Two candidates are vying for one open seat on the Hinckley Board of Trustees Nov. 7. Incumbent Melissa Augustine is seeking re-election to a second four-year term in office and is being challenged by Cyntia Engelman.
The following are questions posed to the candidates by The Hinckley Record. Their answers were limited to 275 words. These are their unedited responses. ∞
- What is your primary reason for running for a seat on the board of trustees?
Augustine: My core reason for running is to continue to serve as an independent voice and
truly represent the desires of our residents – without a personal agenda. The people of
Hinckley deserve a strong advocate who is led by their interactions with citizens. I am that person.
As a retired 30-year information technology professional and attorney, I feel that I have experience and qualifications that will serve our residents very well. I love Hinckley Township and feel compelled to give back to our wonderful community in a positive manner.
2. What are the most important issues facing the township in the next four years?
Augustine: The most pressing issues concerning Hinckley includes rural preservation, agricultural freedom, road improvements, opposition to a single trash hauler, annexation, and the divisiveness of special interest groups that continue to share personal and professional misinformation about me.
Engleman: Maintaining responsible zoning. Hinckley Township is beautiful. As developers continue to seek land in Hinckley, maintaining our high standards and desire for slow growth will be vital to ensure the community’s character.
Also, the inflationary effect upon materials, equipment and vehicle purchases in the service/roads, fire and police departments.
3. What is your position on extending county waterlines to allow businesses located in and around Hinckley’s town center to operate more efficiently?
Augustine: Our vital town center businesses and residents continue to suffer from poor water quality provided by some of the oldest wells in the township. I fully support water infrastructure in Hinckley’s historic center and have a record that proves it. This was one of my campaign promises in 2019. When the comprehensive plan survey results proved the majority of our community (57.3%) were in favor of public water expansion in Town Center, it propelled me to produce the results the public requested. I have offered ARPA funding, consultants that asked us to apply for the Ohio Public Works loan/grant, two grants provided by county officials and proposed a TIF with a new business to bring in county water. Each of the endeavors I have brought to the board has been denied. The rationale was that the funds would only benefit a few. However, the same board just approved the Ohio Public Works loan/ grant for Valleybrook Boulevard and Salem Court, which are roads that are not used by all. Residents and business owners continue to squander thousands of dollars on water quality, testing and plumbing needs. They deserve quality water.
It would be an asset for the businesses in town center to have access to County water. However, it would not be fiscally responsible to require the residents to use their tax dollars for the benefit of only the center of town. Township tax dollars should be used for the benefit of the entire community. ∞
Retired IT professional, attorney