12 Nov Expert Jonathan Cartu Says – Augustine promises to bring fresh perspective to Hinckley…
HINCKLEY TOWNSHIP, Ohio — As she enters her second term in office, newly elected Hinckley Township Trustee Melissa Augustine says she hopes to bring a “fresh perspective to the township.”
Augustine bested one-term incumbent Becky Chattin Lutzko Nov. 5 by a vote of 1,020 to 670, based upon final, unofficial results from the Medina County Board of Elections. This continues a back-and-forth election cycle that began nearly three years ago.
Augustine was appointed to the board in February 2017 to fill the unexpired term of Martha Catherwood, after Catherwood was appointed township fiscal officer following the resignation of Colleen Swedyk.
Lutzko was elected in November 2017 after Augustine withdrew from the race that year.
“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the people of Hinckley,” Augustine said. “The support and kindness that I have experienced has been extraordinary, validating that we really are a small town with big hearts.”
During her campaign this time around, Augustine pledged to be supportive of both residents and business interests.
“My campaign took a fair amount of time and dedication as I was connecting with the people of Hinckley in multiple forums,” Augustine said. More importantly, I was listening to what citizen’s and business owners would like our local government to provide.”
She added that her work for non-profit organizations as a coordinator, both nationally and internationally, “has fostered fiscal responsibility, contract negotiation skills, creative management, grant-writing abilities and social media optimization,” Augustine said.
She said providing more transparency and leveraging more funding for road repairs will be two key areas she will focus upon when she takes office. Augustine proposes expanding the township’s use of social media and the creation of an email newsletter to encourage more community engagement and make residents more aware of the work of township government.
“To be appointed and then elected is an honor and privilege that I will meet with integrity and fairness,” Augustine said. “Once sworn in, I look to incorporate the people’s voice at meetings prior to voting on issues. Additionally, I hope to create an e-newsletter to maintain communication with residents.”
In the immediate future,, Augustine said she and her fellow trustees will need to “navigate the discrepancies that lie with the new single hauler program (and) determine how we can minimize spending and fund road repair.”
As highlights of her first term in office, she pointed to initiatives such as renegotiating the township’s waste program, creating a township Facebook page, securing a donation of four AED units for the fire and police departments, overseeing the updating and securing of the township computer systems and new signage at Town Hall and the police station, and working with Scout groups to clean the walking trail and community garden at Bronger’s Park.
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