWD seat, while, thus far, Liverpool and Middletown townships have passed resolutions in Wines' favor, with St. Clair expected to do the same at its meeting next Tuesday.

The other townships either have not yet passed resolutions choosing one of the two candidates or have not made it known to the ad hoc committee.

Center Township Trustee Joe Csonka posed the question, "Who owns the Buckeye Water District?" with St. Clair Township Trustee Chairman Jim Hall responding, "Good question."

Kontnier said that, to his understanding, "It's its own entity," but admitted, "I don't really know."

Middleton Trustee Eldena Gearhart questioned why trustees are never contacted by their representatives on the BWD board, saying, "I've never heard from our appointment. It would be nice to hear from (him)."

Kontnier pointed out all trustees are welcome to attend BWD board meetings and Madison Township Trustee Mint Cook said, "If we have a problem, we go."

Kontnier encouraged the trustees who have not yet passed a resolution naming their candidate to go back to their respective boards and discuss the matter.



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