Voters will head to the polls on Tuesday, Feb. 13, to determine two local races as well as a bond issue for a rural fire department.
Voting opens at 7 a.m. Tuesday, and continues until 7 p.m., Voters who are in line at 7 p.m., will be allowed to cast votes.
The races include the District 1 County Commission seat, a bond issue for the Monkey Island Fire Department, and the Grove School Board.
District 1 Commissioner
Two Republicans will face each other in special election to fill the unexpired term for the Delaware County District 1 Commission seat.
The candidates include longtime Grove businessman Steve Rowe and Deputy Commissioner David Poindexter.
The two will vie to fill the seat left open after County Commissioner Doug Smith retired in mid-December.
Whoever wins this seat in February will need to file for a full-term in office later this year. That primary will take place in June, with the general election set for November.
For the commissioner's race, residents who are registered voters and who reside within District 1 are eligible to vote.
Those precincts include 1- Grace Point UMC, Cleora, 2- Bernice Senior Citizens Center, Bernice, 3 - Monkey Island Fire Department, 4 - Hickory Grove Fire Department, 5 - St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 6 - Cowskin Fire Department No. 1, 8 - Butler Baptist Church, 11 - Bible Baptist Church.
Rowe (R-Grove), has lived and worked within Delaware County for 64-1/2 years. A life-long resident of Grove, he is married to Linda (Fink).
Together they have four children: Jonathan Rowe, a junior at Grove High School, Larry Rowe, Rick Rowe, Travis Fink and Tailor Mussatti.
Rowe, who is a third owner at Washboard Laundry and Shundi Storage, owns and operates Tri-State Recovery Wrecker Service.
Rowe said his desire to serve, and help others prompted his filing for the commissioner seat.
"This is something I have wanted to do for several years, but I was not able to give the time that I feel like is required," Rowe said. "Now that I have managers for my businesses, I can dedicate my time to serve as your county commissioner.
"I believe the people need a choice to select a candidate instead of having one appointed. I feel like there is a need for change to improve our county government."
Poindexter, 40, is a life-long resident of the Grove area.
A 1996 graduate of Grove High School, Poindexter also attended Northeast Technology Center in Afton.
Since March 2011, he has served as deputy commissioner for District 1 and as its road foreman.
A fifth generation resident of Delaware County, Poindexter has served as the deputy county commissioner / foreman for the past seven years.
"I’ve worked hard to develop the management skills needed to be successful in the private sector as well as state/local government," Poindexter said. "My job experience has given me keen insight into what drives the economy in Delaware County. I am energetic, eager and willing to explore new and fresh ideas and long range solutions to our challenges."
Grove Public Schools
While two candidates appear on the ballot, only one formally remains in the race.
Initially Reneé Diver and Karen Dyer were competing to fill the seat left open after current board member Audrey Crawford decided not to seek an additional term.
However, on Friday, Feb. 2, Diver posted her resignation letter as a post on her personal Facebook page.
In it, she states her reasons why she ran for the seat and the things which have changed since she formally filed for office in December.
"I ran for the Grove Public School Board Seat #3 because no one else had put their name in the hat on the last day to file, and I knew I wanted someone in the spot who genuinely cares for and supports our public school system," Diver said. "I know I’m that person, but I’ve recently come to know Karen Dyer, and she is that person too.
"I’ve spoken with Karen, and five years from now we agreed it very well could be the right time for me to step in. But in this moment I need to focus on what demands my full attention, primarily raising a 4, 2, and 5 month old, and growing a promising business that (if tended properly), could bring more jobs to Grove that would ultimately benefit our community and school system as a whole.
"Upon deep personal and prayerful reflection, I realized that this season of life might not be the one for me to add a job that requires so much time."
Diver's name remains on the ballot because when she withdrew from the race, it was past deadline to make any formal changes to the election process.
Diver endorsed Dyer, who is seeking her first term in public office.
Dyer has lived in the Grove School System since 2004. She and her husband, Marty, have two daughters: Emma, 14, and Abbi, 11, both students within the school system.
She works as a business analyst for a New York-based company which supplies products to Walmart.
Dyer said she has been involved within the school district, in various capacities, since her daughters began preschool. She sees serving on the school board as an opportunity to take her service to the next level.
"I understand that this is an easy statement to make but much harder to achieve due to budget constraints," Dyer said. "Great strides have been made in improving our schools over the years and we must continue to move forward.
"I am very excited about the possibility of this new position and I would be humbled to join the team of talented board members already in place. I hope I would bring a new perspective based on my knowledge and experiences that will continue to move us forward."
For the school board race, residents who are registered voters and who reside within the Grove Public School District are eligible to vote.
Those precincts include 3 - Monkey Island Fire Department, 4 - Hickory Grove Fire Department, 5 - St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 6 - Cowskin Fire Department No. 1, 7 - First United Methodist Church, Grove, 8 - Butler Baptist Church, 9 - Grace Harbor Baptist Church, 11 - Bible Baptist Church, and 12 - Zena Community Center.
Monkey Island Fire Bond
Residents living on Monkey Island, within the Monkey Island Fire Protection District, will have a chance to approve a $2.75 million dollar bond, designed to provide the fire department with a station to meet the area's growing needs.
Carl Tesreau, Monkey Island Fire Chief, said the 13,000-square-foot facility will not only have four drive-thru bays for vehicles, but also provide living space for when the the department's full-time members are on duty.
Tesreau said the current facility has office spaces converted to serve as living quarters. He said the new facility will not only meet the current needs, but also the department's projected growth in the next two decades.
The Monkey Island Fire Department currently has 17 volunteer members and five full-time members.
"We're growing by leaps and bonds," Tesreau said. "It's hard to keep up with it."
Tesreau said the growth is due in part to the revitalization of Shangri-La, as well as an increase in full-time residents living on Monkey Island.
He believes the facility will allow the department to continue to improve its services to meet the community's growing needs.
Tesreau has served as the fire chief for 14 years. In 2004, when he assumed the role, the department had a total of 55 calls. That number exceeded 300 in 2017.
"We're already at 70 calls this year, so we're looking at another record breaking year," Tesreau said.
The department currently has a ladder truck, two engines - a rescue truck and a structure truck, two brush trucks, a tanker and a fire boat.
If the bond passes, Tesreau said they anticipate the millage to set between 2.5 and 3. He said if the bond is set at 2 mills, a property worth $17,000 would be assessed $36 per year.
For the bond issue, residents who are registered voters who reside within precinct 3, will be eligible to vote in the election. Precinct 3 votes at the Monkey Island Fire Department.