By Daniel Karell
Heading into the final two weeks before election day, the race for the next Ripley mayor and members of village council is heating up.
In the mayoral race, incumbent Tom Leonard is facing former village councilman Scott Eagan, while no less than five people are campaigning for two council seats; incumbent Linda South, Tiffany Regenstein, Judy Brooks, Kathy Lynn Lewis, and William Taylor III.
Hear from some of the candidates for these races below.
“I’ve got things moving in a good direction and I want to see it through. It’s work but I have fun with it also. I’m also available full time. I retired two years ago. I’ve been there 12 years. I want to keep doing what I’ve been doing and get better at it. I’ve got a really good crew that I’m working with.”
”I’ve been a lifelong resident of Ripley. Right now I feel the village government isn’t serving its customers in the best possible way. There are some ways to improve the village, there’s no social media presence, no internet presence, and the village can do a better job at that. Also we have a brown water issue that’s been here for a decade.
“There’s a decline in the appearance of the village. Storefronts are vacant, residences are vacant, and I think the village should do more to bring in new businesses and entrepreneurs. A final thing is the town should be proactive in its planning.
“I think the village needs to work more on customer service, using social media and internet and being more interactive. I think the village needs to be more forward thinking as far as what the village wants to accomplish in the future.”
Ripley Village Council
“I thought long and hard about it and decided there were some things I would like to see accomplished that we didn’t get to do while I was there. I figured the only way to do that would be to run again.
“I would like to see what we can do as far as getting some of the buildings either torn down or repaired, and that’s a long drawn-out process. We’re still four years later closing out the first one. There was a list of nine others we haven’t done anything else with. We haven’t been able. I would like to see somehow if we can do it a little bit quicker. I’m on the USDA loan board. I would like to see more small businesses come, not necessarily through the USDA but to see the village offer incentives. We have limited things the village can do but there’s a couple of things we can probably do to incentivize businesses to open or expand here.”
“I am running for Ripley council because I want to help make a difference in the community that my husband and I are raising our kids in. i want to help make Ripley a community where the younger generation wants to come back and raise their kids.
“Some things that I would like to bring to the table if elected are the brown water issue, which I know is being addressed currently but I want to make sure it continues to go the way it is going to make sure that it is something that is not put onto the back burner once the
problem is resolved.
“Another issue is a local grocery store and getting more usage out of some of our older buildings. Ripley could really benefit from a grocery store and I hope to work with the current council members to see this happen. I would also like to see some usage out of some of the older buildings that we have. Getting more businesses and keeping the businesses that we have is something that is on my radar as well. I would also like to see more freedom for people to decorate their loved ones graves and be able to put things in the ground year around.
“I feel that people are paying for their loved ones to be buried there, then I feel they should be able to have things in the ground if they choose to. I think if people want to take care of their loved ones graves then they should have that opportunity. This is something i would like to look into and make happen if possible. Finally my husband is on the Ripley Fire Department so therefore I am a big supporter of the Ripley Fire Department and I want to continue to support such a great fire department as well as our police officers in the village. We have a great group of guys and we need to keep it that way.”
Brooks, Lewis, and Taylor III did not respond to multiple requests for comment as of press time. Look for their comments on their candidacy for council in next week’s Ripley Bee.
Reach Daniel Karell at 937-378-6161. Follow him on Twitter @GNDKarell