With November’s election quickly approaching it is time to take a look at the individuals running for Bellville’s open village government positions.
Running for one of Bellville’s two vacant council seats is resident Richard Osborn, who is set to make his political debut this fall.
“I was talking with my wife three or four months ago,” said Osborn. “I just had this wild idea to run, so I decided to head down to village hall and meet with the mayor to get everything I needed to run.”
While inexperienced in politics at a local level, Osborn brings 30 years of managerial experience to his ticket.
“There was a lot of politicking where I worked and this is really no different than anything else,” said Osborn. “If you want to work hard and do a good job, you can become part of the solution, not just a complainer.”
Osborn’s interest in Bellville politics arrived upon settling in the area, as he became involved with the village’s government representatives following the most recent Clear Fork flood, attending nearly all of council’s recent meetings.
“The day we moved into Bellville in 2013, we had to evacuate our house,” he said. “We came back in and everything was completely flooded out. We had to spend two weeks restoring it all. Ever since then I have been talking with these guys (village officials) trying to prevent another flood.”
Osborn expressed that he is most concerned with community safety, and that the Clear Fork’s flooding issue is the biggest threat to the village’s livelihood. He believes the village needs to pass legislation that places more clean-up responsibility on the community.
“I think we need to come up with a community-wide answer,” he said. “Nobody is willing to get together to clean the debris along the banks, which is partly to blame for the river backing up. If we all got together to keep the banks clean, we could solve a lot of the problem and maybe not have to worry as much about the flood.”
In addition to keeping Bellville residents safe, Osborn would like to foster economic growth in the community while keeping the village’s rootsy tradition alive.
“I want Bellville to stay prosperous. It’s a business and has to run as such, but I want to keep that small town feel,” he said. “I think it is a benefit to the village. It’s what keeps people here.”
While tackling these issue, the Bellville resident aims to keep his own opinions in the conversation while in office.
“I don’t want to be just a yes-man,” said Osborn. “I want to be an asset to the community but have my voice heard. I will say what I think is best for the village.”
Running for council’s second vacant seat is incumbent councilman Victor Swisher. The polls are set to open Nov. 3 from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m
Reach Jones on Twitter @Bellville_Jones or via email at email@example.com