Jefferson Township directors’ race has two starters against a challenger


The race for the Jefferson Township board includes two incumbents and a challenger vying for two four-year terms.

Incumbents Claire Yoder and Rich Courter are being challenged by Ed Starr, and the top two voters will join administrator Mike Rowan, whose term expires at the end of 2023.

To read candidates’ responses to questions asked by This week and The Columbus Dispatch, go to

Courter did not respond to The Columbus Dispatchrequest information about the application before the deadline of 8 October.

Ed starr

Starr, 56, is a US Air Force veteran who works for the Defense Logistics Agency.

“I stand up to ensure that vital services and smart master planning strategies align with residents’ desire for a beautiful and green community landscape and enjoyment of natural resources,” he said. “The significant growth in the population of the Township of Jefferson over the past decade has created opportunities to align services with the changing expectations of township citizens. I have learned in my decades of public service that listening to stakeholder feedback, creating realistic plans and providing transparent leadership is essential for continued growth and success. “

The township must keep growth in mind, he said, adding that the township’s significant growth is an opportunity to collaborate with neighbors – longtime and new – and regional planners and “ensure that beauty nature endures for future generations ”.

“Being a trustee is a way to build our future together,” he said.

The pandemic has learned lessons, he said.

“The most important lesson learned during the pandemic has been flexibility,” he said. “It is key in all aspects of life, personal and professional. No one has predicted the long term impact to date.”

Starr holds a master’s degree in business administration.

“As a human resources professional, I bring experience in workforce planning, compensation strategies and targeted recruitment,” he said.

He said his volunteer work includes the Jefferson Township Parks Board.

“As a retired veteran, I bring my public safety experience and understand the importance of reliable service. “

Claire Yoder

For Claire Yoder, it is important to balance the development and the rural character of the township, she said.

“Proactive initiatives include adhering to zoning code standards, developing the overall plan, adhering to established guidelines for Scenic Byways, designating green spaces in residential developments, parks, roads and protection. cantonal limits against annexation, ”she said.

One of the goals, she said, is to meet the health and safety needs of a growing population.

“The township is currently working with the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission on a conceptual level to accommodate the growth of the village of Blacklick,” she said. “We are meeting the challenges by improving communications with residents and businesses. The implementation of the annual Township State Meeting, the establishment of a Business Advisory Council and the Community Health and Safety Committee are basic efforts to involve the community.

She said the township’s five-year forecast will help keep the township on a solid financial footing.

The pandemic has demonstrated that necessity is the mother of invention, she said.

“The pandemic has taught us how to continue providing services to our residents through online communications. More residents are attending virtual meetings than face-to-face meetings before the pandemic, ”she said.

Yoder, 75, said her past experience – appointments to the Jefferson Township Zoning Commission and the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission – are assets that inform the way she conducts business in the canton.

Yoder is a high school teacher and hospital chaplain with a master’s degree in theological studies.

Her volunteer and civic activities include receiving the Gahanna Jefferson Education Association Friend of Education Award and the Gahanna Jefferson Education Foundation Cornerstone Award.

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