(Posted April 20, 2021)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
The Pleasant Township board of trustees has suffered another loss.
Daniel Fryer, elected as a write-in candidate in the 2019 election, passed away on April 2. He was 75 years old and a resident of Mount Sterling. Fryer is the second Pleasant Township trustee to pass away in the last several months. Gary Neff, who served on the board for 10 years, died on Dec. 15.
“Dan was a great trustee. He was very dedicated to it, even though he was a write-in candidate and hadn’t planned on running in the beginning,” said Kathy Endres, Pleasant Township fiscal officer. “He would ride the roads and check signs. He would follow up on any resident complaint… He worked really well with the other trustees.”
The remaining trustees, Sam Junk and Brian Hampton, who filled Neff’s seat, appointed Mark Harden to Fryer’s seat on April 12. Harden previously served as a trustee from 2015 through 2019. He had planned to seek reelection in 2019 but did not make the ballot due to an error on his candidacy petition.
As for why he likes serving as a trustee, Harden said, “I like to keep my eyes on everything. I travel a lot of the roads around here anyway where I farm. It’s just kind of interesting work.”
Harden has lived in the area since 1965. His father, Kenneth, served as a Pleasant Township trustee for 24 years.
Fryer’s term expires at the end of 2023. Harden will fill the seat through the end of this year. The remaining years of the term will be up for election on this year’s general election ballot. Harden said it is “pretty possible” he will run in November for a chance to retain the seat.
The unexpired seat won’t be the only seat up for election in Pleasant Township on Nov. 2. In fact, all three trustee seats and the fiscal officer seat will be on the ballot. Normally, the terms are staggered, but the unexpected vacancies have altered the pattern.
Both Junk’s and Hampton’s seats naturally expire at the end of this year.
Endres was appointed to the vacant fiscal officer seat in April 2020. She is serving through the end of this year. The remaining years of the term, which expires on March 31, 2024, will be up for election on this year’s Nov. 2 ballot.
Endres said she plans to run in November for a chance to retain the seat. She previously served as fiscal officer from 2010 through 2019. She did not seek reelection in 2019 but accepted an appointment to the position when no certified candidates made it on the 2019 ballot.
The deadline to file for candidacy as a non-partisan candidate in the Nov. 2 election is Aug. 4 at 4 p.m. Township trustees are non-partisan. For filing information, visit the Madison County Board of Elections website at www.boe.ohio.gov/madison or call (740) 852-9424.