Candidate profile: Stephen Mitchell

Stephen Mitchell
Stephen Mitchell

Name: Stephen Mitchell

Age: 61

Immediate family members: Debra, wife of 37 years; children: Holly, Stephen, Sarah, Nicholas; grandchildren: Taylor, Paige, Noel and Peyton.

Town: Fairmont City

Office seeking: Canteen Township trustee

Occupation: Retired (disabled school bus driver for First Student), retired volunteer firefighter Fairmont City.

Previous and current elected offices and terms served: Precinct committeeman - 4 years; Township trustee - 16 years.

Why are you running? I am seeking the office of Canteen Township trustee to continue to improve and serve the people of Canteen Township.

What is your view on township government and its role? My view on the Canteen Township government and its role is to help the citizens in the township through programs we have in place, and those we recently put into place: such as working to get eligible people approved for government assistance, computer assistance for job seekers, assisting people with paperwork for disability. Just in the last few months, by the hard work of our secretary by cutting through the red tape, we were able to have government commodities reinstated for seniors 60 and over (forms for this can be filled out at the township building). Foremost on my part, I do not promise anything to anyone and if you do, you sell your soul to corruption. I do what I can when I can.

If you were writing a job description for the position you’re seeking, what would it say? If I were writing a job description for the position I seek, it would read: Wanted: Person that can take an ass chewing, work with no money and make everyone in the township happy, do the impossible with no major funding! Must be able to take complaints seriously, but keep your composure and sense of humor. Broad shoulders a must!

What is the most important issue facing Canteen Township? How would you approach it? I feel that funding is the most important issue facing Canteen Township. Like all entities, we do what we can but not beyond our means. We attempt to keep taxes low because the people in our township are lower income and taxed out! Unemployment is high and businesses are leaving as we speak. It is hard to convince businesses to locate in high crime areas. We make sure what is budgeted is legally spent. Townships are governed by different laws and rules than county, states and cities. We have to stay inside the guidelines for unincorporated areas!

Why should people vote for you? In all my years in politics, I can honestly say I have never taken a nickel from anyone illegally. A lot of people don’t like me because, as my wife says, I am brutally honest, and not politically correct. I will not lie to you or sugarcoat anything. If your feelings get hurt, so be it. I call things as I see them. I had a Polish grandmother who would tell me if you start lying to people, then you will be like a cat in a litter box, covering up crap. I will do what is best for the people of Canteen Township and continue to work hard for them. I am not a suit, or a Yes Man. If you want my phone number, just ask for it. I live here too! Your vote for our ticket will be appreciated.