Friday, November 1st, 2013
By William Kincaid
Three vying for two township seats
Election November 2013
  Two incumbent Jefferson Township Trustees will be challenged at the polls this general election.
The four-year terms of Keith Houts and Kent Marbaugh both expire at the end of this year and political newcomer Thomas Kirk is looking to grab one of the two seats. Jefferson Township residents will be asked to vote for two of the three men.
Kirk, 340 Leisure Lane, is the 60-year-old owner of Designer Imaging, a printing and graphics business located in Celina. Kirk has never held public office before but said he's running to give residents living in the eastern half of Jefferson Township better representation.
If elected, Kirk said he would do his best to ensure the process of soliciting and awarding contracts for services is fair. The lowest bidder should get the contract as long as all qualifications are met.
Favoritism should not play a part in the process, he said.
As well as owning a business, Kirk has served as president of the chamber of commerce and Celina Rotary Club. Since moving to the area in 1979, Kirk said he's established positive relationships with many in the community.
Kirk, who is married and has two daughters and three grandchildren, also has an agricultural-engineering degree and believes he has a good understanding of what it takes to maintain and improve the township.
Houts, 4382 Fairground Road, is a 55-year-old self-employed farmer who has served as a Jefferson Township Trustee for 12 years.
He believes he is well versed in the duties and responsibilities of the job, having been in office for over a decade now, enjoys the work and hopes to continue doing so for another term.
"The challenge is always to bring services or provide services to the constituents," Houts said.
Houts and his wife, Beth, have four children. He said he's used to running his own business and managing employees and knows how to operate snow equipment to plow the roads.
"I just really want to continue what I've been doing," he said.
Marbaugh, 1901 Carolina Court, is a 54-year-old self-employed land surveyor who has served Jefferson Township as a trustee for three terms.
There are multiple projects, such as applying for a $500,000 grant to reconstruct West Bank Road, which Mercer County Commissioners in August assigned a majority ownership of to Jefferson Township, that Marbaugh wants to complete.
He also wants to continue to maintain a good relationship with the county engineer and city of Celina.
"I take kind of a common sense approach to small government," Marbaugh said, pointing out he tries to find the best deals when making township purchases and uses, whenever possible, local vendors.
Marbaugh has 30 years of experience with roads and ditches, 18 years experience working with county engineers and highway departments and 12 years experience as a Jefferson Township Trustee.
He can operate equipment and also has a commercial driver's license, permitting him to plow roads.
"It's kind of a tough time right now with dwindling revenue," he said when asked about challenges facing the township.
But the trustees are doing the best they can do to maintain the 36 miles of roads and five cemeteries in their jurisdiction, he said.
Marbaugh and his wife, Lisa, have two children.
Weather forecast
for Sunday:

Mostly sunny, mild