By Linda Dillman
Long time former Canal Winchester city councilman Bruce Jarvis was recently sworn in as Madison Township’s newest trustee, replacing Michele Reynolds who was elected in November to the state senate.
A Madison Township resident since 1991, Jarvis was appointed to Canal Winchester Council in 1996 and served until 2010 when he resigned to lead what was then called Main Street Canal Winchester, later reorganized as Destination: Canal Winchester (D:CW).
Jarvis and then D:CW President Bob Garvin led an effort to restore the Interurban Depot in Canal Winchester and founded the Canal Winchester Blues & Ribfest. After resigning from D:CW at the end of 2015, he was re-elected to one more term on city council in 2016, serving a total of 18 years.
When asked why he wanted to return to public service, Jarvis said, “When Michele Reynolds was elected to state senate last November, I knew there would be a call to finish the last year of her term,” said Jarvis. “I considered my skills and experience to be an asset and wished to apply those in support of Madison Township. I assure township residents that I am keenly aware that they are the ultimate customer and that I will strive daily to ensure township services are provided in the most effective, efficient and professional way possible.”
Jarvis foresees one of the biggest challenges facing the township to be maintaining and enhancing township services. He said the cost of providing services continues to rise and township leaders must be smart about priorities and potential outside financial assistance.
In identifying township strengths, Jarvis said, “When it comes to fire and police protection, the township has a great and well-deserved reputation within the community. At times it is literally a matter of life or death depending on the professionalism of these organizations. Equally critical are the employees who maintain the roads in the unincorporated areas of the township; the same roads needed by emergency units and the residents.”
Jarvis felt if the trustee position is half as interesting as he thinks it will be, it is likely he will run for the seat in the November election for the next four-year term. His Jan. 26 appointment was to finish out Reynolds’ term, which expires at the end of the year.
“All I can say is that when you experience the ability to make a positive difference for you and your neighbors through public service, you naturally want to do more…that’s why I serve,” said Jarvis.
According to a township press release, trustees John Pritchard and Katherine Chipps cited Jarvis’ past local elected public service and the lengthy local community involvement he brings to the position that helped finalize their decision.
Initially, seven individuals submitted resumes for the open seat, but before the first round of interviews, one candidate withdrew. Six candidates underwent two interviews each, one with the department heads and the other with the two trustees. The trustees narrowed their choice down to two individuals and felt that as the day-to-day managers of township departments, it was important for department heads to have interaction and feedback regarding the candidates.
Reynolds resigned from her position as trustee effective Dec. 31, 2022, and Jarvis will fulfill her unexpired term through Dec. 31, 2023.