Brookfield Trustee Ronald E. Haun is completing his third term and would like to serve a fourth, but two men would like to take the job from him: Clifford B. Elliott Jr. and Mark Syersak.
Elliott said he’s not specifically running against Haun as much as he’s offering his services to help the township. Syersak said he’s doing both.
“I’ve heard a lot of negative things, like the way they hired the fire chief, stuff like that,” Syersak said. “I heard a lot of people are having issues with Ron.”
Syersak added that he doesn’t know if what he has heard is true and he doesn’t personally have an issue with the way the trustees are working.
Here are snapshots of the candidates:
Mark Syersak, 46, of 1160 Collar Price Road.
The 1991 Brookfield High School graduate worked at a department store distribution center for many years until he became too ill to work. He received a heart transplant about a year ago. He said he is looking for a job that is not as physically demanding as past jobs.
“I like working with people,” he said.
When he was a trustee for Hubbard Conservation Club, he had to balance people’s wishes with the amount of money available to fulfill them, Syersak said, which is an approach he would carry over to the role of township trustee. He said he is not happy that Haun and Trustee Gary Lees prevailed in hiring the Ohio Fire Chief’s Association to help with the search for a fire chief.
“They spent a lot of money,” he said of the $10,400. “I see a problem with that.”
He said he also does not like “when they had a guy running around fining people for grass too high,” a reference to the code enforcement officer. The township still has a code enforcement officer, but it has been some time since anyone has been cited for a violation of the property maintenance code, let alone fined.
Cliff Elliott, 52, of 6652 King Graves Road.
Elliott served 33 years as a Brookfield volunteer firefighter, retiring in January. Although he was critical of some changes in the department brought on by new Chief David Masirovits, he said his motivation to retire included personal reasons that were not related to the chief, and he has since patched things up with Masirovits.
“A lot of people are saying I’m doing it for a vendetta reason,” Elliott said of his running for trustee. “I am not. I actually sat down with the fire chief. I told him, you know, we butted heads when he first come in. You do that with a new regime coming in. Sometimes it just doesn’t click right. We got over that hump. I ended up retiring from there on good terms with the chief.”
“I still want to help the community,” Elliott said. “I love helping the community. Being a trustee gives me a whole different outlook on the community.”
He said he would look forward to sitting down with the heads of the police, fire and road departments, learn what their issues are and try to come up with ideas to address them.
Elliott is a route drive for Dean Dairy, and he said he has been assured he would have scheduling flexibility to meet the demands of a trustee.
Ron Haun, 60, of 1020 Sharon Hogue Road.
Haun, a life-long township resident, said he is happy with the direction the township is going. There are good department heads in place and the other employees are doing great work, he said. The financial health of the township is good as evidenced by the carryovers from 2018 that paid the bills until 2019 tax money started coming in. And, elected officials and employees have a team philosophy that has led to securing grants and undertaking other initiatives that come from strong relationships with county and state officials, Haun said.
Accomplishments Haun pointed out from his tenure include the creation of the police impound lot; the creation of a cemetery endowment fund; the adoption of the Exterior Property Maintenance Code; the formulation of the Brookfield Township Comprehensive Plan; the securing of grants for infrastructure improvements, equipment purchases and community improvements; and an agreement with AEP Ohio to aggregate electricity and give residents lesser, locked-in rates.
“The township’s made great strides toward improving the community for all residents,” Haun said. “I really believe that in my heart. The trustees, fiscal officer, department heads and all township employees have joined forces to provide the best for those that we serve. We’re working as a team.”
The formula for trustee pay is set by the Ohio General Assembly. In Brookfield, the trustees will earn $13,612 in 2019. They also have access to the township employee health insurance plan.