Four candidates are running for three at-large seats on West Jefferson Council. All candidates were given an opportunity to complete information forms and submit them to the Messenger for inclusion in the Voters’ Guide.
Douglas R. Eakins
767 Larri Court, West Jefferson
Occupation: I work at Watson Electric Motor Service as their machinist. I will be retiring and will be able to devote my full attention to village issues.
Previous experience in public office: I have served eight years on council for West Jefferson. I have served on many council committees and represented the village on the tax abatement board, county boards and commissions, township issues, and to the Ohio EPA.
Education/military experience: I am a high school graduate and a graduate of the Timken Machinist Apprenticeship Program. I have attended several leadership training programs. I am a U.S. Army Veteran and served in Vietnam.
Community activities/honors: I’m an active member of West Jefferson Jaycees, WJ Community Association (20+ years), Ox Roast commissioner, VFW life member, American Legion member, Troop/Pack 121 Boy Scout Leader (district/council awards). I’m a hunter education state certified instructor (Ohio Hunter Education Instructor of Year) and teach three courses in WJ yearly. I’m a member of Sts. Simon & Jude Church, have served on Parish Council, Grand Knight of Knights of Columbus Council.
What would you like to accomplish if elected? I will continue to work for the interest of village residents. I will work to keep West Jefferson taxes low by being a budget watchdog. We need to expand the tax base by promoting and managing growth in our industrial park and business district, secure medium priced housing to allow residents to move up and stay in the village, and manage all this while maintaining our small town quality of life.
370 W. Main St., West Jefferson
Previous experience in public office: None
Education/military experience: Attended Ohio State University. Officer in Army.
Community activities/honors: Belonged to a variety of civic organizations over the years. Been honored with community awards. My family includes my wife, Phyllis, and children, Mark, Lisa, Eric, Vikki, Lori, Howey and Jamie.
What would you like to accomplish if elected? Continue Route 29 industrial development. Revitalize downtown. Work to find a grocery store. Fill police vacancy. Expand the parks.
64 E. Town St. Apt. C, West Jefferson
(No response submitted)
Eugene “Gene” Sidner
841 Crescent Drive, West Jefferson
Occupation: Retired. P/T at Marshall’s.
Previous experience in public office: Have served in council-at-large position for 16 years. I and the other council members have spearheaded many projects. The current sewage plant was updated and a new water system is going in for use by the town in 2008. New businesses have been moving in on Route 29, i.e. Forrest Trucking, Buckeye Sand & Gravel, and Target Warehouse. Duke Realty is building an 800,000 square-foot warehouse. Duke Realty will add more buildings for future businesses. This will provide income to the village, schools and provide jobs for the local people.
Education/military experience: West Jefferson graduate Class of 1959. Navy Reserves.
Community activities/honors: Member of the West Jefferson Youth Association for 15 years. Nine years on Parks and Recreation. Avid runner for 30 years and still continue daily walks. My wife, Jane (Jaeger) Sidner, and I are graduates of West Jefferson, as are our four children, Tracy Lynn Astle, Amy Jo Conner, Steven D. LaMar, and Tracy Jane LaMar-Nickoli. We have eight grandchildren, with the oldest who served in the Marines in Iraq and is stationed in Okinawa.
What would you like to accomplish if elected? I would like to continue improving the playgrounds and parks in the village. I have contacted the state representative, speaking to him about getting a new grocery store located in the village. I am working to encourage new businesses for the village. I would like to see the village keep with the small town atmosphere, but grow with the times to support the village and its businesses and schools.