To the editor:
On Nov. 5, the voters of Perry Township and Salem will decide who will be elected, or re-elected, to fill two seats on the Perry Township board of trustees. It will be an interesting election as five candidates, including myself, are running for the positions.
What makes the election even more interesting is the fact that the city of Salem is located in Perry Township, giving the voters of Salem the right to vote for Perry Township trustees. This is nothing new. It has been that way since the 1840s. Because of this fact, the voters of Salem play a large part in the election of Perry Township trustees.
With these facts in mind, the voters of Perry Township and Salem should not only decide which candidates can provide good leadership for the daily operations of the township, but also provide leadership and direction in areas of a cooperative nature that will benefit both the township and Salem. This is an issue that needs addressed in a fair and positive way for both sides.
With the development of the shale oil and gas industry in our area, it is vital that the township and the city work together on infrastructure issues that our community will soon be facing. Also, more should be done concerning the economic issues that involve both city and township. I have seen a lack of planning in both of these areas. I believe that my public service record in both city and township governments gives me the needed experience and the perspective to represent all the voters in a rational discussion concerning issues vital to both Perry Township and Salem. None of the other four candidates have the diverse public service record that the voters have honored me with over the years. All are qualified and have served in their elected positions well. But two of them have only served the township and two of them have only served the city. I believe it is time that we begin a rational conversation between the township and the city without pursuing past failures that did not work and the voters rejected. My public service record bridges the two sides and can open up the needed discussions.
Of the five candidates, I am the only candidate that has served both the township and the city in an elected office. I was elected and re-elected three times to serve as a Perry Township trustee. I have also served the city as a city councilman and as mayor of Salem. With 13 years of township service, and 10 years of city service, my public service experience shows I can provide the leadership that the Perry Township community will need the next four years. I hope that you will consider my qualifications when you vote, either on an absentee ballot, or at the polls Nov. 5.
JERRY L. WOLFORD,