Bellville Village Council’s newest member: a “data” guy

BELLVILLE — The newest member of Bellville Village Council is hoping his familiarity with and ability to massage data will be of value in his tenure as a local official.

JJ Burkhart was recently named council member by Mayor Teri Brenkus. He works with his father at IST, Integrated Systems Technology.

Burkhart says professionally, he is a “data guy.”

He likes to do “research first.” If he finds “there is a need there, do it.”

IST is a company that works with businesses attempting to recruit staff.

Their work involves talking to people at career centers and community colleges. Those offer many varieties of training.

Burkhart said they ask customers what they need — what skills sets they are looking for.

Companies supply equipment to industry and employees need training, he said.

Some people get referred to “ram tech centers” instead of career centers because the career centers only handle people in kindergarten through 12th grade.

Information about ram tech centers can be found at

The closest ram tech center to the Clear Fork area is at Pioneer, in Shelby.

Part of what Burkhart does at his job is to apply for grants. This must be done in “terms a grant reader” would understand, he said.

This skill is another that he feels will be of value to the village.

Bellville has been attempting to bring in money for specific projects by applying for grants. Some attempts have been unsuccessful.

Burkhart has lived in Bellville for one year. He previously lived in Lexington, but said he was attracted to Bellville because he “likes how quiet it is.” He also said people here are “so kind and friendly.”

He said he has no personal agenda for things he wants to do on council.

“I don’t want to change anything,” he said.

He would be willing to explore what could be done to improve village sidewalks. He said some are 100 years old, and in places around trees, the roots have done their part in damaging them.

Burkhart said he is a fan of Palm Park and knows plans are being considered to make improvements there.

He says Palm Park is a “nature park, if you will.”

He said he has a son who is three years old, and he loves to run and play there.

Burkhart worked for 10 years as commissioner at the Greater Mansfield Aquatic Conference but he resigned so he could spend time with his son.

He said he now feels he can be involved in local decision making and hopes his efforts will help “keep the community alive and well.”

Burkhart went to North Central Community College but has done traveling as part of his job at IST. Park of that work involved lobbying people in Washington, D.C.