Name: Joseph E. Yoch
Immediate Family members: Sharon Yoch, spouse.
Office seeking: Smithton Village Trustee
Occupation: Retired UPS Delivery Driver
Previous and current elected offices and terms served: Current Smithton Village Trustee, two terms
Why are you running? I served as a Village of Smithton Trustee for the past seven years and am looking forward to being a part of the completion of numerous projects in Smithton. My desire is to continue to assist the Smithton residents with their concerns and issues pertaining to our community.
What is the most important issue facing the Village of Smithton? How would you approach it? After having been Chairman of the Street and Utility Committee for those seven years, I feel that the infrastructure of our community is the most important issue facing Smithton. Maintenance and repair of our streets, sidewalks, and fresh and waste water systems are in constant need. I realize this is not a glamorous issue to most, but it definitely affects all residents. As in the past, I have worked hard to include the appropriate revenues to ensure that our community’s basic needs are met.
If you were writing a job description for the position you’re seeking, what would it say? Wanted: Honest, conscientious, and caring Smithton resident willing to serve on the village board, and be available to listen to all residents’ concerns and represent them. Someone who is open minded, energetic, and has leadership abilities. Looking for a person who will work with other Village officials in solving problems and improving our community.
How would keep costs down or reduce costs in your municipality? As a village board member, I have worked with my fellow trustees to establish a balanced budget. I have been diligent in reducing funding for line items that have been underused. I was able to shrink the costs to maintain and improve the streets and utilities in Smithton and will continue to monitor our revenues and expenses to insure we continue this practice.
In St. Clair County, there will be votes on two sales tax referendums. One would benefit school facility costs, one would benefit public safety. Do you support either or both of the referendums? Why or why not? Both sales tax referendums would provide additional funding for two vital necessities. I have spoken to residents living beyond Smithton’s borders, who shared troubling stories about the response time for the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department. As proposed, the extra sales tax revenues would provide more deputies and reduce emergency call times. I would approve of that. The increased revenue to our schools would only be used for either existing or new building and maintenance projects. We are currently supporting these through our property taxes. If the increase in sales tax would reduce our property taxes by paying off previous bonds, I would approve of that also.
Why should people vote for you? My wife and I have been Smithton residents for 38 years. During that time, we raised two children and watched our village grow. I have been very involved in our community, including St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Smithton Jaycees, served in every local Boy Scout leadership role and held various offices in the Smithton Commercial Club. I have been honored with the Commercial Club’s “Citizen of the Year” and “Hall of Fame” awards. I am a retired UPS delivery driver, and I have been and will continue to be available any time of day to assist and address any issues that arise in Smithton. I take interest in how things work, and my understanding of our infrastructure has been a result of being chairman of the streets and utility committee. I enjoy working with and for the people of Smithton. Simply put, I care – I like to see things done right, and I work hard to benefit the village of Smithton.