Long-time Pleasant Township trustee Keith Goldhardt says he loves serving the people and that’s why he’s taken on the challenge of seeking a seat in the Ohio Legislature.
"It’s time for a change," Goldhardt said of his decision to seek the Democratic nomination for the 23rd district in the Ohio House, a seat being vacated by Rep. Larry Wolpert because of term limits.
"He did things his way, now it’s time for a better job."
His name will be on the ballot in the March primary on the Democratic ticket. He is running unopposed and will be guaranteed a spot on the November ballot against former Grove City Mayor Cheryl Grossman, who is also unopposed in the Republican primary.
Goldhardt, 60, is in his 13th year as a Pleasant Township trustee and has served as chairman for the past several years.
During that time, a sewer project was completed, which he calls one of the big accomplishments.
"Not only are we protecting the Big Darby with the sewer project, but we’re also bringing life back to the Darby," he said. "There was a dead zone for a quarter mile adjacent to Darbydale, but it is starting to come back. We’re taking sewage out of the creek that was seeping in because of the failed system."
Another big accomplishment he cites is the Big Darby Accord.
"That’s for future generations," he said. "We bought into it immediately and helped drive it from its infancy. It’s not even complete at this time. We’re still moving forward. It’s great protection for the Darby watershed."
The Big Darby Accord, approved by several political subdivisions in western Franklin County, sets guidelines for future development of the area while protecting the river.
In the past couple of years the township fire department has purchased an additional truck and expanded by fire station by three bays, while the road department has been the beneficiary of two extra bays to house its equipment.
Seeking a seat in the Ohio legislature is a step up from serving his township.
"It’s a daunting task, but I’m up to the challenge," said Goldhardt, who has worked for National City for the past 22 years.
"I love doing this kind of thing or I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing," he said.
Serving at the local level has been a part-time job.
"Now is a chance to do it full time," he said.
With no opposition in March, he is assured of a victory that will put his name against Grossman for November. It’s after the March primary that things "get a little more heated," he said.
"That’s when we get down to real business."
Much of his current work is "building an election team and make sure I doing it right."
Goldhardt and his wife Patty are parents of four grown children who have presented them
with five grandchildren.