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Jackson Township trustee challenged by newcomer

Joe (Joey) Martin, who has been the Jackson Township trustee since 1983, is being challenged in the Nov. 6 General Election by Virginia E. Morris, who is running for political office for the first time.
Neither candidate had opposition in the May Primary.
Until this election cycle, Martin has always run as a Democrat, but he switched parties last year and will be listed on the ballot as the Republican candidate. Morris is the Democrat candidate.
Below are the candidates’ responses to a questionnaire from this newspaper.
Name and residency: Virginia E. Morris, Georgetown
Age: 61
Family: Married 42 years to Robert Morris; three children, Christopher, Melissa and Sara. We also have three wonderful grandsons. Daughter of Carrie Grethel Wilkerson Purcell and the late George Maurice Purcell; three brothers, Mike, Dave and John Purcell
Education: 1976 graduate North Harrison High School
Occupation: Office manager/treasurer, Harrison County Soil & Water Conservation District, Corydon
Political experience: This is my first time in running for political office.
Contact information for voters: Phone: 812-347-2342; email: [email protected]; Facebook: Virginia E. Morris for Jackson Township Trustee
Why are you seeking the office (in 100 words or less)? I have always had an interest in county government at the most local level. I grew up and have lived in Jackson Township my entire life. I would consider it an honor to serve as the township trustee at the level of government that is closest to its residents. My parents taught me from an early age the importance of voting and getting involved to have your voice heard.
Why should someone vote for you rather than your opponent (in 100 words or less)? After my opponent has now served for 36 years in office as the township trustee, I believe the township residents are ready for a change of leadership. In my position as treasurer, my experience in finance will assist me in the trustee’s position; I am very familiar in working with Indiana State Board of Accounts and their audit procedures and internal controls that the township trustee position requires. I will take the trustee’s job personally and will serve the township in a professional, courteous manner and be available to anyone who has concerns.
If elected, what will you do to serve the people of Jackson Township (in 150 words or less)? Examples of the trustee’s main duties are: provider of fire protection, maintaining abandoned cemeteries, controlling noxious weeds, mediation of line disputes and providing emergency poor relief. I will treat each applicant for relief with respect, while understanding the township’s limits of financial responsibility. Fire protection is a very important issue for me. I know firsthand the valuable resource of having an excellent fire department as my family’s childhood home caught fire and Ramsey Volunteer Fire Dept.’s quick response saved our home from being destroyed. I will have a good working relationship with fellow trustees of the newly-formed fire territory of Blue River, Jackson and Spencer townships and their advisory boards, along with members of the Ramsey Volunteer Fire Dept., to coordinate the best fire protection while helping to keep township homeowners’ insurance rates down. I would also continue offering county park or pool passes to residents living in the township.
Name and residency: Joseph E. Martin, Georgetown
Age: 61
Family: Married to Alice Randol Martin; two children, Christopher Martin of Georgetown and Savannah Martin of Austin, Texas
Education: Graduated from North Harrison High School in 1975 and Indiana University Southeast in 1980 with a degree in business management
Occupation: Farmer
Political experience: Jackson Township trustee since 1983; also served on (Harrison County) Board of Zoning Appeals for several years
Contact information for voters: Office phone: 812-366-3433; email: [email protected] or [email protected]
Why are you seeking the office (in 100 words or less)? I consider it a privilege to serve the people of Jackson Township and wish to continue.
Why should someone vote for you rather than your opponent (in 100 words or less)? Experience. The voters know I did a good, fair job as township assessor and approve of how I handle requests for township assistance. They know I’ve used the riverboat revenue sharing funds to benefit the most residents in the fairest, most effective way. They know I will always work to make sure the fire department has what they need while keeping an eye on cost and benefits to the taxpayers. And, they know I am accessible and will listen to and act on their concerns.
If elected, what will you do to serve the people of Jackson Township (in 150 words or less)? I will be fair and responsive and responsible. When I get a request for township assistance, I use what I call the “regular guy test.” After taking a number of factors into account, like family size and situation, income, work history and a general assessment of if I feel they are doing the best they can given the situation, I ask myself this question: Would the man or woman who works hard, takes care of their family and obligations and pays their taxes approve of using public funds to help this person or family? That always guides my decision. I will keep the cemeteries maintained and make sure the fire department has what they need. As long as riverboat funds are available, I will continue programs like the park and swim passes and smoke detectors and will always listen to the taxpayers and residents.

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