Eddie Smith and Steven H. Pierson won Athens Township Trustee positions in Tuesday’s election with 1,972 and 1,725 votes respectively.
After winning his race, Smith said the other trustee candidates were "extremely classy."
“I wish all three of us could be the trustees,” he said.
Smith said he would consider working with the Ohio Department of Transportation to put bike lanes on some county roads to increase access to bike paths that lead into Athens.
“Right now, there's not a safe way for people to get to the bike path,” Smith said. “They have to bike on 45-mile-an-hour roads.”
Smith said Athens Township has nearly five times the money to spend per mile of road in its road fund than Athens County, and said increasing transportation equity could help residents without cars get jobs.
“He's been really active in supporting the local party and also progressive candidates and Democratic candidates in Athens County,” Athens County Democratic Party Chairman John Haseley said of Smith. “I work closely with him, and I think he's a really good person and a really strong candidate.”
Steven H. Pierson has been re-elected for one of two positions for Athens Township Trustee.
“I’m very happy that the voters have decided that they would like me to continue service to them for the next four years.”
Pierson is passionate about issues regarding flooding, public works and city maintenance. He said the Athens County Commissioners will soon enter an agreement with the City of Athens to construct a $20 million sewer project to serve approximately 1,100 residents in Athens Township.
“One of the main charges that township trustees have is to maintain township roads, and a lot of the work that is going to be done to install this sewer system will involve disturbance of the road surfaces to place sewer pipes,” Pierson said. “That’s a big concern that the trustees have over the next few years.”
Pierson said his past experiences working with grants has helped him with his position as township trustee, dealing with “quality of life” questions on a daily basis.
“If you have the time and the contacts to fund programs like this, that is where my experience lends itself well in the trustee position,” Pierson said. “In the past, I’ve worked with Athens County Commissioners. It was a federal grant passed down to the state, and then distributed to each county.”