Voter guide 2023: Atwater’s Kovacich faces a challenge for trustee seat

Atwater Town Hall. Lyndsey Brennan/The Portager

Trustee John Kovacich faces an opponent in Dale A. Wiley in this year’s election.

A lifelong Atwater resident, Kovacich has served as township trustee since 2010. Now running for his fourth term, he said he still considers Atwater “a good place to live and bring up a family.”

Kovacich said he would like to balance Atwater’s small-town ambiance with economic development, adding locally owned businesses to those already in town.

He also hopes a bank might decide to locate in Atwater’s business district, at or near routes 224 and 183. Since Chase Bank closed in Randolph a few years ago, anyone needing to do in-person banking must travel to Alliance, Ravenna or Ellet, he said.

Knowing that some long-time residents may be concerned that any change may threaten Atwater’s small-town feel, Kovacich said he would periodically survey residents to see what they would like to see happen in town.

“In the next few years, I would like to see the old [township] garage behind the town hall on Route 183 be replaced. That would be a major expense,” he said. “That’s always been on my wish list, but I think we’re getting to the point that we need a new garage.”

Reflecting on the circumstances surrounding the destruction of the former Flamingo Motel, Kovacich said there were many missteps on everybody’s part.

“There’s no blame to be set at any one person’s feet. I did what I thought was best at the time. I was wrong. The matter was cleaned up. There’s still some issues with it with some people, but as far as I am concerned, the matter is closed,” he said.
Wiley did not respond to The Portager’s request for an interview prior to publication.

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Wendy DiAlesandro is a former Record Publishing Co. reporter and contributing writer for The Portager.