Springboro school board President Kelly Kohls has decided not to run for re-election in November.
Kohls has served on the board for a 3 ½-year stretch that has seen significant financial cutbacks, realignment of staff, academic success, and community strife over taxes, politics and religion.
Kohls said she has been spreading herself too thin and needs to free up time for other educational initiatives, including work with state legislators and the growth of her Ohio School Boards Leadership Council.
“The district has made the directional changes it needed to make, and I believe it will continue. We have strong leadership,” Kohls said Wednesday. “So I’m thinking, ‘Where can I have the most impact on education?’ ”
School board members Jim Rigano and David Petroni, who have allied with Kohls, each have two more years on their terms. A total of eight people filed petitions to run for the three available seats on the board – incumbent Wendy Kull, former Springboro High School principal Ron Malone, Dave Stuckey, Charles Anderson, Lisa Babb, Jamie Belanger, Charles Bitner and Kolton Vaughn.
Candidates had to file by 4 p.m. Wednesday, but are not officially certified to the ballot until their county Board of Elections reviews the signatures on their nominating petitions. This will happen in the next two weeks.
* In Huber Heights, longtime city official and current mayor Ron Fisher is being challenged by Tom McMasters, a Huber Heights resident since 2006. Fisher, 65, has been mayor since November 2008, and served as vice mayor in 1988 and 2008.
“Huber Heights is moving in the right direction,” said Fisher, a real estate broker with Fisher & Associates Realty. “We’ve accomplished a lot in the last four years, and I’m looking forward to continuing what we’re doing.”
McMasters, 51, retired from the Air Force in 2009 and is a support contractor for a private company that works with the Air Force. In 2011, he ran for the Ward 6 council seat and lost to Ed Lyons. McMasters said he seeks more transparency from city officials.
“That’s the primary reason I’m running for mayor,” McMasters said. “By the time the public learns about a project, the planning is so far along, the public doesn’t get to put in their inputs.”
* Centerville is guaranteed to have some new faces on City Council, as Jim Singer and Doug Cline, who have a combined 52 years of council service, are not seeking re-election. Deputy Mayor Brooks Compton did file for re-election, and there could be five candidates on the ballot for three seats in November. Others who filed to run for council are John Palcher, Joanne Rau, Kim Birdseye and Joy Brush.
* Clayton and Clay Twp. will have several active races. City Council members Kenneth Henning, Beverly Smith and Ray Slone Jr. are challenging incumbent Clayton Mayor Joyce Deitering. Former county Democratic Party chairman Dennis Lieberman is one of five people, including two incumbents, who filed to run for three Clayton City Council seats. And former Montgomery County Sheriff Dave Vore is one of five people who filed to run for the two Clay Twp. trustee spots.
* Candidates for city office in Kettering, Moraine and Riverside have until Aug. 22 to file with the Board of Elections, as do candidates in Tipp City and West Milton in Miami County. Fairborn city candidates have until Sept. 6 to file.
The race to fill three seats on the Beavercreek School Board has drawn seven candidates, including one incumbent and a former school superintendent, according to the Greene County Board of Elections.
Peg Arnold was the only incumbent to file. Earlier this week, Vice President Rob Dotson and board member Kim Grant announced they would not seek re-election. Dotson has taken an out-of-state job, and Grant said she did not wish to sit on the board as one of her children enters high school.
Among the other potential candidates is Denny Morrison, a former Beavercreek superintendent; Krista Hunt, Alisha Hutson, Jo Ann Rigano and Gene Taylor.
In Beavercreek Twp., incumbent trustees Carol Graff and Candy Prystaloski submitted petitions, as did current Beavercreek City Council member Scott Hadley and current Beavercreek School Board President Al Nels.
Prystaloski and Hadley were both candidates earlier this year to fill a vacancy on the three-member board. Graff and Trustee Dan Paxson were unable to agree on an appointment so the matter went to a Greene County judge who appointed Prystaloski.
Incumbent Piqua Mayor Lucy Fess faces a challenge from fellow city commission member William Vogt. The Piqua City Charter allows the public to select the mayor from commission members who choose to run separately for that position. Also in Piqua, two people want the 3rd Ward Commission seat, incumbent Joseph Wilson and Jim Cruse.
In Concord Twp., which includes the city of Troy, incumbent township trustees Sue E. Campbell and Tom Mercer face a challenge from Don Pence, the retired treasurer of the Troy City Schools.
In Elizabeth Twp. in eastern Miami County, six people are running for two full terms and one unexpired terms on the township trustees. Candidates for the full term seats are incumbents Greg Dilts and John Ryman along with J. Mike Jess and William D. Sutherly. Running for an unexpired term are Ronald Swallow and James E. Miller.
Two people filed for three seats on the Troy Board of Education. Filing were incumbents Joyce Reives and Stephen Lucas. Bill Lutz said he decided not to seek re-election because of family and other demands. “It’s time to let someone else have the opportunity to serve,” Lutz said Wednesday.
Tipp City Council also has four seats up for election this year. The city charter allows a 75-day versus a 90-day filing deadline, making the filing deadline for that race Aug. 22, said Drew Higgins, county elections director. So far, incumbents Pat Hale and Joe Gibson have filed petitions for re-election.
This story contains information from staff writers Doug Page, Steven Matthews and Terry Morris; and contributing writer Nancy Bowman.