By Kristin Rover
Three candidates are running for four open council seats in Bethel.
Janice Ireton, Priscilla Johnson and Jim Rees are all candidates who currently serve on council. Both Ireton and Rees name will appear on the ballot, and Johnson is a write-in candidate.
Amy Planck’s term also expired this year and she is not running to retain her seat.
Janice Ireton has served as a council member for four years.
“I really enjoy serving the village,” Ireton said. “I have ideas and principals that will benefit the village.”
Ireton said she is hoping to accomplish several things in the future in Bethel.
She said she would like to continue to work on beautification projects in the village and would also like to look into having a community garden in the village.
“It is my hope I will be able to bring a farmers’ garden to Bethel,” Ireton said. “I think everyone’s budgets are strained and I think we can work with schools and farmers.”
Ireton said some produce from the community gardens could be donated to food kitchens.
She said she would also like to work with local trustees to share services.
“I would like to collectively work with township trustees to save money, share equipment, anything,” Ireton said.
Priscilla Johnson has also served on council for four years.
“I have a lot of fun,” Johnson said about serving on council.
She said she enjoys being able to be pro-active as a council member.
“I believe instead of complaining about something you don’t like, you should try to change it by getting involved,” Johnson said.
She said she is hoping to continue working to improving the village.
“I think we as a council should be working on getting the village to look nicer and have rules and regulations for businesses and residents coming in,” Johnson said. “I want to make it a good place for people who want to come here and live here.”
Johnson said she also wants to make sure safety services remain a primary focus in the village.
Jim Rees has only served on village council for a few months.
Rees was appointed to replace former council member Donna Gunn, who stepped down from her duties as council member.
“It has been a wonderful experience and I am just getting started,” Rees said about serving on council. “It is kind of an up and coming community right now and I’m excited to be a part of it.”
Rees said he would like to continue to serve on the parks and village property committee.
“I would like to enhance our Burke Park,” Rees said. “And increase the usage by making more areas useable.”
Rees said cleaning up the shuffle board courts and renovating some of the facilities and amenities at the park would help.
“I want to be a viable part of all of the committees and give my input to help them best accomplish their mission,” Rees said. “It’s an honor to have the opportunity to work with the village administration and council members. I am looking forward to continuing that relationship.”